If I could do one thing in all the world for many freelance writers it would be to pump them full of self-worth and confidence.
- Approach editors with clarity and even wit.
- Refuse to take less than their real worth as a writer.
- Run their freelance writing like the business it is.
Okay, I know I can’t literally inject you with self-confidence, which is maybe a good thing, but I do have four or five suggestions, depending on how you count them, that may help.
What is negative self-talk?
I strongly suspect that most people who lack confidence have a litany of negative self-talk running in their heads at all times. You know, it’s that little voice that, when you have an idea about writing an article for a magazine says “I can’t do that! It’s been done, besides…” or some version of that.
Or maybe it’s the voice that says things like “I don’t deserve more than $5 an article… after all look at the competition.”
It’s also the automatic rejection of any new idea or any other of an almost unlimited collections of things you may say to yourself, consciously or unconsciously that stops you from taking truly self-supportive action.
Notice your self-talk
Unless we pay attention to what’s actually going on in our minds, we’re apt to miss a great deal there, including the negative self-talk. Of course, the first step to letting go of such a habit, and it is a habit, is to really see, experience, that it’s there.
What’s the first thing you think when you get up? How about as your approach your computer to write? What do you say to yourself when you begin to write? Or when you realize your procrastinating? What happens when someone complements you, or asks what you do? What do you say and what do you really think?
Questions like this can help you discover what you’re really saying to yourself.
1. Get a big rubber band
Put a big, thick rubber band around your wrist. Make sure it fits loosely.
Every time you catch yourself doing some negative self-talk, snap yourself.
Yes, it’s a bit painful, but it works. I know because a couple of years ago I got stuck with some negative self-talk. I don’t remember what triggered it, nor do I remember exactly what I was saying.
I tried the rubber band trick and it took about three days and that particular stream of shame or whatever it was stopped entirely.