Believe in Yourself and Others Will Be Forced to Believe in You
Believing in yourself means you know you’ll succeed in spite of what others think. It means you won’t be thwarted by naysayers or held back by doubters.
It also means you have unshakeable faith that you will not only achieve your goal of being a freelance writer, but that you’ll also be good at it, that it’ll be worth it, and that you’ll never regret the effort you put forth to get there.
There’s only one way to have unshakeable faith in yourself, and that’s by never wavering under the pressure of criticism. And the easiest way to flip the opinion of potential critics is to believe in yourself so strongly that they can’t help but support you.
Here’s an eight-step plan to get you there:
1) Set Goals
When you set goals, you have control.
Write down measurable, achievable goals. Break them down into monthly mini-goals. Make sure they’ll lead you toward your ultimate goal of enjoying life as a freelance writer. Then make it habit to work towards your goals regularly.
(Note: Here’s an excellent article from Rebecca Matter with tips on setting achievable goals.)
Write them down and revisit those goals on a regular basis.
2) Be Aware of Your Confidence
The reason you set goals in the first place is so that when you achieve them, your confidence grows. But on top of that, you need to really pay attention to when your confidence grows.
For example, say you set a goal to earn your first $10,000 as a freelance writer in the next six months.
Then let’s say you achieve that goal — but you do it in four months.
Really pay attention to the way this makes you feel. Notice how it affects your attitude and energizes you. Observe how much easier it becomes to sit down and reach out to new clients for new projects.
3) When You Fall Short, Figure Out Why
Everybody has missteps at some point. If you fail to achieve one of your goals, sit down and really think about why that happened. Did you give yourself enough time to reach that goal? Did you reach out to the right people? Did you really put forth your best effort?
Learning from past mistakes means you won’t repeat them … which boosts your confidence and makes it easier to achieve your goals.
I know one copywriter who made the goal to leave her full-time job by a certain date. She wasn’t able to do it and was pretty disappointed in herself. But after taking time to think about it, she realized her income hadn’t grown to what she’d needed because she hadn’t taken the steps necessary to find a niche and become an expert in that field.
The next year, she did those two things and her writing income really started to take off. Now she can see the finish line and knows she’ll soon be a full-time freelancer.
4) Base Your Expectations on Reliable Sources … and Be Realistic
Though you can absolutely achieve goals that are bigger and bolder than anyone else’s, you’d be wise to base your timeline on what others before you have done. In other words, don’t expect to swim a mile when you’ve only been training a week.
Similarly, don’t expect to make six figures in your very first year (a mistake I made, I’ll confess). Train and condition yourself to be a great writer, and aim to meet that goal in three to five years. And if you get there a lot sooner? Fantastic!
5) Give, Give, Give
I’ve been reading a book called Why Good Things Happen to Good People, by Post and Neimark. The title pretty much says it all. But to elaborate just a little bit, one of the fundamental powers of giving is because you GET so much in return.
It’s a proven concept. Doing good in the world means doing good for your business. In fact, in annual studies completed by Cone Communications, it’s been proven time and again that businesses and professionals who stick their necks out for a cause end up attracting new customers and retaining old ones on a higher-than-average basis.
Other perks are that you gain a lot of respect, positive feedback, praise, and appreciation. Don’t you agree all that would have a profound, positive effect on your self-esteem?
6) Don’t Just Dream, ACT
Unless you’ve actually attempted to launch your dearest dreams, you’ll never know what might have happened. And never knowing can be even harder than not succeeding.
So, make a commitment to move forward — even if it’s just baby steps. If it’s your dream to be a freelance writer, commit to reading an instructive email or article once a day. Or commit to writing out a successful promotion in longhand for 15 minutes every day.
You can also buy a comprehensive program, like the 2012 Web Copywriting Intensive Homestudy program, so you can quickly access all the instruction you need to build up your online writing skills and quickly launch your plan.
7) Speak Confidently and Assertively
When you tell people you want freedom as a freelance writer and that you’ll earn an excellent living, say it with confidence! Look them in the eye! Show them your excitement! Don’t let others talk you out of it.
I’m not saying you have to be an extrovert or showcase any kind of dominant, don’t-mess-with-me attitude (especially because I’m the polar opposite of that). What I mean is that you have to believe in the value of what you’re doing for others to believe in it as well. If you sound dubious when you talk about your writing dreams, there’s not much reason for anyone to take you seriously.
8) Believe in Yourself
Put all these steps together, and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to believe in yourself and your abilities.
Once that happens, the domino effect kicks in. When other people meet you, they’ll support your goals without hesitation. Because, face it, there’s just something about meeting someone who has unshakeable faith in their abilities that makes you want to say, “Wow … he’s gonna make it. I have no doubt.”
Put the Cycle in Motion
In most instances where someone gives up on themselves, it’s because halfway through their efforts, somebody convinced them their idea was bad. Or maybe put them down or insulted their goals.
Being told you’re moving in the wrong direction — especially if that comment comes from someone important to you — is hard to swallow. It’s even harder to overcome.
The trick to sidestepping that whole tragedy is to fundamentally believe that you’re making the right move for you and that you are capable of doing it well. When you do that, people can’t help but believe in you.
From there, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle: once others start to believe in you, you can’t help but believe more in yourself. When they sense the rising level of your self-confidence, they’ll believe in you still more.
And somewhere along the way, you will find your path, achieve your goal, and — in the case for most of us — follow through on your dream to be a successful freelance writer.
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