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Ep. 12. Defeating fear and procrastination (so you can take positive action)


Freelance CEO Mat Casner
The Freelance CEO Podcast with Mat Casner
Ep. 12. Defeating fear and procrastination (so you can take positive action)


What if I told you that the biggest thing holding you back as a freelancer is not your skills or lack of experience? What if I told you that the key to being a successful freelancer and taking big steps in your business is easier than you think? Would you like to find out? All right, well stick around cuz I’m going to share with you how to take care of these two big things in our life called fear and procrastination.

So I wanna talk to you today about the things that keep us from moving forward.

We love to psych ourselves out and we love to tell ourselves all the nos and the reasons why we can’t move forward. So let’s just talk about that for a little bit, and I’m going to give you some tips to help you move forward and break free of fear and procrastination. So let’s just talk about fear. First of all. There are some things that naturally will cause us to fear. And I think as young business owners, I think as we’re navigating into, you know, some uncharted water, we automatically get the measuring stick out and we start sizing up ourself and we make all kinds of crazy comparisons. Okay? But here, first and foremost, let me just say that I feel like one of the things that keeps us held back is that we have this ideal in our mind that we feel like we have to achieve before we can move forward.

And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have some standards and we shouldn’t have high expectations, but what I am saying is this, we shouldn’t let our own possible insecurities keep us from taking positive action. Now, I’m just gonna tell you a little real quick story. I’ve been a freelancer now for 15 years, full-time. I’ve been freelancing for close to 30, but full-time for 15 years. And, and I can tell you that there have been times in my life where I have not taken positive action because I’ve been afraid. And there have been several things that have kept me from, from moving forward. Number one is perfectionism. I am a creative. And so I’m acutely aware of details and little nuances and things like that.

And I always want things to be just right. And I think that there are a lot of people that fall into this category. However, I will say that one of the things that we don’t do is we don’t move forward because we feel like we haven’t measured up in practical terms. What that means is, is that we’re afraid to take a step because we’re afraid that what we’re going to give is not a hundred percent, or at least it’s not gonna be perceived as a hundred percent. And I can tell you that most of that thinking is, is our own self-doubt telling us that we’re not good enough. Now, that’s a very arbitrary voice, that voice inside our head. And fortunately we give it way too much attention. Rather, what we need to do is focus on not being perfect, but being excellent. Doing things with the high quality of excellence is what I feel like is what we need to strive for. Perfection is such a, is is such an unattainable reality, yet many of us hold this very high bar that we’ll never live up to. So perfectionism is one of those things that causes fear. What else causes fear? The fear of failure.

We understand that we’re, we’re doing business and we’re serving clients. And if we don’t do a good job, we’ll see that as a failure. And I can tell you that that has been impacted in my life. I have let that fear resonate in my head. However, I will say this, that over the years I have learned that when I take positive action and make a choice to do something,

there’s always going to be an outcome. And don’t look at it as, you know, success and failure. Look at it as if things go well, that’s a huge win, all right? If things don’t go so well, take it as a learning experience. Turn that negative into a positive. So when you make a choice, make a choice. To take positive action. But don’t look at as it, you could fail. Look it as you’re going to either win or you’re going to learn. And the more you learn, the more you can apply that to future decisions. And it’s just going to help you get better. But you never get a chance to learn if you don’t take the first step out of the gate.

So keep that in mind. It’s not about winning and losing, it’s not about failure and success. It’s about winning and learning. And if you look at it from that standpoint, you really can’t lose. So another thing that causes fear and procrastination is us, and this is gonna sound really odd, is the fear of success. Sometimes we are under the impression that if we have a success, what will we do with it? And that my friend is one that I’ve dealt with as well. I will tell you that there will be all kinds of self-sabotage that people will do to their businesses because they’re not afraid of failing, they’re afraid of succeeding, they’re afraid of taking their game to the next level. And that’s a very real fear too. But, so we’ve got these three things that could potentially be causing this inner turmoil. These, this fear could be perfectionism, it could be the fear of failure or the fear of success. So what I wanna do is I wanna show you here how did you can beat the fear and procrastination and move forward. Okay? So I want you to do a little exercise, all right? I want you to take out a sheet of paper. And on this sheet of paper, I just want you to start thinking about all of the projects that you have worked on over the years and the people that you’ve been able to serve. So this could be projects that you worked on in, in a full-time job. It could be in a part-time or temporary job.

It could be as a volunteer or maybe with a club or organization that you’re affiliated with. I want you to list down everything that you’ve ever been a part of, a project that you have been able to help with. And I want you to look at this list after you’ve made it. And I want you to be reminded of this, that you are capable of having a big impact in the lives and businesses and organizations of others.

And when you look back at what you’ve done in the past, that should be a huge green light for you to move forward. And there’s no reason why you can’t do it again and again. So lemme think about it this way. Another thing that keeps me held back is this fear of perfection. This high standard that I have. But when I shift my thinking to serving others with my skills and talents and experiences and passions, instead of me trying to hit this unattainable, imaginary mark, some great things can happen. So let’s think about it this way. Let’s say that you are walking down the street and there’s someone ahead of you that has their arms full of some groceries. Let’s say that that person trips or stumbles or loses their grip and their groceries tumble out of their arms onto the ground.

Now like me, you’re probably, your first reaction is this person needs some help. And so what do you do? You jump in and you start helping them. You start picking up the groceries that are on, on the ground, and you start putting them back in the sack, and you help this person who desperately needs some help. In that moment, did you stop to think what your, what your technique was gonna be like, how you were gonna approach this person, how you were going to, if they were gonna judge you in the way that you put the groceries back in the sack, were you thinking about how they were going to judge your timeliness or the speed in which you came to help?

Absolutely not. This person was grateful that you saw a need that they had and you jumped in and you were able to help them meet their need. Guys, let’s think about our clients that way. Let’s think about our clients as people with problems, people with problems that they can’t solve on their own, and people that have problems that need our help.

So let’s let that spirit of service, that spirit of serving, be our motivator. Okay, let’s let the fact that we have helped many people in the past and we can help many people in the future. And when we find someone that needs our help, we jump in and we help them and we learn along the way. We use these experiences to get better.

When you’re able to help someone and help them get through their crisis, get through their problem, or help them reach their goals or get the results that they want, they’re gonna be happy. They’re gonna be so glad that you were around to help them solve their problem. And guess what guys? That’s when people are not afraid to pay good money for people that can come help solve their problems.

What happens when you’re stuck and you’re procrastinating? So procrastinating comes a lot of times because of this fear that we have. Fear of not getting it right, fear of of failure, fear of success. But you know, what happens is we find ourselves stuck in neutral. And this procrastination can sometimes come from what I like to call analysis paralysis. We overthink things, we try to, you know, conceive every po possible nuance, every possible scenario. And it’s just not possible. It’s not possible for us to guess and predict everything that is going to happen in a scenario. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to get used to taking positive action. We’re gonna do a few things each week, each day they’re gonna help move our business forward.

They’re gonna be imperfect actions. They’re not going to be the the most thought out things that we can do, but they are gonna be positive moments. And I want you to imagine this. I want you to imagine yourself standing by a, a pool of water and you have in your hand some little pebbles. Now, these little pebbles represent little daily tasks, little things that you can do. Not big projects, not big initiatives, just little things. Maybe writing a Facebook post and talking about a problem that you can solve for your, your ideal client. Or maybe it’s getting on your website and adding a, a new thought or a new blog that’s answering questions that your customers might face. Whatever little task that can be, okay, that’s like taking a little pebble, tossing it into the body of water and watching the ripples expand from where that pebble landed. You see, when you take positive action and you create those ripples, those ripples continue to move on and on and on past the point where you just dropped them in the water. And those ripples are so powerful and can be so impactful from that one little positive action that you’ve taken.

I can tell you that I’ve made posts on my Facebook page that I didn’t realize what I was, you know, the, the kind of impact I was having until maybe a week or two later when someone contacted me and said, Hey, I’m reaching out to you because I saw something you posted a couple weeks ago on your Facebook page. And it just really got me thinking.

And I knew that if I had, if I had this problem and wanted to get solved, I wanted to come talk to you because it sounds like you know what you’re talking about. And see, there was that little ripple that came back to me. I called an echo. And when you get those echoes, it’s incredibly motivating because you see that when you throw those little pebbles in the water, you see the ripples that start happening and you don’t know where those ripples end up, but someone sees them, someone reacts to them, and then ultimately comes back. And you get to have the benefit of all of these little ripples that you’ve, you’ve created by throwing your little pebbles each day, throw a pebble in the water and let the ripples go out.

But think about the opposite. You’ve got all these pebbles in your hand and you never toss them in the water. You never let them go because of fear. You’re afraid that someone might see it and someone might judge. Someone might actually take you up on your idea and hire you. It’s okay. It’s okay. Just one little pebble. Toss it out there and let that start to work over time.

Do it every day. Build a habit of taking small positive action on a daily basis. You’ll find out that you’ll get confidence and you’ll learn as you go. I say this a lot of times, you can’t steer a parked car, you can’t take your business forward if you’re stuck in neutral. You really have to be moving forward. And it doesn’t have to be moving forward fast, just one pebble a day. Just one pebble a day helps you move forward slowly and you can start to correct as you get wins. And as you learn, as you get wins, and as you learn, you start to correct and you start to learn and you get better and it helps you find greater success. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. Take in perfect action today and you’re going to win and you’re going to learn. And that’s a part of business, that’s a part of life. We win and we learn and we get better. So let’s not compare what we are with some immeasurable impossible standard.

Let’s just get a little bit better today than we were yesterday, and let that be good enough. If you want to get started as a freelancer, but not quite sure where to begin, then be sure to check out the Freelance Blueprint, a free resource that I created just for you. Inside the Freelance Blueprint, I share a detailed roadmap that you can follow to help you build a stable and profitable Freelance business.

Grab your copy of the Freelance Blueprint right now. Just go to Freelance CEO dot com slash blueprint. Would you like to learn how to find perfect clients? Even if you’re just getting started as a freelancer? Then I want to invite you to download a copy of my client snowball framework. Get your copy now@clientsnowball.com. Hey, just a second. Before you go,

I wanted to say thank you for tuning in. I hope you found something here that’s valuable to you and your business. And if the podcast has been valuable, I’d like to invite you to leave us a positive review on iTunes or whatever platform you’re listening on. We would appreciate it. Your review really helps us to get the podcast in front of a lot more people.

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