In my six years of freelancing and interacting with other freelancers, I’ve learned that most freelancers suffer from anxiety. We worry about deadlines, what our clients think of us, if we’ll always have the jobs we currently have, and if we’re good enough. It seems like these thoughts and concerns are par for the course and part of the freelancer lifestyle. If you want some ways to alleviate this anxiety, though here are some helpful tips:
Realize You’re Not Alone
As stated, every freelancer has concerns and anxious thoughts when it comes to their work. Just as someone with a 9-5 will worry if their boss likes them or if their co-worker thinks they are a team player, freelancers worry if they have the correct number of clients or what they will do if they lose one of their bigger accounts.
All of this is normal for anyone who likes to do great work. In fact, if you’re concerned that your clients like your work, it just means you care about the quality. Keep in mind that these anxious thoughts should not take over your life or consume your thoughts. Instead, lean on other freelancers who can help let you know that your feelings are normal.
Start Yoga or Meditation
I was never the type of person to think that yoga or meditation would help me. I kept hearing about it from other entrepreneurs, and I decided to try it for myself. I found out that yoga was the only time where I was able to clear my thoughts. Not only that, but some of my best business ideas came while I was quietly meditating in a yoga pose.
I’m not the type of person who would recommend such things, and I was incredibly skeptical at first. However, yoga is truly the only time my phone is off and my mind is quiet. I think all freelancers could benefit from something like that.
Keep a List of Your Goals
When you have anxiety, sometimes that means that you could use a little bit of direction. Freelancers often suffer from anxiety because they have too much to do, too many clients to keep track of, and too much to remember.
Having a nice, organized, and set goal list will help to relieve that anxiety. In fact, organizing in general can help you to relieve some of your anxiety simply because you have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish in a day, a month, or a year. Write all of these goals down and keep it somewhere you can see it. When you start to feel anxious, focus on your goals and think of the steps you need to take to get there. Start small, but always keep the end goal in mind.
Ultimately, anxiety is normal for freelancers, especially those who are self employed. When you don’t have a 9-5 job and a paycheck coming in at the same time every month, it’s normal to worry about your work, your bills, and your life. However, take heart. You’re not alone. Interact with other freelancers and share your feelings. Work with others to have some accountability and keep track of your goals. Although it’s normal to have some anxiety, you shouldn’t let it control you or affect your work. Instead, combat it head on and overcome it by following the tips above.