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 No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen. Alan Watts

In the previous 4 shows I have been going through Price Pritchett's amazing book You2 (You Squared.)


If you haven’t heard them yet I urge you to go back and listen to these shows and discover for yourself the transformative strategies and insights that will empower you to achieve exponential growth in your personal and professional life.


Today’s show was nearly a completely different episode, but due to moving off of Dropbox and my system not been fully transferred to Google Drive, I actually lost the episode I had prepped for today. In the meantime, I’d written up this one as I felt it was an important topic to revisit. Have no fear though as I have found my notes again and that show, three productivity Laws You Need To Know, will head up season 14 when it comes around.


Are You Feeling the Freelance Fear?


Are you constantly worried about where your next job will come from? Do you feel the pressure mounting as you navigate the competitive and often unpredictable world of freelancing? If you're nodding along, then it's time to address the freelance fear that keeps many creative professionals awake at night.


Let's dive into how you can reclaim your sanity and thrive in your freelance career.

The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety. Deepak Chopra

The Unseen Battles of a Freelancer


There are many factors which influence our stress and anxiety levels. Today I am going to focus on just three of them.


  • Stability, or the lack of it.

  • Aggressive competition.

  • And finally, the isolation.


In the life of a freelancer, especially in the creative fields, stability often feels like a distant dream. We're constantly on the hunt for the next project and the next opportunity. This relentless pursuit can be exhausting, not knowing when or from where your next pay check will come. I think it’s fair to say that many creative freelancers experience fluctuations in their earnings due to the project-based nature of their work. This can lead to financial instability and difficulty in planning for the future.


Compounding this instability these days is the fierce competition. It's not just about being good at what you do; it's about outshining savvy competitors who might not always play fair. Dealing with aggressive tactics or even manipulation by others in the same field can leave you feeling vulnerable and undervalued.


  1. Aggressive competition increases pressure for you to perform, possibly leading to anxiety about meeting client expectations.

  2. Fear of losing clients to competitors can create anxiety around maintaining a steady workflow and income.

  3. Constant self-promotion in a competitive market can cause anxiety surrounding personal branding and marketing efforts.

  4. Fierce competition may trigger imposter syndrome, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and anxiety about professional worth.

  5. Trying to stay competitive by taking on too many projects can lead to burnout-related anxiety and stress.


Then there's the isolation—a significant yet often overlooked aspect of freelancing. Long hours spent alone, without the camaraderie of co-workers or the buzz of a busy office, can lead to a sense of disconnect. This isolation is compounded by the uncertainty that shadows every aspect of freelance life, making it difficult to see a clear path forward.


Three ways in which this can manifest itself are as follows.


  • Isolation limits collaboration and feedback, causing anxiety about work quality and professional growth.

  • Emotional loneliness from lack of social interaction contributes to anxiety and stress.

  • Difficulty separating work and personal life due to isolation increases anxiety and stress.


Each of these factors feeds into a cycle of stress and anxiety, which can feel overwhelming without the right tools and strategies to manage them.


When Stress Takes the Wheel

What's the world's greatest lie?... It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. Paulo Coelho

When stress becomes a constant companion, its effects can be far-reaching and devastating.


As freelancers, when we're gripped by anxiety and worry, our mental and physical health often takes the first hit. Sleepless nights, a constant state of tension, and an inability to disconnect from work concerns are just the tip of the iceberg.


This ongoing stress doesn't just wear us down physically; it also stifles our creativity—a crucial asset in our field. It becomes harder to think outside the box or produce innovative work when your mind is clouded with worry about job security or your next pay check. The very skills that define our careers suffer, leading to decreased productivity and even more anxiety about meeting client expectations.


Worst of all, this cycle can lead to burnout. That's when the motivation that once drove us turns into a sense of defeat and exhaustion, making it feel impossible to continue. Recognizing how deeply stress can affect us is the first step towards finding a solution that not only alleviates these pressures but also revitalizes our passion for our work.


Turning the Tide: A Freelancer's Journey to Peace


I’m recording this episode as I often do, as dealing with the freelancer fear of not getting the next job, of having to constantly promote, of being overwhelmed and of feeling very much on my own and not knowing what to do next, is a constant companion of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly stoic about it all and I can generally deal with it but all too often I feel myself at an impasse. Locked in a spiral of indecision, driven by the loneliness of being now the only experienced fight director in Scotland. Previously I would talk often with a competitor of mine, and friend, David Goodall, and we were usually able to tackle whatever the next nightmare situation was that came up. Sadly David passed away recently and I miss him dearly. I stand alone here with no real interest in engaging with me from Equity UK or by the stunt pros from down South, who really would love it if I disappeared. Freelancing is tough. There's no blueprint for life, or for our working lives but there are solutions for our problems.


There is an Anxiety Antidote. It’s not a magic pill or a one-time fix but a series of actionable strategies that can transform your approach to work and life.


You can start by setting clearer boundaries between work and personal time, ensuring you have moments truly disconnected from work pressures. Generally speaking, I don’t work at weekends and more and more these days I take my evenings off. I fill these gaps with other things. Things that interest me but that aren’t associated with my work.


I also try and schedule in regular check-ins with fellow freelancers which helps reduce the feeling of isolation. I’ll check in with friend when I can and I’ll try and catch up with Ryan Hendrick to walk the dogs together.


I’ve also adopted mindfulness techniques and regular physical activity into my routine, which significantly improvs both my mental clarity and physical health. These changes don’t just help me manage stress; they enhance my creativity, making the work more enjoyable and innovative. I always find that a day where I can get a swim in in the morning, or one where I go to the gym before heading to the office is far more productive than when I do not.


I have noticed the profound impact these strategies have had and that’s why I’m doing this episode, as its clear they could help other freelancers too.


I've compiled these practices into a comprehensive toolkit designed for freelancers like you who are ready to tackle the challenges of freelance life head-on.


This isn't just about coping—it's about thriving. These strategies arm you with practical tools and resources to manage stress effectively, boost your creativity, and connect with a supportive community of fellow freelancers.

Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can. Paul Tournier

A New Chapter

Since implementing the strategies from the Anxiety Antidote, the transformation in my life and work have been significant. The most remarkable change has been the regained sense of control over my work and personal life. Knowing that I have reliable tools at my disposal to manage stress has allowed me to approach each day with confidence rather than apprehension.


With decreased stress levels, there's a renewed passion for innovation and exploration in projects. Ideas flow more freely, and the quality of work improves, not just meeting client expectations but often exceeding them.


Moreover, building a supportive community around this new approach to freelance life has multiplied these benefits. Connecting with other freelancers who are on the same journey fosters a sense of belonging and collective resilience. We share tips, offer encouragement, and remind each other of the importance of balance and wellness in our hyper-competitive field.


This isn't just about surviving as a freelancer; it's about thriving with newfound vigour and enthusiasm. The transformation goes beyond just professional success—it enhances personal happiness and overall quality of life.

Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom

Take the First Step Towards a Stress-Free Freelance Life


It's time to take the first step towards a more fulfilling and less stressful freelance life. Take these three strategies that I have raised here:


1.      Setting clear work/ life boundaries

2.      Schedule regular check ins with friends and fellow freelancers

3.      Adopt mindfulness techniques, and get take physical exercise.


And consciously begin to integrate them into your life and work.


Don't keep this to yourself either—share this episode with fellow freelancers who might also be struggling with anxiety and stress. Help them discover how they can counter the stress and anxiety brought about by the freelancer fear.


Thanks for tuning in and sharing your valuable time with me here today. I hope that you have found the episode of interest, and I look forward to sharing more productivity advice with you next time. If you want to stay updated with more insights, strategies, and stories like this please be sure to subscribe to the show on any of the podcast apps and there is also a YouTube channel as well if you prefer to listen there. If you have the want to leave me a review on apple podcasts too, I’d be very grateful. Getting this show out there is an often anxiety inducing endeavour and reviews make all the difference. In the meantime, I'll continue to explore ways to enhance your freelance career and personal well-being.


Remember, change begins with a single step. Together, we can redefine what it means to be successful freelancers in today's challenging world.


I’ll end this season with a quote from Shantideva who said " If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”

Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!

reclaiming freelancer sanity


Executive Producer at Disruptive Film and Audio Productions Ltd.


Please give blood - it helps in treatments of so many illnesses -

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