Overcome Entrepreneur Self-Doubt: 5 Ways to Debunk Your Fears

How to cultivate self-trust and confidence as a freelancer.

Do you ever get wrapped up in self-doubt as a freelancer? One day you’re confident, and the next, you’re suddenly feeling down on yourself. 😨 

You’re not alone. Peaks of confidence and valleys of self-doubt are normal as a freelancer – especially when you’re first starting out. 

The key is to learn how to stay consistent even when you’re experiencing self-doubt and to cultivate self-trust to gradually overcome these fears. 

Keep reading to learn how!

The Reason Behind Fear and Self-Doubt

You know when something you’ve never done before seems really scary, but after you do it, you realize it wasn’t so bad?

Let’s say you have your first-ever discovery call with a potential client. You do your research, write out the agenda, and practice your pitch. 

Even though you’re prepared, you’re still nervous and feel self-doubt when getting on the call. Your heart beats fast, and your palms start to sweat.

But once you begin the conversation, you feel more comfortable. You realize you have a ton of knowledge that starts flowing out of you. You end up having fun sharing all your ideas.

When you get off the call, you take a deep sigh of relief and wonder, “What was I so afraid of?”

You were simply afraid of the unknown.

You see, your brain is wired to prepare for what’s going to happen next. Being prepared helps your brain protect you.

When you’re trying something for the first time, the brain can’t fully know or prepare for what’s going to happen. So sometimes, it drums up your anxiety to keep you in your comfort zone where it’s safe.1

Your brain is simply doing its job by trying to keep you safe. But it’s up to you to distinguish between a real threat and perceived fear that’s actually keeping you small.

As a freelancer, you’re going to continue to evolve, grow, and set higher goals for yourself. Once you reach a new level, you raise the bar and reach for the next set of new challenges. 

This means you’re going to continually face unknowns that bring up fear – and fear often manifests as self-doubt.
But this doesn’t need to be scary! It’s actually a relief to create space for fear, knowing it’s going to show up from time to time. The more comfortable you get persevering through feelings of self-doubt, the more you build self-trust and confidence.


“It seems that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes too. In fact, I cordially invite fear to come with me everywhere I go.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic


5 Ways to Overcome Entrepreneur Self-Doubt

Although it’s helpful to get comfortable with fear, it’s also important to not give fear too much power. Reframing your perspective and narrative about these fears keeps you in control and your self-doubt at bay.

In working with thousands of new freelancers, I’ve learned that many people experience the same self-doubts when they’re first starting out.

Here are 5 common fears of new freelancers that you might be experiencing – and how to reframe them.

1. “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

When you first start freelancing, there are so many new things to do and learn – from developing your skills to starting new client relationships and figuring out your business processes.

You’re always going to have new things to learn, especially in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. Becoming a lifelong learner who continually faces new challenges is actually something to be really proud of.

Reframe your narrative to “I am learning.” This puts you in a positive mindset where you trust yourself to learn and overcome self-doubt.


2. “What if I embarrass myself on client calls?”

I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve embarrassed myself on client calls. And guess what? I’m still here, and my business is thriving and expanding in new ways that I’m so proud of.

Take time to learn how to prepare effectively for a client call. But client calls and other interactions don’t always go perfectly.All you can do is your best and learn from each experience. The more you practice, the more smoothly they’ll go.

Reframe your narrative to “I am getting experience.” Release the expectation that each call needs to go perfectly. There is truly an abundance of opportunities and clients out there. If one client doesn’t work out, there are others to work with!


3. “What if I can’t get results for my clients?”

This fear mainly pertains to the copywriters that I work with since copy is meant to inspire action. If you’re conscious about getting results for your clients – that’s a good sign. It shows you care about producing quality copy.

But at the end of the day, you can’t guarantee results, and that’s okay. There have been times when I thought my copywriting piece was mediocre and then it went on to perform extremely well, and other times when the copy I thought was effective did poorly.

Reframe your narrative to “I am doing my best, and that is enough.” All you can do is learn the techniques that go into effective copywriting and do your best. Then you can learn from the results and adjust from there.


4. “What if I make a mistake?”

The truth is, you’re going to make mistakes as a freelancer. Especially when you’re first starting out. How do I know? Because you are human.Relieve yourself of the pressure to be perfect. What matters most is how you learn and move forward from your mistakes.

Reframe your narrative to “I learn and grow from my mistakes.”  Each mistake is an opportunity to ask yourself what you can implement in your process to make the mistake less likely to happen in the future.


5. “What if I hate freelancing?”

Most of the time, enjoying your freelancing experience is within your control. If there’s something you continually dislike about your freelance career, you can change it.

If you find yourself unhappy with freelancing, it could be a sign that you haven’t stepped into a business owner mindset. But you can learn to run your business on your own terms.

Reframe your narrative to “I am in control.” Practicing this starts with setting the processes, boundaries, and goals that make you happy and align with your values.

Self-doubt tends to come up when you first start freelancing – or trying anything new. But the reward of moving forward anyway is so high. One day, you’re going to look back and realize that the things that once scared you have become second nature. You’ve got this. 👏

How Entrepreneurs Overcome Self-Doubt Regularly

Overcoming self-doubt isn’t a “one and done” task. As you continue to grow and face new challenges, self-doubt continues to come up. And that’s completely normal!

That’s why mastering your mindset to overcome doubts and cultivate confidence is essential.

However, it’s not always clear how to make those life-changing mindset moves. That’s why I created, Master Your Mindset. In this one course, you learn exactly how to examine the fears holding you back, create routines to overcome them, and cultivate the mindsets you may not have known you needed. 

The best part is that you can continually come back to this process when you’re going through seasons of self-doubt. Learn more and sign up for Master Your Mindset here.

Want to Watch Instead?

View my YouTube video on how to overcome entrepreneur self-doubt. Subscribe here for more tips on mindset and entrepreneurship.

Resources:

  1. BBC

About Sarah

I’m an entrepreneur on a mission to help other people become entrepreneurs.
My blog is a place where I provide business building advice and explore how we can create more meaningful work.

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