This question is a self-limiting belief, which we’ll unpack in a bit.
But, who are you to tell me that I can write? Well, who are you to tell yourself that you can’t?
Freelance Writing is for Everyone
With one caveat: you have to really, really want it.
Notice, I didn’t say that you have to be a good writer. Nor did I say that you have to have a killer portfolio and a ton of experience.
The esteemed Elna Cain says that it is more than possible to start out without that ethereal “experience” we all so desperately want. So there. The experts said so.
But Sonia, of course I want to write.
But, do you really? Have you done your research? Do you…
- know what kind of writing appeals to you (i.e. ghostwriting, blogging, copywriting, articles)?
- have the right tools and environment at your disposal (i.e. quality laptop, fast wi-fi, quiet spaces)?
- want to have the freedom of working from home without knowing if you’ll have the diligence to keep yourself accountable instead of binging on Netflix?
All of these fields are thriving as society is finally, FINALLY, realizing that the thoughts we think (and say aloud) influence us more than we…thought.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right. -Henry Ford
A self-limiting belief is usually the only thing standing in your way. Anyplace, anywhere, anytime.
If you ask yourself if you are too young to freelance write. You’re right. Because as long as you keep asking yourself that, you will remain too young to write.
I place the emphasis there for a reason. This whole sentence reverberates with negative connotation and self-doubt.
Let’s take that word out and re-frame this question into an empowering statement.
“I am a young freelance writer.”
Nothing wrong with that; just the opposite. There is so much good in that statement; your youth has just become your strength.
- You have a perspective that older peeps don’t have.
- You have skills that others don’t have.
Same applies for the question of whether you’re too old. Enough of that nonsense. How about this:
“I am an older freelance writer.”
Boom. Unique perspective, years of experience, and overhead to start out on your own.
And these statements, ladies and gents, are called affirmations. Use them liberally.
Hacking Your Mind
My favorite movie is The Matrix. There is just something so enigmatic yet relatable about the protagonist being trapped in this alternate reality.
Oh right, he trapped himself. By believing what he heard and saw about the world trying to limit him.
With years of self-limiting beliefs holding us back, it’s tough to get past yourself to where you want to be. And as we went over before, you really, really want this, right?
Since I sensed your nod through the space-time continuum, I want to go over some tips on how you can start doing what you want to do and banish those measly thoughts.
Fancy word, simple definition: the brain re-wires itself constantly.
This is GREAT news. Those self-defeating habits and thoughts you’ve had for years? You can definitely change them.
Somewhere in the field of neuroscience, this rumor got out that you’re only born with a set amount of neurons (brain cells) and you better hold on tight. This rumor makes it seem like the brain is rigid and oh-so-fragile. FALSE.
- The brain is a muscle and responds to exercise.
- The brain can survive (and thrive) in extreme conditions.
- The brain is malleable.
So make peace with that noggin’ of yours. It’s your friend and it’s willing to change if you are.
Since we have this trusty time-space continuum between us, I’m going to ask you some questions, and you respond.
- Are you constantly trying to get a certification, qualification, or degree of some sort?
- Do you have a set of actionable goals?
- Do you feel that you don’t deserve to work from home, or you would be cheating the system somehow?
- Are you competitive and thrive on seeing how you compare with others?
- Is your posture slouched right now?
I registered your nods and shakes and have supplied the respective tips below:
- This is procrastination and you know it. You are stalling and paralyzing yourself from action before you feel that you are worthy/educated/respected enough. Act now.
- Without goals, you’ll be floundering around. You need a metric of whether you’re succeeding or not. How many pitches can you send out on a daily basis? How many hours do you want to write a day?
- This is a sly demon. Society says we should churn out work on a set schedule in a set location. When you bend the rules, you might feel like a cheat. Once you turn this into an affirmation, you’ll see how silly it is. Of course you deserve to work from home. Of course you can make more than if you had a salaried position. You are putting in the work, just like everyone else, but on your terms. OWN IT.
- If competition fuels you, that’s lovely. Collaboration is better. Competition can come with the side-effects of not owning your set of skills and product and trying to copy what someone else did to show that you can do it better. It’s not genuine and you fail to reap the rewards of YOUR work and YOUR branding and voice.
- This is why self-help books and advice (just like this post) require reflection. The messages are meant to guide, not dictate. So take what serves you and say ‘Meh’ to what doesn’t. If you can’t discern what serves you, try to take up meditation and listen to that little voice more and more each day; it knows what you need.
- The way you carry yourself is a reflection of what you carry inside. Something as little as stooped shoulders or a constantly downcast gaze is far from trivial. That’s the image you show to the world and what you reflect back to yourself.
Not naturally a chest-thumping, self-confident person? Fake it ’till you make it.
This is not a drastic transformation. Nor is it turning you into someone you’re not or making you do things that make you feel uncomfortable and insincere. This is about overcoming your past self; the self that limits you.
Everyone tells you what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers, they want you to believe theirs. -Dan Millman
So there you have it. To slashing away old beliefs and becoming the best you there is!
P.S. A thought-provoking, mind-bending book recommendation for your continued enjoyment and personal development.
P.P.S. I decided to bypass the more easily solvable self-limiting beliefs (i.e. I don’t have time, I don’t have the resources, I don’t know where to start). But please, feel free to drop me a line if you need some neuro-curated advice. #neuronerdforever