“I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes!”
“I’m scared that I’ll fail and I won’t be able to provide for my family.”
“I don’t have the same skills that successful freelance writers have so I definitely won’t be as successful as they are.”
These are just a few of the thousands of negative thoughts that can run through your mind as you begin your journey to becoming a successful freelance writer.
Did you happen to notice anything in common with those statements? I sure did. FEAR.
We get a bad critique from an editor. Fear creeps in.
We see other writers raving about their success on social media. Fear creeps in.
We don’t get a response to our pitch. Can you guess what happens? That’s right…fear creeps in.
So you may be thinking, “What can I do to kick these negative thoughts to the curb?”
Well, when I first started on my journey learning how to become a successful freelance writer I always wished I had somebody to guide me through the hard times so I didn’t feel like giving up. That’s why I do my best now to ensure that other freelance writers know how to fight back when that fear creeps in.
Having the right mindset can make or break us on our journey to becoming successful freelance writers. That’s why I decided to make The Right Mindset one of my five pillars to success.
In my teachings I cover many different strategies to overcoming fear and staying in a positive mindset. They are all effective, but some take more practice than others. So today, I want to give you five easy-to-apply, fear-busting techniques you can apply immediately for fast, effective results.
My goal is to get you out of that negative mindset slump and ready to take that first step towards becoming a successful freelance writer by the time you finish reading this!
Let’s face it, we all feel an array of emotions on a daily basis, and the natural thing for us to do is push away any negative feeling that shows up. If we feel sadness, frustration, anxiety, or anger, our immediate and natural response is to RESIST that feeling.
But, did you ever wonder what would happen if you stopped resisting?
I’ll tell you what! You’d realize that what you’re feeling actually isn’t that bad and just like magic, that bad feeling will begin to dissolve.
Think of it this way, what happens to a boiling pot of water when you put a lid on it? It builds up until it overflows, right? Well, facing bad feelings such as fear is like taking that lid off the pot. The water will settle and you will feel calm once again. At that point you will be able to identify what is causing this negative feeling.
What kinds of fears are keeping you from believing in yourself?
Once you start listening to that fear, you will be in a position to regain your positive mindset, and gain that courage needed to take your next step.
Before you continue reading, I wanted to make sure you knew about my special report, Freelance Writing Fear Smashers. If you deal with any amount of fear (like I did!), you will want to get this free report. Check it out here. Then come back here 🙂
What we Think we Become!
Now that you’ve identified your negative thoughts, you can fight back. Do this with affirmations.
Identify what kinds of negative thoughts and fears you’re experiencing and write them down. Then, create positive phrases to overcome those beliefs.
So for example, if you are afraid that you don’t have what it takes to become a successful freelance writer, create an affirmation like this:
“I am a talented writer who has what it takes to become successful.”
Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, shut it down by saying that positive affirmation. Notice how I didn’t say “I will be a talented writer…”
When creating your affirmations always write the statement in the present tense as if it’s already happening. Say your affirmations upon waking up in the morning, every time you experience a negative thought, and before you go to sleep at night.
If you’re having trouble creating your positive affirmations, check out my blog post, “The Top 50 Inspirational Quotes for Freelance Writers” where I provide a variety of quotes that will keep you inspired and motivated all day long.
Let Others’ Success Encourage You!
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed only to click on a fellow writer’s page and see them bragging about their latest project?
Suddenly you feel a twinge of jealousy and maybe even anger. You find yourself thinking, “Why not me? I must not be as talented as they are.”
That scenario is all too familiar to me. I remember a time when hearing about the success of others would send me into a downward spiral of insecurity. Of course I now know these feelings were driven by fear, but at the time they made me want to give up.
One day I decided to reach out to a successful writer to seek some advice and we struck up an ongoing conversation. As she began to share her stories with me, I quickly realized that I was going through exactly what she had gone through not so long ago. That’s when it hit me. We really are all in this together. We all have something unique to bring to the world of freelance writing, and we are all just doing our best and reach our own goals.
It can seem like a lonely road on the way to success, but the truth is we all have each other. Let others inspire you by joining writer’s groups on LinkedIn and contributing to the discussion forums. You will meet so many writers going through the same things you are, and you will start to replace those negative and discouraging feelings with positive ones that will motivate you to push forward.
The Sky’s the Limit! But you have to take the stairs to get there.
Break your ultimate goals down into smaller, achievable goals.
It’s wonderful to dream big. I highly encourage it! But what I see happen to so many writers is they set these massive goals and then become overwhelmed because they don’t know how to get there.
The good news is, there is a simple solution to this problem: Write down your ultimate goal no matter how big and unattainable it may seem. Then work backwards to create smaller tasks. These will be your stepping stones.
Keep breaking the goals down until you reach a task that you can accomplish today. It can be as simple as writing an email, replying to a job ad, or creating a Facebook Business Page. Each time you complete a task, check it off. With each check mark you will experience a burst of confidence and you will start to realize that you really can do this!
The Time is Now
In my experience I see writers “putting off” their success without even realizing it. They do this by waiting for the “perfect” time. That time is when they’ve improved their writing skills to an acceptable level, when they have enough time to give it everything they’ve got, or when they finally feel confident enough.
Well, you know what I tell them? Fear is the only thing holding you back.
The truth is that the only way to gain the confidence it takes to fully reach your goals is through experience. So take that first step, and with each new experience will come a new confidence. Before you know it, you will believe in yourself more than you ever thought possible. The sky’s the limit! But you have to take that first step today!
I believe that any time we set out on a new journey that takes courage, fear comes along with it. Where courage is needed, fear will follow.
I hope this makes you realize that even the most successful freelance writers have had to deal with fears and insecurities along the way. And yes…that includes me!
When I began my journey to becoming a successful freelance writer I would let one rejection from an editor bring me down and make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. My mindset was heavily driven by fears and insecurities, and at the time I didn’t have the tools to get out of it. I was lost, afraid, and alone. All I knew is that I wanted to be a writer and run my own business, but I didn’t know how to get there.
Then I realized something that would change my path forever. I needed to stop looking at the big picture and start looking at what was right in front of me.
I didn’t need to be my own boss tomorrow! I just needed to take ONE STEP towards that goal. If I could muster the courage to take just one step, I would be a little bit closer to my reaching my goals.
Once I took that first step, I gained the courage to take another and another, and with each step I felt more and more confident.
So if you don’t believe in yourself right now and if those negative thoughts are getting the best of you, don’t worry! You don’t have to wait to be confident to take that first step. Maybe your step for today is to choose a specialty, or create a blog. No matter how big or small the step is, just take it! Just one step will put you on the path towards reaching your highest goals!
Need some more motivation? Check out my other posts on overcoming fear and becoming a good writer.