Monday Spark: In fact, you CAN do it yourself.

learned helplessnessWe just returned from a resort vacation in Jamaica.

Only for a week, but we had a great time.

The resort was divided by a fairly busy road, and the lady in the photo was one of a team who used their stop signs to help visitors get safely from one side of the resort to the other.

The process was fun to watch, because drivers clearly considered stopping to be optional.

Anyway, after a few days I walked to the side of the road, and found that the ladies with their stop signs weren’t there.

Just for a moment I wondered how on earth I was going to cross the road without them.

It was a ridiculous thought, because I have lived in several large cities during my lifetime, and I am perfectly capable of crossing a busy road.

The experience reminded me of how easily we can succumb to learned helplessness.

The ladies with their signs, and their instructions on when to wait and when to cross, had quickly disabled my own ability to cross the road on my own.

This disabling of our own ability to get things done applies to our lives as freelancers as much as it does to crossing busy roads, or anything else.

For example, if you are used to getting ongoing projects from a particular company, and then that source of work suddenly dries up, you might feel a moment of panic, believing you are not capable of picking up new work on your own.

But you are. You got that first client on your own.

Or you might have a mentor who always looks over your work before you submit it. If the mentor suddenly becomes unavailable, you might think you are no longer able to confidently submit your work.

The same goes for when you are part of a support group or mastermind group.

In other words, whenever we enjoy the support of others in acquiring new work and getting it done, we are likely to feel some anxiety when that support is no longer available.

The trick is to make sure you snap out of that place of learned helplessness.

Because, in fact, you CAN do it on your own.

You can cross the road, get that new client and submit great work.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

Build your confidence to succeed with my ebook, Affirmations for Freelancers…

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1 thought on “Monday Spark: In fact, you CAN do it yourself.

  1. Welcome back, Nick! You sound very well rested.

    So many people misconstrue the difference between
    assistance and dependence. I’m so glad this topic is
    on the table for discussion.

    Public Assistance programs like unemployment or
    welfare are designed to help people transition from
    one phase of life to another. But after a while, some recipients
    get used to receiving money without working. Their skills
    erode, and their will to work fades…then disappears.
    Sadly, they become self-appointed wards of the state.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. Having a coach or being in a mastermind
    group isn’t charity. But if you’re not careful, they could make you lazy.
    You might end up depending on folks who you have no business
    relying on in the first place.

    By their very design, coaching and mentoring relationships
    should be well defined and finite. How these partnerships
    end should be mapped out right at the beginning.

    In other words, when you’ve reached your goals, the coach
    or group has served its purpose. That’s when the training
    wheels should come off. It’s time to move forward under
    your own power and chart a new course.

    The best coaches and mastermind groups understand this.
    That’s why their marketing pipelines are always full. The space
    you vacate allows another business to step in and begin its
    process of self-improvement. But your coach or group is always
    within reach should you need them further down the road.

    So don’t feel bad when the time comes to part company.
    Growing your business and reaching your goals should be
    cause for celebration, not reasons for disappointment or
    dependence.

    Great job as always, Nick. Well done!

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