When I started my journey as a full-time Freelance Writer I was more excited than I had ever been in my whole life. I was finally living out my dreams of self-employment. Seriously, you don't understand, I've dreamed of it basically my entire life.
So when I finally found the courage to follow my dreams without compromising, it felt good. In fact, it's one of my biggest accomplishments to date. But when I started this journey I didn't realize what a huge undertaking it would be. Not in terms of finances and time management, but in terms of personal development.
There are so many skills to perfect and so many things to keep up with, and I'm not just talking about new technologies and portfolios. I'm talking about the things that no one can see. The things that only I have control over. Basically, I'm talking about my mindset and actions.
I lived most of my life as an expert in self-sabotage, so it's no surprise that it was ready to stop me dead in my tracks in this situation too.
Even though I started off confident AF and ready to blaze my own trail, I didn't realize how difficult it would be to keep that demon at bay in order to remain productive and continuously striving. I figured since I took the first step, I wouldn't have to do anything else other than accept new clients, do the work, and get paid. If only it were that simple!
Managing my mood and peace of mind under stress in addition to my time and clients quickly became overwhelming, and after just a few months I was feeling burnt out. The thought of churning out one more blog post or another piece of social media copy made me want to puke, and I found myself getting irritated over the stupidest things.
The way I saw it, my short-lived freelance writing career was spinning out of control made me feel like an imposter. I ended up giving in to the notion that I didn't have what it takes to make it on my own. I questioned my sanity and why I would possibly think I had a chance of succeeding.
It was thoughts like these that drove me to end a long-term freelance gig. It wasn't the highest paying gig, but it gave me a place to start and rack up bylines that helped me build my portfolio. Instead of being uber grateful for the opportunity like I originally was, I found myself putting off writing the articles and eventually, I resigned.
After this, I took about a month off of writing. I was convinced I couldn't make a living off of one of my deepest passions, so I turned to odd jobs like cleaning AirBnBs and Instacart for my income instead. After a couple of days, I felt pretty good thinking I had escaped something, but it wasn't long before I realized what a huge mistake I made.
This led me to beat myself up for a few weeks. My own behavior left me feeling perplexed and downright stupid.
I wasn't really listening to myself. In fact, I was actually ignoring what I really wanted, which was to be a full-time freelance writer, something that I already had in my grasp. So why was I trying to let it go? Why would I convince myself that this isn't what I was supposed to be doing? Why would I tell myself that quitting the shitty job I didn't care about was a mistake?
The answer is simple: I didn't believe in myself. I didn't think I was good enough to get the clients or jobs that I wanted.
I knew this was a lie, though. This was my moment to finally overcome my lifelong struggle with imposter syndrome. I had faced this decision before, but I always chose to stay in my comfort zone when even the slightest challenge presented itself.
This time was different, though, because somewhere deep inside me I that I was a good writer, and I knew to work for myself was the one thing I really wanted. Not only that, I knew that I had what it takes to run a business. I had already been doing it for several months.
That's why everything was going so smoothly. That's why I kept getting excellent reviews from happy customers. That's why I felt more confident about pursuing writing than I ever felt about any other career path.
I had all the proof so it didn't make sense to believe anything else. Realizing this made me pull up my bootstraps and get back to it. I didn't want to do anything else but write (and take pictures, of course 😊) so why was I wasting my time doing dead-end gigs when I had a full-fledged career to tend to?
Since getting back to writing with full force, I've landed even better long-term clients writing about topics I'm passionate about, and I even got a short story published! In other words, everything's coming up Millhouse! (Hopefully, you're a Simpsons fan and understand that reference.)
My whole point of sharing this story wasn't just to talk about my own personal experience with self-sabotage, but to tell every other person suffering from imposter syndrome to follow their passion and stop listening to their inner naysayer.
Don't waste another second overanalyzing or doubting yourself. The fact that you have a passion is all the confirmation you need to know you're doing the right thing! As long as you work at it every day, remain patient, and strive to do your best, there's no way you can fail.
If you are struggling with this right now or you have overcome it yourself, then don't hesitate to comment below. I would love to hear your story!