Monday Spark: It’s good to feel self-doubt.

freelancer feeling self-doubtMany freelancers struggle to grow their business because they doubt themselves and their abilities. They feel they aren’t good enough in some way.

I have come across this numerous times when talking with or working with freelancers. Some are just starting out, while others have been freelancing for some time. But they all doubt themselves and feel they are not yet ready to get started, or not ready to approach larger clients, or not ready to charge more for their services.

If that sounds a little like you, I have some good news. (Or bad news, depending on your perspective.)

If you struggle with insecurity, you’re not alone.

Accomplished people in all walks of life feel self-doubt.

Donald Sutherland, who has acted in over 100 movies, says, “I throw up on the first day of every movie.”

Nicole Kidman says, “Every time I start in a film, I think I cannot act.”

Frank Gehry, a world-class architect, says, “I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. I get these sweats.”

In my case, after being a copywriter and freelancer for over 30 years, I still feel a moment of self-doubt every time I send a client or partner some new work.

So the bad news, if you want to see it that way, is that self-doubt is not something you feel just when you are starting out. It’s something you’ll always feel.

In other words, it’s not a reason to stop trying. It can’t be. If you allow self-doubt to hold you back, you’ll never make progress. It will always be there at your side, and if you want to succeed you have to face it, deal with it and keep pushing forward.

Even if you throw up every time you email your work to your clients.

And now for the plus side, with a quote from Darlene Lim, a post-doctoral fellow at NASA. “There has to be self-doubt or you would never grow as a person. Self-doubt is questioning and you should always be questioning yourself and the world around you.”

I think she’s right. The opposite of self-doubt is arrogance or, at best, apathy, lethargy and a disregard for your own potential.

To really grow and move forward it is only naturally to feel self-doubt along the way.

BTW – All the quotes in this post were taken from an excellent book by Richard St. John, 8 To Be Great – The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great

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

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