Having Confidence In Your Design Work

This article is written for people who find it difficult to be confident in their creativity or design work. People under this category constantly talk to themselves with words like;

“I don’t think I’m bold enough to call myself a good designer because there are so many designers better than me out there”

"Other people are doing better than I do so why should share my work"

“I’m scared to show my work, what if I get bashed for not using the right text and colours or senior designers would look down on my work?”

One thing I want to make clear here is this: every designer - in short, every human, at some point has dealt with or is dealing with the panic of if their work is good enough?

Why, you may ask?

Every human needs validation at one point or the other in their lifetime - we all need validation at one point or another to help us feel important. So the desire for approval is normal. However, the major challenge for most people is how they handle it, and this is what I would share with you today.

Boosting your confidence starts with YOU, no one is going to help you have confidence in your work if you don’t believe in yourself first. Here's why I say so: even if 100 designers compliment your work, you’d think they are only trying to make you feel good because you don’t believe yourself first.

Here Is Why Confidence Is Important For You As A Designer

A lot of times, creatives judge their confidence by the work they post out on social media which people like, however, confidence is way much more than that. Below are much more important benefits of confidence to you;

  1. Having confidence helps you defend your work and why you do or have done what you did in clear terms - when you are asked why you made certain decisions in your design work, maybe in an interview or review or client work you can answer with confidence about why you made the choices you chose. This shows conviction in what you say and helps to build trust and belief in you which is needed for people to feel you are reliable and dependable to deliver. If there is one thing you need from your clients or your team lead if you are in a team environment is trust. Trust is earned when you are confident enough to prove your worth.
  2. Confidence helps you take on bigger challenges which would make you learn more and grow fast in your skillset. A person who is not confident of his or herself tends to always do simple things that don’t stretch their skill - they are laid back and don’t strive for improvement or excellence. Having confidence makes you strive to learn more which would impact how fast you grow.
  3. Confidence in your creativity helps you negotiate with clients when they are about to undermine your work with a pay that doesn’t equate with the creativity and effort you’ve put into their product. Let’s just say confidence helps you speak up when needed because you know your worth and how much value you add into your work, so your confidence in your work helps you speak up on why you should be paid a particular amount or more.
  4. Confidence is healthy for your growth in design. When you are confident enough to share your work online or to mentors, irrespective of your journey for honest feedback, you get to know where you’re lagging, what needs improvement and with that you keep getting better because you keep making sure you are getting it right.

Confidence is really an important tool in your design journey. A lot of people struggle with confidence and it has jeopardized a lot for them but see how you can help boost your self-confidence in your design work;

  1. Be happy with where you are at in your design journey. You don’t have to wait until your design is world class before you’re proud of your creativity, every little moment where you get typography right or colours right or hacked designing landing pages very well; it is worth celebrating. So as you’re progressing through in design and striving for more, it is very important to be happy about every bit of progress that you make along the way.
  2. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses If you lack confidence, I think there’s a need to check for the reasons, you’re probably focusing on things you didn’t do well rather than focusing on things you can do well. You need to find where you are really good. For some of us it is UX research, for others it is UI design, whichever it is just take confidence in what you know. And in the aspect of identify your weakness even if you don’t create designs to make the world say wow, but you should be able to see the works of other and discover why you aren’t delivering as much as them but should give you confidence to keep at it.
  3. Don’t Compare Yourself to the Best. It’s very normal for us to want to compare our work to the work of our mentors. You’re not expected or pressured to be as good as the best when first starting so don’t let it get you down if your work isn’t as good as the work of your favourite designers. Your only competition is you and you are only in a competition with yourself. Instead put a check on your journey; Are you doing better work today than you were 6 months ago? A year ago? Absorb the work of others to help yourself grow, but never compare yourself to them - compare yourself only to yourself.

I hope with these few points of mine, I have been able to encourage you to be a little more confident of yourself and your design work, it will not only increase how better you become in design, it will impact your entire life.

Written By: Adekanye Sharon

(Perxels’ Alumna)