I get very nervous when taking pictures of strangers for money.
I learned a hard lesson about taking something that you love to do for yourself and making it into something you do for others on their dime. It took me several years to want to play with food after leaving the life of a professional cook. I don't want to feel unanchored again.
I think the difference between paid and hobby is in the expectations.
Nobody has them when I just show up on my own with a camera in hand. I choose what fills my viewfinder. I can play as much or as little as I want.
Expectations exist when I am hired.
This is what goes through my head every single time:
I remember that failure of a day when I tried to be a second shooter in a crazy situation with a dying camera.
I worry about the critics. The people that say "your camera takes nice shots."
That Facebook conversation I had with a jerk "professional" photographer that I held hands with in junior high. On his business's FB page, he argued that just because someone owns an expensive camera does not mean they have any right or ability to take away from his business. As he said, "