Self-Help Strategies for Freelance Writers: How to Conquer Fear and Anxiety
Guest post by Jeff Griswold
Being a freelance writer requires you to hustle, empathize, manage your time, and exude self-confidence. And then there’s the writing. From giving speeches to selling your services, the skill-set goes beyond the printed word. So, what’s the best way to manage the rollercoaster ride of feelings most writers go through to make a living? And how can you deal with one of the biggest energy wasters – fear? Fear often has a life of its own with disproportionate control over your emotions. These proven self-help strategies will help you manage your fears and get on with the job.
1. Set Goals
One way to tackle fear is to set goals. Whether your goal is to be published in Vanity Fair or to write 4 blog entries a month, setting goals will help you focus your energies. Maxwell Maltz summed it up nicely when he said “People with goals find a meaning in life.” Set time aside and really identify what you want.
•Write your goals down.
•Make sure they are your goals.
•Share your goals with people who will react positively.
2. Visualize the Positive Outcome
Studies suggest if you visualize a particular outcome, it’s more likely to happen. Olympic athletes have been employing this psychological technique for some time and spend part of their training imagining themselves crossing the finishing line first. You can use the same mind sharpening techniques. Keep images near your desk that motivate and inspire you. See your name on the New York Times bestseller list. Visualize your life as a successful writer. Any time you feel fear, go straight to this positive visualization. To see and feel your success is a powerful way to focus your energy away from fear and towards the outcome you want.
3. Make a Commitment and Begin
Now, this won’t be for everyone but many believe it to be true. The moment you absolutely commit to an endeavor, something magical happens. It’s as if God, The Universe, or Nature steps in to help you. By committing yourself to an outcome, you invite help and set off a chain reaction that assists and leads you to success. As Goethe wrote, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Would you doubt Goethe?
4. Sell with Love
Regardless of what you do, success requires selling. The better you are at selling – whether it’s your product, your idea, or yourself – the more successful you will be. But many people have an aversion to selling. Rather than focus on the value they provide, many people feel guilty about ‘taking money’. The audio self-help program, Inner Game of Selling, suggests you turn this thinking around by:-
•Focus on helping: Make it your goal to find at least one way (big or small) to help each person you interact with. You’ll find it more enjoyable and have much greater success.
•Make a Connection: If you are fearful about meeting someone, mentally project the thought “I love you.” You’ll instantly feel more relaxed, comfortable and confident and it will put the other person at ease because they’ll sense a feeling of trust that you really want to help them.
•Provide Value: Think about the purchases you’ve made. In most cases, people are happy to pay for something if they get what they want.
5. Build a Prosperous Self-Image
A positive self-image can guide you to prosperity and a successful life. A negative self-image, on the other hand, can destroy your ability to succeed. Our lives often reflect what we hold in our minds. If you don’t see yourself as worthy of prosperity, you’ll have a hard time achieving it. Self-image is formed over many years and is influenced by families, peers, and life experiences. It takes the right set of tools to build a prosperous self-image but you’ll be surprised how a shift in thinking will help make your fears slip away.
With your fears and anxieties conquered, it’s time to get writing.
Jeff Griswold is President of Effective Learning Systems, a leading audio self-help publisher.
More on conquering fear:
- The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear
- Fear of Writing: For Writers & Closet Writers
- Mastering Creative Anxiety: 24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America’s Foremost Creativity Coach