Fighting Your Freelancing Fears

Some start their journey in entrepreneurship because they have the “entrepreneurial bug” and can’t see themselves working for someone else. Others go for it forced by circumstances such as a layoff, hating their 9-5 job, earning more income on the side while working for someone else.

The reasons are as different as people. But they do have something in common: fear.

Let me explain…

You may think that fear is counterproductive, however, this isn’t entirely true. For some, channeling their fear gives them the energy and focus to make drastic changes in their lives such as launching a freelancing career after a lifetime of working for someone else. 

And this can be a great “incentive” when you’re starting out. But acting from fear all the time can become very toxic very fast. You may find yourself too stressed out to gather your thoughts, without energy to work, paralyzed by fear.

In no time fear affects your self-confidence and self-worth and can even cause you to give up your dreams and freelancing career altogether.

Does this sound familiar?

When have you let fear govern your decisions?

Let’s look at some of the most common examples of fear that could be standing in your way of being a successful entrepreneur and how to overcome them.

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is something everyone goes through at some point in their career, but it is especially powerful when working on your business. It has a nasty way of paralyzing and preventing you from achieving your full potential.

With thoughts of failure ruminating, inaction strikes, and suddenly you start questioning every decision you make. 

How do you get over your fear of failure?

Dale Carnegie sums it up really well:

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

The first step in conquering your fear is acknowledging it. When you notice fearful thoughts running around in your mind, stop and ask yourself, “why am I feeling like this?”

Once you acknowledged what generated those fearful thoughts, move your attention from them. Focus on something else, something that gives you pleasure, makes you laugh. It helps if you physically move from where you are standing.

When you move your attention and your body, you’re forcing your brain to stop entertaining fearful thoughts and focus on what you are doing. You basically stop the reptilian brain (the one screaming danger all the time) and engage your frontal cortex (the decision-maker).

Doing something related to your line of work can help get the ball rolling. If you’re a writer, write something even if it’s unrelated to a project, to get your juices flowing. If you’re a photographer start with smaller tasks such as labeling images or uploading existing ones to your social media.

The art of doing something, no matter how small will eventually give you the satisfaction of completing something. Confidence derived from this will help you step up and work toward making your dreams a reality. 

Managing Your Finances

For many people, a large part of their fear is linked to how they will manage their own finances alongside devoting their time, energy and creativity to complete their freelancing projects to the highest standard.

The main concern over finances is usually over a lack of knowledge and experience with looking after your own accounts once you are self-employed.

It’s important to ensure your financial affairs are in order and to avoid a nasty notification from the tax man declaring you owe them money.

The first option for solving this fear is to become educated on handling your business income, outgoing and expenses. Yes, you have to educate yourself, you cannot and should not delegate this task.

With plenty of online sources, you can take control of your fear by filling your knowledge gap.

This does not mean you have to be the one actually doing the work. After all, you did not go into freelancing to become an accountant too. But you do have to know how to handle the financial side of your business.

Hiring an accountant it’s a worthwhile investment to help you grow your business. If you don’t know where to look for one accountants for IR35 protection is a good start.

Hiring a specialist to take care of the financial part of your business will shift your fear of managing your money. You will have more time and peace of mind to focus on growing your business.

Where the Next Gig Will Come From?

Being a freelancer takes great courage, with no real job security, your next project depends entirely on you. You are the CEO, the marketer, and the salesperson of your business,

Sometimes you must hush the fears and paranoia which tell you it’s too dangerous to continue embarking on a career with no particular security and revel in the journey.

Know that you create your own reality. Your dreams got you this far. Don’t let unfounded fears stop you from living the life you deserve, your dream life.

Celebrate each step of the way, each win no matter how small or big. It keeps your mind focused on your purpose, on your goals, reminding you why you started in the first place.

Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks. Conquer it. With each fear you conquer you expand your comfort zone, you grow your confidence, you become unstoppable.

What did fear stop you do?