Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: 5 Tips for New Freelancers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Talk about your feelings
  2. Celebrate your successes
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others
  4. Get outside your comfort zone
  5. Seek professional help

Every new freelancer has felt it at some point—the unsettling feeling that you're not as competent as others perceive you to be, the nagging doubt whispering that you're a fraud. This is known as imposter syndrome, and it can be a significant hurdle in your freelancing journey. But fear not, overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer is not only possible, but it's something that can be achieved with some understanding, a positive mindset, and a few practical steps. Let's start by tackling a step that's foundational yet often overlooked: talking about your feelings.

Talk About Your Feelings

Yes, you read it right. One of the first steps in overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer is to acknowledge and express your feelings. This might sound a bit simple, but it's an approach that's often skipped over, and it's more powerful than you might think.

Why It's Important to Express Your Feelings

Here's the thing: imposter syndrome thrives in silence. It grows stronger when you keep your feelings bottled up inside. So, by expressing your feelings, you're doing two things:

  • Breaking the silence: You're taking control, and you're not letting imposter syndrome dictate your thoughts and actions.
  • Reducing its power: By putting your feelings into words, you're taking some of the power away from imposter syndrome and giving it back to yourself.

How to Start Talking

Starting to talk about your feelings might feel a bit scary at first, especially if you're not used to it. Here are a few ways you can get started:

  1. Find a trusted person: This could be a friend, family member, or a mentor—someone who understands your journey as a freelancer and can provide support and encouragement.
  2. Be honest: Don't hold back. Share your feelings of self-doubt, your fears, and your frustrations. Remember, it's okay to feel this way.
  3. Listen to their feedback: Often, others can provide a different perspective, one that's free from the self-doubt that imposter syndrome brings.

Remember, overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer isn't a sprint—it's a marathon. But with each step you take, you're getting closer to that finish line. So, let's take that first step together by acknowledging and expressing our feelings.

Celebrate Your Successes

Here's a truth: You're doing better than you think you are. As a new freelancer, you've already overcome numerous obstacles to get where you are. It's time to recognize and celebrate these wins. Doing this consistently can help in overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer.

Why Celebrating Success Matters

Imposter syndrome can cloud your judgment, making you focus more on your failures than your successes. By celebrating your wins—no matter how small—you're shedding light on the positive aspects of your journey. You're affirming to yourself that you're capable, competent, and deserving of your success.

Ways to Celebrate Your Wins

Wondering how to go about celebrating your successes? Here are some ideas:

  1. Keep a success journal: At the end of each day, jot down what you accomplished. It could be something as small as finishing a task on time or as big as landing a new client. Over time, you'll have a collection of victories to look back on when imposter syndrome strikes.
  2. Share your accomplishments: Talk about your wins with friends, family, or your mentor. Sharing your victories not only boosts your confidence but can also inspire and encourage others.
  3. Give yourself a treat: Finished a difficult project? Landed a big client? Celebrate with a small reward—a favorite treat, an evening of relaxation, or a new book.

Remember, each win, no matter how small, is a step forward in overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer. So, let’s start celebrating these steps forward, after all, they're what make your freelancing journey unique and worth cherishing.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

One common trap that new freelancers often fall into is comparing their progress to others. This habit can be particularly damaging when you're trying to overcome imposter syndrome. It's important to remember that every freelancer's journey is unique and filled with its own set of challenges and victories.

The Pitfalls of Comparison

When you compare your progress to others, you're often looking at their highlight reel—not the struggles and setbacks they've faced. This skewed perspective can make you feel like you're underperforming or even failing. Remember: overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer means recognizing your own worth and progress, independent of others.

Moving Beyond Comparison

So how do you stop this harmful cycle of comparison? Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Celebrate individuality: Each freelancer's journey is unique, with its own set of highs and lows. Embrace your individual path and learn to value your own experiences and growth.
  2. Focus on personal growth: Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. This shift in perspective can help you see your growth and progress more clearly.
  3. Practice gratitude: Cultivating a sense of gratitude for what you have and what you've accomplished can help shift your focus from what others are doing to what you're achieving.

Remember, your value as a freelancer is not determined by how quickly you reach your goals compared to others. It's about your journey, your growth, and the unique value you bring to your clients. By focusing on these aspects, you're already taking significant strides in overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

As a new freelancer, you're likely to encounter tasks and projects that intimidate you. But it's important not to let fear hold you back. Overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer often involves stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing new challenges.

The Power of Embracing Challenges

When we push ourselves to tackle tasks that scare us, we create opportunities for growth and learning. Sure, it might be nerve-wracking to submit a proposal for that big project or pitch to a high-profile client. But these are the moments that push us to grow, build our skills, and boost our confidence.

Steps to Stepping Out

Stepping outside your comfort zone can feel intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you take that leap:

  1. Start small: You don't have to jump into the deep end right away. Take on smaller challenges first, and gradually work your way up.
  2. Have a plan: When faced with a new challenge, a well-thought-out plan can provide a sense of control and reduce anxiety.
  3. Get support: Don't be afraid to ask for help or seek advice from others in the freelance community. Remember, everyone was once a beginner.

Taking calculated risks and stepping outside your comfort zone is a vital part of overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer. It can be uncomfortable and scary at times, but remember — every challenge you face is an opportunity for growth and success.

Seek Professional Help

Overcoming imposter syndrome as a new freelancer sometimes requires more than self-help strategies. If feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy persist, you may need to seek professional help. This is nothing to be ashamed of— reaching out to professionals can be a game-changer in your journey to overcome imposter syndrome.

Benefits of Professional Help

Professional therapists and coaches can provide you with tools and techniques to combat imposter syndrome. They can help you understand the root cause of your feelings and provide strategies to manage them. This can lead to improved self-esteem, increased confidence, and a more positive outlook on your freelancing career.

Finding the Right Help

Searching for professional help can be overwhelming. To make the process easier, consider these steps:

  1. Identify your needs: Are you looking for a therapist to help manage feelings of anxiety? Or maybe a coach to provide career guidance? Knowing what you need will narrow down your options.
  2. Do some research: Look into different types of therapy and coaching. This will help you understand what each offers and decide which approach suits you best.
  3. Ask for recommendations: Reach out to fellow freelancers or join online communities. Others who have been in your shoes can be a great source of advice and recommendations.

Remember, seeking professional help is a positive step towards overcoming imposter syndrome. It's a testament to your commitment to personal growth and success in your freelancing career.

If you're looking to further overcome imposter syndrome and build a strong foundation for your freelancing career, don't miss 'The Freelancing Fundamentals To Make You Flourish' workshop by Jasmine MacPhee. This workshop offers valuable insights and strategies to help new freelancers thrive and shake off the doubts that come with starting a freelance journey.