Confidence helps you charge ahead when you’re trying to build your copywriting career. But what do you do when that confidence starts to wane, and you wonder if you can even make a go of copywriting at all?
You know, those moments where you’re chugging along fine and then you get a “no” from a client or some feedback that’s anything less than “I love this!” and it knocks you off your feet.
I want to stress: this crisis of confidence happens to everyone.
And if it hasn’t yet (good for you!), I can guarantee it will happen at some point in your life. It may not look the same for everyone. For some it may be a slightly direct tone of a client email that you happened to read on an off day. For others it may be the client decides to stop a project midway through (this is exceedingly rare). My point is, it happens to us all throughout our lives and it doesn’t have to be a major life event to shake us up a bit.
Here’s the good news: I’ve got some tips for you.
1. Remind Yourself That Doubt is Part of the Process of Growing
I know that this crisis of confidence is very personal and feels like you’re the only one who feels it. But please believe me: Not only does everyone else feel it, but it’s also completely natural. It’s part of the process.
Any time you stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone—even when it’s something you want to do—your brain is going to react by making you fearful. It doesn’t mean that you actually have anything to fear, it just means that your brain is threatened by trying something new.
Here’s a great quote about fear from Liz Gilbert’s book Big Magic: “Basically, your fear is like a mall cop who thinks he’s a Navy SEAL: He hasn’t slept in days, he’s all hopped up on Red Bull, and he’s liable to shoot at his own shadow in an absurd effort to keep everyone ‘safe.’”
2. Regain Confidence by Taking Action
So, how do you get past that fear? How do you regain your confidence? Action. And not huge, earth-moving action either. Small, tiny, almost absurdly minute action.
How small? Well, think you can create a new Google doc or Word doc—not writing in it, just creating it—without freaking out? That small.
You already know what your next steps are. But part of why you’re losing your confidence is that they feel overwhelmingly big. Tackling your to-do list feels like trying to climb Mt. Everest; no kidding your confidence is low!
3. Break Your To-Do List Into Absurdly Tiny Steps
The first thing to do is to take your to-do list and break each item down into absurdly small actions. Truly: Laughably small. If your first item is to create a list of potential contact to pitch yourself to, your absurdly small items list should start out with something like:
- Open Google Sheet
- List out every single business near me I can think of
- Google to get address, phone number, and email address of first business
- Paste information into Google Sheet
The steps you break down should be laughably easy. Nothing should take more than two minutes—maximum. The key is to get yourself to take action by creating steps that are so small, they don’t even feel like taking action.
As you complete these tasks and cross them off your list, you’ll build momentum. And as you build momentum, you’ll start to feel your confidence return. It’s very likely that, once you get yourself warmed up with a few little tasks, you’ll start charging through them and getting things done like nobody’s business.
Fear makes you doubt yourself and stops you in your tracks. The only way to combat that fear and rebuild your confidence is to get moving again.
Be gentle with yourself. You won’t get anywhere beating yourself up or letting yourself believe that your fear means you’re not meant to succeed. It means nothing of the sort.
All “fear” means is that you’ve moved on to something new. That’s it.
And the way to get yourself past that fear (and each time it comes up) is to take tiny, tiny steps in the right direction. Eventually, those tiny steps will add up to big ones.
Your turn! Have you felt your confidence wane? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on July 4, 2023