Dealing with Anxiety While Launching A Freelance Writing Business

Anxiety is an evil little bitch! It can creep up on you when you least expect it and many of you may not even know that you suffer from real anxiety problems. Anxiety can be a real hindrance for some people, especially when starting a new business or a new adventure but I've found some ways to power through it.

I was always the shy, quiet girl. When I was a kid I hid behind my mother’s legs. In school I wouldn't talk to anyone unless they spoke to me first. It got better as I got older and I learned that it was ok to make the first move when it came to talking to others, and I stopped waiting around for strangers to talk to me.

It wasn’t until last year that I finally realized that this was more than just being shy. I suffer from social anxiety. Despite the fact that I had improved myself by putting myself out there more and talking to people first, I still felt anxiety about it. I feel nervous and anxious when I go anywhere alone, and it takes me awhile to be comfortable with new people. I often make plans just to back out at the last minute because of this.

When I was working my office job, I noticed how tongue tied I got when I talked on the phone. If I talked to a client, I would trip over my words and say ‘um’ a lot and as soon as I hung up, I felt anxious as if I had done something wrong or wondering how stupid I must have sounded on the phone?

I was the type who sat quietly at my desk every day and got my work done. I was constantly second guessing myself worrying that I did something wrong or not feeling confident enough to try new things. I felt like I was in a constant state of worry wondering if someone liked me or didn’t like me, or that I was saying something completely stupid.

I feel like my anxiety kept me from going anywhere in the company. The bosses knew that I was content to just stay where I was and that I wasn’t going anywhere.

Now that I’m on this new journey to a career in freelance writing, I constantly feel the anxiety creeping in.

Yesterday was the first day that I sent out freelance writing pitches. I sent them to website asking to guest post or be a content contributor. Actually, I was planning on sending out the first pitches on Monday but I kept putting them off and finding other things to do instead. I finally decided that it was time to stop making excuses and just do it! I was never going to get where I want to be by making excuses.

Anxiety When Starting A New Business

  • I’m not confident. Despite the fact that I have been writing for a long time, I have a problem fighting the constant voices in my head second guessing myself and telling me that I am not good enough.
  • Worried that a potential client will request a telephone call. When I am nervous, I trip over my words and feel like I must sound like a complete asshole to the person on the other end of the phone!
  • Sending out pitches! This is one of the biggest problems I am facing right now. Sending out pitches to websites. Worried that my pitch sounds stupid and that the person on the receiving end is rolling their eyes and laughing at how ludicrous I sound.
  • Something as simple as connecting with people on LinkedIn. I was just reading an article yesterday on connecting with people on LinkedIn and Twitter and sending them a simple message about guest posting on their site. This gives me anxiety! I’m sure I will say something completely foolish!

I just can’t shake the feeling that I am not good enough. I am not good enough to be one of these writers who makes tens of thousands of dollars a month. I am not a great author that will one day have a book published and that actually sells.

I have let my anxiety hold me back for way too long. I stay in my comfort zone because I am too scared to put myself out there to be ridiculed. The fact is, I am keeping myself from progressing any further. If I don’t get out of my comfort zone, I am just going to sit in the same spot, making a butt cheek imprint on this chair, and go nowhere.

Things You Can Do To Get Through Anxiety

  1. Try to think only positive thoughts. Stop the negative thoughts as soon as you notice them slipping in. Stop them cold in their tracks and focus on only positive thoughts. You ARE good enough. You ARE smart enough. You HAVE what it takes!

  2. Push yourself through the anxiety and force yourself to do what makes you uncomfortable. Take a deep breath, hit that send button before you get a chance to chicken out and delete the email you were about to send! What’s the worst that could happen? They say 'no thank you', and you move on to the next? So what?

  3. Remind yourself of your goals every day. Your goals are where you want to be and how you are planning to get there. None of these other people are better than you, they were not born with a special gift of being a success. They built it, and you have to build it! You won’t get there without taking baby steps to get there.

  4. Think of all the wonderful things you are going to get to do and the places you will go once you reach your goals. This is your life, no one can do it for you! Think of how content and happy you will feel once you reach that place!

If you are not feeling confident about something, do your research and learn about it. I had no idea how to write a freelance writing pitch but I did the research and soaked up all of the information that I could. Your brain is like a sponge and the more you learn, the more confident you will feel in what you are doing.

Refuse to let anxiety rule your life. Stop watching and focusing on other people’s successes, thinking that it will never happen to you. It can happen to you. We just have to push ourselves further each and every day closer to reaching our goals. I can do it. We can do it.