One of the topics I see covered most in freelancing groups is managing fear. Specifically, Imposter Syndrome.
Listen, if I had a successful system for overcoming fear, I’d be a trillionaire.
But that’s just it. Everybody is scared. No, like everybody. Except psychopaths.
You’re scared of putting yourself out there to speak with prospects. I get it. I literally couldn’t understand you better.
Here are two things to check in with yourself about:
- Are you operating in integrity? Not overpromising? Offering the correct, right-sized solution? Working hard and delivering?
- Are you acting in service? Are you thinking about how to fulfill your client’s needs and letting the profit come in as a result versus the other way around?
Sometimes if I start feeling the imposter syndrome, it’s because I’m acting (or considering acting) in a way that furthers myself but is not that helpful to others. It’s a good gut check.
Other times, the fear is just there.
If you can answer “yes” to the two questions above, move forward.
Yes, it’s that simple.
In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert, multiple NYT best-selling author, reports continuously feeling fear with whatever new project she undertakes. Remember, she’s been doing her thing for a long time, so if she’s still feeling fear, the odds of any of us overcoming it is slim.
Instead of being cowed by it, she did the only thing she could (short of giving up) – she made friends with fear.
She imagines fear as with her in the car, on whatever creative journey she’s undertaking. She tells it: “okay, you can come along. But you’re in the passenger seat. I’m driving.”
Fear is uncomfortable. But you know what? So is failing. So is underperforming. So is playing small. It’s just a different kind of uncomfortable.
So, you get to decide – fear or disappointment? I’ve experienced both, and I’ll tell you, the fear choice always makes for way better stories.
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More on managing Imposter Syndrome here.