What’s your Biggest Challenge?

by Nicole Branigan on February 10, 2011 · 3 comments

Examining the mental challenges of being an independent contractor. Or just a person in general.

You are your biggest challenge in your business

This week I had coffee with one of my favorite people in Nashville. Matt Chevy is the founder of Life Without Pants, and is also a founding piece of the brilliant company, Proof Branding. Matt was gracious enough to build my website and is an ongoing resource for web development, design, new media and is an all around awesome human being.

During the course of our conversation, Matt and I discussed our work habits, fears and frustrations. At one point Matt asked me a question I found surprisingly hard to answer:

“What is your biggest challenge?”

I fumbled because I wasn’t sure how to answer. In truth, I didn’t know WHAT to answer. I find there are so many challenges in being a freelance writer, but there are also so many rewards. I thought about this question during our conversation, on my way home, and throughout the rest of my evening. I thought about the challenge of finding new clients, starting projects I’m excited about, getting paid on time, and dealing with demanding deadlines. Then I realized that my biggest challenge was one of the simplest things I’ve ever thought:

My biggest challenge is me.

My inability to focus, my fears, my hesitations that hold me back from the projects I deserve, my lack of confidence that lowers my prices, and my overconfidence that thinks I’m too good. All of these and so many more are founded at the root of my own mental capacity. It’s the most simple and complicated truth I’ve realized in my entire life: I am my biggest challenge.

Realizing this has allowed me to begin a shift in my reality. I control my successes and failures, and while I’ve always known this, saying it out loud is empowering. It serves to personify the intangible mental blocks that have been holding me back for far too long.

No more will my mental blocks stop me from taking on projects I know I deserve. Gone are the days of making excuses for myself, and not reaching my fullest potential.

What are your biggest challenges, and how do you plan to overcome them?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve February 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Yes! I think that is the right attitude to have. I agree that we set our own boundaries. I think too that we can learn to move those boundaries and maybe one day even master them. I also know it to be true that is very difficult. We can choose to live as openly and without boundaries as we wish, but ultimately we do not control our own destiny. Random events can happen inexplicably. Nature always wins. Live life to the fullest every single moment. Cheers!


Jeff Goins February 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I agree with you guys: I am my own biggest challenge. Motivation and working thru insecurities are the two biggest roadblocks to achieving success for me.


Nicole Branigan February 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

It’s true! With mental blocks and distractions, some days are difficult. But we are lucky to be in this crazy business and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Thanks for reading, Jeff!


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