5 Challenges I face as a freelancer and how I overcome them

I DON’T FEEL MOTIVATED TO WORK

Being freelance means you have to be self-motivating. This can feel boss as hell, but when you’re just not feeling it, it’s HARD. Yes, no-one will know (unless you tell them) that you’ve spent all day in bed binging hard on Netflix - but reality is if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. This gives me a LOT of anxiety, and can send me into a panicked spiral ending in the disillusion I’m just not cut out for this and I’ll never work again.

The best thing I can do when I don’t feel motivated is to get into bed, put the tv on and chill out.

But, only on the condition that it is completely guilt free. You have to allow and totally embrace the day to recharge. No shit talking yourself about being lazy. You need this to regenerate. Trying to effort work when it’s just not happening in my experience just makes for small and crappy results, and leaves you unsatisfied and burnt out.

However - I will still leave my laptop or notepad within reaching distance; the likelihood is by the third episode of a Gossip Girl binge I end up tapping away at a few notes and by the end of the day I’ve ticked a couple of things off my list or at least made a productive plan for the next day without really noticing I’m doing it.

I HAVE A HUGE TO-DO LIST WHERE THE HELL DO I START

I love a to do list, and a lot of the time they really help me get stuff done (see my blog post on ambition). But sometimes my list can feel super overwhelming and I have no idea where to begin.

First, I separate off what needs to be priority. If still nothing on the list jumps out, I spend the first part of my day doing something fun. I’ll cook a nice breakfast, take a walk and listen to a playlist or podcast, do some yoga, mediate, read - BASICALLY FORGET ABOUT MY TO-DO LIST. Getting in a good energy for the day will get you in alignment and in tune with your inner voice. Being in this mental state brings a lot of clarity, and I find myself being drawn to what feels good to tackle first. If still nothing jumps out, then chances are it’s a no motivation day - see above…

I’VE LANDED A SWEET JOB AND NOW I HAVE TO LIVE UP TO MY PROMISES

So I’ve sent my showreel and a bunch of emails to prospective clients selling myself and showing what a great candidate I am for the job. I’ve won the pitch or landed a contract and now I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is. Queue imposter syndrome…

Imposter syndrome is The persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills. When I secure a job, I’ll immediately feel pressure to deliver. I often escalate my client’s expectations, and assume they’ve made a mistake in hiring me.

But this is never the case, and there is no evidence to suggest it would be. Once I’ve completed a job and done my best my clients are always happy, and I wonder why I wasted so much energy getting so worked up about it.

When this anxiety shows up I have learned to recognise it, and reassure myself it is only the mind in me using fear to prepare for the possibility failure. It’s helpful when imposter syndrome kicks in to give yourself some hard facts. You are not a fraud. What evidence do you have that supports the belief you can’t do this (none I bet). What is the worst that can happen? (Nothing that that bad and It’s nothing you can’t handle).

I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN MONEY IS COMING IN

Probably the most common problem talked about by freelancers. This really worried me when I first started out, but I’ve found money mantras to be hugely beneficial especially when I’ve not had a job in a while. Worrying about a lack of money will not bring money in. In fact, focusing on the lack could prevent you from seeing opportunities for money to flow in. Mediate around abundance, trust the money will come, and that you deserve it. If you continue to keep your eyes and heart open to opportunities, chances are something will come up.

I FEEL LONELY AF

Freelancing can be so lonely, especially if you work from home. Sometimes I can go days without seeing or speaking to anyone. I know this is a recipe for disaster for my mental health, so try and get out as much as possible. Make friends with other freelancers and meet up for work chat coffees. Do your job hunting/admin/work in coffee shops or a shared working spaces. You don’t even have to talk to anyone, just being around people is enough and knowing you at least spoke some words today - even those words were ‘oat milk latte please’.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as a freelancer? Drop me a message I’d love to know

Love

Lily