When you run your own business, you have ample opportunity to feel anxious: what if you don't get the project, what if the client is disappointed in the work, what if you can't pay your bills.
All those "What If's" can do a number on one's enthusiasm and productivity. Anxiety causes you to waste time and energy dreading things that may never happen. Anxiety is the adult version of seeing a boogeyman in the closet and monsters under the bed. So you sit there and tremble and wait for the worst.
Anxiety is the antithesis of productivity, yet once it has a grip on you, it's hard to shake off. What do you do?
Try This Exercise
Allow yourself to think about the very worst thing that can happen.
You don't get the project. Your business misses out on that much-needed transfusion of cash. You're still living paycheck to paycheck. You watch from the outside as other people enjoy the kind of success that you want.
Your client is disappointed in your work and loses patience. She fires you. You're hurt and embarrassed. The story leaks out, and your reputation as an artist and professional suffers. Business dries up. You start delivering pizzas.
You default on your bills. You now have to pay penalties on top of what you originally owed. You must give up your office. You lose your house. You declare bankruptcy. People you thought were friends keep their distance.
Guess what? None of these outcomes will kill you. And the likelihood of any of them happening in the first place is slim.
Sometimes you've got to gather all your courage, slip out from underneath the covers, and look under the bed. Flip on the lights, and open the closet.
Go there, and you'll realize that the vast majority of bad things never happen and many good things you never imagined do.