5 ways to overcome freelance fear

I’m now over 2 months into my new freelance life. In this time, I’ve set up my online business, started a podcast, designed and launched my first e-course. Learning all of the tools to in order to do this from scratch. I’ve also had to overcome ‘freelance fear’.

Going freelance has given me an enormous amount of confidence, but at the month 2 point, I started to ‘feel the fear’.

The fear of potential failure. Of not earning enough. Fear of the unknown.

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’?

Social media is awash with motivational memes and inspirational quotes telling us to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

But – in practice, should we? And if so, how do we, well, do it?

How do we avoid fear becoming overwhelming, paralysing?

Why should we not ignore ‘fear’ – because that can mean risking burnout.

Here are my 5 tips to accept freelance fear, listen to it, and then overcome it!

  1. Recognise that some fear can be beneficial. It makes you pause and reflect. Going freelance is risky. Going freelance at almost 40 is risky. Leaving a full-time, salaried job is risky. But, you can work to minimise those risks.
  2. Write down the noise in your head. Sit down and take some time to let it out. What are your fears? How likely are they to be realised? Are they controllable?
  3. Be realistic about time. As Josephine Brooks put it in an excellent post – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You need to balance out what you must do, can do, and what can wait.
  4. Learn how to plan and prioritise effectively. Not only the business building tasks, but also your life; family time; leisure time. You need to have headspace to rest, to think. I’ve purchased a 12 week planner and I am working on developing my social media content planning and scheduling – a later post on that to come.
  5. Think of fear as a signal of all of the exciting learning curves you are undertaking. You cannot know how to ‘go freelance’ before you do. It is not possible to avoid every ‘mistake’. We can learn from them. There is plenty of help out there. For example – Pinterest is your friend! It is ok to ask for help. It is good to make time for self-development. Find your network. I joined Grow & Glow – and cannot emphasise enough how crucial this support has been.

If something does fail?

Know that now you have made a career pivot – at least – once, you know how to do it again.