Doubt is a natural part of the human experience. Truly, doubts are just your fears that manifest in order to protect you from loss. Unfortunately, if left unbridled, those self-doubts can erode your confidence in a way that makes you lose out on what you could have done and achieved. In any career, doubt creeps in. As a consultant, when you don’t have the next client signed up, you sincerely start to doubt yourself.
This doubt affects your self-esteem, your ability to do your current work, and your perspective of your value to clients moving forward. You can’t let the doubt consume you. When you get to a certain level in business, there is a fear of losing what you’ve gained. It’s natural to have thoughts questioning how you got to where you are in the first place or if you truly deserve to be in the position that you’re in. Couple this with the lack of a next client and you may find yourself spiraling down.
Remember that letting doubt erode your confidence is only leading to bigger problems. You have to have a certain level of confidence to operate as a consultant. You are a subject matter expert. When you start to question your own abilities, your confidence waivers and selling yourself as an authority while you’re questioning yourself becomes an even bigger challenge. In addition to this, your current work will begin to suffer and your idea of your worth will begin to suffer.
Instead, you need to focus on your peaks. Your accomplishments. What got you to the point that you’re at right now? Sure, you’re in a lull between clients, but where have you been? Which of your abilities put you where you’re at? That’s where your focus should remain. You have had successful projects in the past. You have become established as an expert in the past. You have asserted yourself time and again as competent in your job. You have to know your worth. Your worth doesn’t change just because of a dry spell. You may have to get more creative, but your value hasn’t changed or decreased in any way.
There is a certain amount of validation that comes from working for a company. When you are reporting to someone, you have someone to validate your work and your progress. When you’re a consultant in between clients, it’s up to you to validate yourself so that you know that your work up until this point has been valuable and that the next client will feel that way as well. It’s tough being your own cheerleader, but it’s a necessary evil in the world of consulting.
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