Starting a freelance business is both exciting and terrifying at the same time.
I’m not talking about one foot in and one foot out– I’m talking full commitment, like ready to do whatever it takes to make this thing happen.
When you’re at this point, you will find quickly find that it’s your thoughts and your thoughts alone that will ultimately make you or break you.
You will ride highs – my website is up! my first post! my first follower!
You will ride lows – what was I thinking? what if I can’t get clients? what if I get a client?
And every hill and valley in between.
You will start reading and watching everything you can get your hands on to help you succeed.
Despite all you’ve learned, you will occasionally despair over all you still don’t know.
In the past, my thoughts were always my downfall — not my skill level, not my ability to learn and master new skills — but my own self-limiting thoughts.
While it’s common and normal to have moments of hesitation or fear, or even self-doubt, that’s not what we’re talking about here.
It’s the toxic ruminating and globalizing. It’s the endless cycle of telling yourself you’re not good enough. It’s the not letting yourself get too excited because maybe you’ve tried and failed in the past.
If this is you right now, take heed:
We are more than the sum of our past failures.
These are some things I do to keep the negative thoughts at bay:
- Post here honestly and regularly.
- Reach out and connect with other amazing people who happen to be writers.
- Do at least one measurable thing a day toward my freelance writing goals.
- Ask for help if I need it.
- Give myself permission to pursue my dream.
- Study the success paths of a few people in the business whom I admire and can relate to.
- Remind myself of number 5 often.
- Picture myself a year from now.
- Picture myself a month from now.
- Picture myself when I’m 50.
- Picture myself telling my kids their dreams are possible if they’re willing to gut it out and do the work – and them believing it because they’ve seen me do it.
- Invest in myself by taking courses like this one with someone who’s been in my shoes so I can make money as a freelance writer faster.
- Read time-tested books on writing and copywriting so I can improve my technique.
- Listen to educational and motivational podcasts on anything I find inspiring: writing, entrepreneurship, taking action, rising from failures, psychology of success, self-love, making the most of this one life, etc. (I’ve compiled a list of my favorite podcasts here)
- Tell myself repeatedly that reading and listening is no substitute for doing.
- Let myself have fun in the process.
Do you sometimes battle with negative self-talk? What kind of things have helped you move past these thoughts and stay focused on your goals?