There's something that I despise about freelance: ambiguity. Blasphemy, I know. It's a bit of a 'life of a creative' cuss to own up to so strongly disliking an aspect of a life that I so desperately love. Yet, fear is fear and for pete's sake, have I been on the edge of the 'F' word more times than I can count on my hands and feet.
While yes, I willingly classify myself as 'free spirited' 'a bit of a wanderer' and 'cripplingly petrified of feeling creatively constrained by the old school norms of corporate working environments', there's a HUGE misalignment between the transitional timelines and project based world that is freelance and an operating system named CERTAINTY + PREDICTABILITY that has been my method of survival since my tweens.
Like other adopted MO's, certainty + predictability has historically served me well. Creating schedules and plans was the source of keeping me moving forward when I didn't know where I was headed. I worked my ass off to create structure - which meant having my days and nights scheduled weeks and even months in advance.
And I overdosed on it.
Too much structure + certainty felt like I was in a straight jacket.
Not enough of it felt like I didn't have a purpose.
What I needed to embrace was the process - that ambiguity allows me to be creative in a WHOLE new way. A healthy dose of it opens me up to the possibility of work developing through the process of completing other projects. That being focused on and uber-committed to the work I'm doing now—and doing it well—creates possibilities for more collaborations with the same clients - and referrals to new ones.
I have learned to be strategically structured - to look far enough ahead to plan a work flow that gives me enough project work to pay the bills AND gives me white space to do other things I love. Like writing. And yoga. And laying in bed on Sunday mornings sometimes doing....nothing.
I've also learned to lean into a tribe of awesome humans to help navigate the process. A badass coach (Hutty - that's you woman), the BEST of friends to share ideas/thoughts/fears/tears with over mugs of coffee/tea/wine/whiskey/etc, musings in my journal and a whole lotta quality time on my yoga mat give me the gumption to give my fear of ambiguity a big 'ol bitch slap and keep on keepin' on.
I've been reminded of the need to change my inner dialogue about fear + doubt via some yoga teachers I love in a big way. They're sayings that we don't often hear but that everyone can use to remember - whatever the hurdle on your path or journey may be.
- Take It Easy. Relax - all is coming. Be patient, do your work, stay the course.
- Stay Open. Be curious. Be willing. Allow the universe to give you a nudge - and LISTEN.
- Everything Is Going To Be Okay. Because it is. It's okay. YOU are okay.
How do you lift yourself out of fear and into an empowered place with your work, love, life? Let's band together and give fear and doubt and worry a big slug-fest.
Because we could all use a little less ick in life - and a little bit bigger 'Yes I CAN!' muscles.