If You’re So Smart, Why Do You Feel So Insecure?

“There’s no way I can take this job. I don’t know enough.”

“I can’t pitch a big brand. All those people are smarter than I am.”

“Yeah, I know they’re making tons of money. But that’s not me. I’m not at their level.”

To this, I say poppycock (and how many times do you get to say “poppycock” in today’s world?).

You are good enough, smart enough – and dammit, people like you! Plus, you know you can do the work and do it well.

The only person holding you back is you.

Many freelance writers have a huge insecurity complex. Instead of thinking, “Yeah, I can do that,” they tell themselves why they can’t. They pass on jobs because they’re “not ready.”

They roll themselves up into a teeny-tiny insecure ball and only take gigs that are the “C-word” (comfortable.)

But here’s a secret…

Every high-powered speaker, consultant, business owner and CEO has lightening-bolt blasts of insecurity. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

– They worry that they’re going to blow it on stage (and sometimes, they do – but life does go on.)

– They worry that they made the wrong business call and it will cost people their jobs.

– They worry about the numbers and how this quarter’s revenue will shake out.

– They worry … just like you.

The difference? People who have risen up the ranks have learned to feel the fear and go for it anyway. They don’t let their insecurities get in the way of their life. Instead, they see fear as a helpful (but somewhat annoying) friend who offers unsolicited advice.

Instead of buying into what your internal voices are saying, consider trying something different. Listen to the voices and respond, “Sure, I may fail. Sure, this could be the wrong call. But I’m doing the best job I can with the information I have.”

And then go for it.

If this post resonates with you, it’s time to expand your horizons.

– Stop sabotaging yourself (I’ll talk about this in a future blog post.)

– Say “yes” even if your stomach tightens up in knots and you’re scared to death.

– Be at peace with “failure” – because screwing up is sometimes how we learn our best lessons.

– And give yourself permission to be more than you are now. That may mean landing a better writing job. Or going after bigger clients. Or charging more.

Your insecurity is normal. Now it’s time to get over it.

As my friend’s tattoo in the picture says, “Your soul is rooting for you.”

Isn’t it time to listen?

Are you feeling like you “can’t” do something? Did something wonderful happen because you overcame your fear? Let me know in the comments below!

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7 replies
  1. Sandra says:

    This post is so timely as I’m facing some difficult decisions. Thanks for posting this.

    And…glad I’m not the only one old enough to remember Stuart Smalley….:P

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      Hey Sandra!

      First, good luck with your difficult decisions. I’m sure that you’ll find the right path. :)

      Ha! I was wondering if anyone would get the Stuart Smalley reference. I may have dated myself by including it, but I just had to do it!

  2. Lauren says:

    Oh my god…It feels like you’re speaking directly to me. I excepted a writing gig for something I haven’t done before and I am feeling sick about it. The only thing keeping me going is knowing that in a few days it’ll be done and I’ll be able to breathe again.

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      You’ve got this, @Lauren! You can do it!

      Congratulations on breaking out of your comfort zone and taking the gig. Just think – when the project is successfully completed, you’ll KNOW you can take on another project like this and thrive! That’s pretty cool.

      Good luck!

  3. Shauna says:

    ‘Fear is excitement in disguise’ – you never know how the next scary opportunity’s going to change your life so go for it! After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Usually it’s really not that bad and completely worth stepping out of your comfort zone for. And who gets everything right all the time anyway?! Great post Heather, thanks!


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