When I first started out as a freelancer, I thought everything would be great! I can design, I’ve got a couple of paying clients, what

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Overcome Doubt and Cultivate Creative Confidence

When I first started out as a freelancer, I thought everything would be great! I can design, I’ve got a couple of paying clients, what could go wrong?! I bound forward into the life of freedom.

As the months passed and the work slowed down, money became a bit scarce. Things didn’t just happen the way I expected them to.

The outreach wasn’t working.

I was undercharging on the projects I did get.

I wasn’t making the kind of designs I wanted to.

I was trying to do things my way but nothing was working. Every step forward was a painful slog. With no prospects and dwindling hope, my confidence hit rock bottom. A rising spectre loomed over every part of my work life. You may know it as.. The Fear.

The Fear beat me down at every turn, a nagging voice in my head.

I want to upgrade my folio. Why? You spent weeks on the last one and it’s shit.

Should I reach out to potential clients? There’s no point, they’re going to say no.

I could collaborate with other designers! They’re so much better then you, why would they work with you?

What if I invested a bit in myself? With what money? You’re hopeless, just face it.

It was a constant companion telling me I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t deal with it. I needed an out. I needed to know it wasn’t just me. So I asked every business owner I knew if they had The Fear. Every single one said.. yes.

But how could that be?? Every one of them was thriving in their field, employing teams, renting fancy offices (back when I thought that was what success meant!). They’d learned to manage The Fear and accept it as a companion on the journey without letting it inhibit their work.

Overcome The Fear and cultivate confidence

I see this now with the freelancers I mentor, the most common block is their confidence. Sometimes they call it perfectionism, sometimes they’re unwilling to try their own ideas. With others they hide their creativity for fear of judgement. All of this is a lack of confidence. And people, let me tell you, these folks are mega talented! They just don’t believe it themselves.

Overcoming doubt and cultivating creative confidence are vital steps in unlocking your true potential as a freelancer. But mastering your mindset doesn’t just happen (much like my early work), you need to do the work.

But when you do, you will unleash a wave of creativity and unlock the doors to success in your freelance journey.

The Problem

Self-doubt is a common obstacle that plagues many freelancers, causing them to question their skills and abilities. The constant pressure to perform, coupled with the fear of failure, can create a negative cycle of thoughts that hinders creative flow and stifles progress. Doubt holds you back, preventing you from reaching your full potential and seizing opportunities.

The Benefits of Solving It

When you overcome doubt and cultivate your confidence, you open yourself up to a wealth of benefits. Imagine approaching every project with unwavering belief in your abilities, knowing that you have the skills and talent to deliver exceptional results. With confidence, you can tap into your full creative potential, explore new ideas, and embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Creative confidence allows you to stand out, attract clients and establish yourself as a respected professional in your field.

Why What You’ve Tried Hasn’t Worked

Traditional approaches to combating self-doubt, like positive affirmations or superficial pep talks, often fall short because they’re sticking plaster solutions. They don’t address the underlying beliefs and thought patterns that fuel The Fear.

We humans have a habit of ignoring the good and inflating the bad, making it harder to get perspective on your own position. Telling yourself to “think positive” is not healthy and, when it doesn’t work, it feeds the doubt. To truly overcome doubt, you have to dig deeper and challenge the limiting beliefs that hold you back.

The Solution

To overcome doubt and cultivate creative confidence, we can explore a range of effective strategies. One essential aspect is cognitive reframing, which involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive and empowering ones. By reframing your mindset, you can shift your perspective and view setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures.

Another crucial element is self-compassion. Explore how self-compassion allows you to be kind to yourself, acknowledge your imperfections and embrace your flawed humanity. Instead of being overly critical, self-compassion encourages self-care and fosters a nurturing environment for your creativity to flourish.

These feed into a mindset that creates personal growth. Embracing a growth mindset means believing that your abilities can be developed through dedication and effort. By cultivating this mindset, you will view challenges as stepping stones to success and setbacks as opportunities for growth. It opens you up to embrace continuous learning, try new approaches and persist in the face of obstacles – of which there will be many!

Reach out, I’ll help you

By following these steps and committing to your personal growth, you will build unshakable creative confidence and unlock the full potential of your freelance career. Embrace the journey, trust in your abilities, and watch as your creative brilliance shines brighter than ever before.

Are you ready to overcome doubt and cultivate creative confidence? Keep your eyes peeled for my new course, The Freelancer’s Guide to a Successful First Year.

If you have a burning question, I’m happy to help! Email me at orwell@orwellmcg.com. Take the first step towards a more confident and successful freelance career today!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Whenever you're ready..

There are 3 ways
I can help you:

1. ​Creative mentoring
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2. Book a mentoring call
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3. ​Apply for a free folio review 
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