7+ Common Freelancing Confidence Busters and How to Fight Them

What’s keeping you from really becoming the freelancer that you could be?

For a lot of us, the answer is a lack confidence. Confidence is vital to successful freelancing, but there are a lot of common freelancing experiences that eat away at our self-confidence.

In this post, I’ll identify more than seven common situations freelancers face that cause them to have less confidence. I’ll also explain how you can keep these confidence busters from affecting you.

Common Freelancing Confidence Busters

Do you struggle with self-doubt? If you’re like most of us, your answer was probably “yes.”

Here are over seven common situations that may cause you to doubt your abilities:

  1. Rejected for a freelancing project. It’s normal to be rejected for freelancing projects, but that doesn’t mean rejection doesn’t hurt. If you miss getting a freelancing project that you really wanted or if you are rejected often, naturally your self-confidence could suffer. When this happens to you, remind yourself of the successful freelancing projects that you’ve already completed. It can also help to go re-read your testimonials.
  2. Criticism from a client. Ouch! Those critical comments probably sting. No one really likes to receive criticism and some clients can be quite harsh. But the criticism probably isn’t about you at all. If your client has some critical things to say, it could be because they are worried about the project. And some clients who deliver criticism really do mean to be helpful. If you face some criticism, don’t take it personally. Instead ask, “how could I improve?”
  3. Trollish comments on your blog. If you have a blog for your freelancing business (and I hope you do), you may get some unkind comments from time to time. It’s unfortunate, but many people mistakenly think that it’s okay to be rude and say things in blog comments that they would never say in person. (It isn’t, of course.) If this happens to you, remember the commentator is probably not worth worrying about. If the comment is too upsetting though, delete it. It’s your blog.
  4. Lack of a challenge. Have you been doing the same type of projects for quite a while? Does one project some like the next? Are you bored? You would think that doing the same type of work often would build up your confidence, but for many people the exact upset is true. If you thrive when challenged, you need to make some changes. Try taking some courses or learning a new skill to help bolster your confidence.
  5. Slow periods. Here it is–another downside to the infamous freelancing feast or famine cycle. Even though the feast or famine problem is normal and well-known among freelancers, having a slow period doesn’t feel very good if you are in the midst of the famine part of it. If the famine part lasts too long, you may start to doubt your abilities. This is when you need to work at marketing yourself harder than ever. In most cases, the problem is temporary.
  6. Comparing yourself with others. Every freelancer is unique and has their own special challenges and strengths. The Internet has been wonderful for connecting us with clients all over the world. But it has also made us aware of just how many other freelancers are out there. With all of this connectivity, it can be really tempting to compare yourself with another freelancer and to believe that you come up short. Don’t do it. View other freelancers as colleague and resources, not the enemy.
  7. Your fears. Again, fears are a natural part of freelancing. Every freelancer faces fears from time to time. We all wonder if we will make it financially or whether our new client will like our work. The truth is that no one knows or controls the future. None of us really knows what will happen tomorrow (although we can guess). But chances are excellent that you will succeed if you work hard at freelancing and market your skills consistently.
  8. Bonus confidence buster: Personal experiences. Sometimes our past (and present) personal experiences can affect our professional confidence. If you grew up with a parent who was particularly critical, you may have trouble believing in your abilities as a freelancer. Likewise, if you are currently in an unhealthy relationship, that negative relationship can cause your confidence as a freelancer to plummet. If these confidence busters fit you, you may need to distance from the harmful experience.

For most of us, these situations are not insurmountable. They may cause us to doubt ourselves, but we can overcome that doubt.

However, if you feel hopeless or if your lack of confidence is keeping you from ordinary daily projects, please seek the help of a professional.

Your Turn

Has your self-confidence been affected by any of these situations? Share your own tips for overcoming your confidence busters in the comments.

Image by dvs