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Apr 17

Building Self-Confidence As a Designer: Foundation

If you made a list of your biggest assets when it comes to asking for a sale, confidence would be right up near the top.

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But what about building self-confidence as a designer? Do you consider yourself a confident person? If you don’t, it’s time to start changing how you think. Confidence isn’t an innate trait. It’s something you can (and really need to) develop. In my experience, there are three components that go into building confidence. The first of those is building a foundation.

What can you do better than anyone else?

I’m not a particularly outgoing person, and I can’t say that confidence has come naturally to me. But one of the biggest things that helped me become a more confident person was realizing that I was good at design.

I loved to draw from an early age, and decided to pursue design as a profession. When I did, I found out that I had natural talent there and was able to develop it quickly. Realizing that gave me something to latch on to: I was a designer.

You have something you’re naturally great at, too. It may not be design. It could be that you’re great at talking with people, great at presenting and teaching ideas, or amazing at strategizing. Let that be what you focus your lens on. It’s the thing that makes you different, and it’s your foundation for growing confidence.

The inside reflects outward‍

If you don’t see yourself as something, it’s incredibly hard to sell yourself as that thing. However, if you start to see yourself as something inwardly, an amazing thing happens: you start to project it outwardly as well. People start to see you as that thing, and approach you on that level.

When you’re comfortable with who you are, people gravitate towards you. I see it particularly often with people who are spiritual or religious. They’re not about their money or possessions, they’re not fronting: they’re just comfortable in their skin. Other people feel that comfort, and are drawn to them.

That kind of authenticity is a huge asset in sales. When you’re comfortable with who you are, you are able to present yourself to others with confidence. You know what you’re good at, and you can express that clearly and honestly. What you feel about yourself inwardly reflects outwardly, and the people you’re selling to will respond.

Start building self-confidence now

If it’s your goal to be more confident and comfortable with yourself, knowing what you’re good at is the first step. So what is it you love to do? What comes naturally? What can you do easily that others seem to struggle with? Start building your foundation there.

The thing you’re best at might not necessarily be the thing you’ve envisioned yourself doing. That’s okay! The more honest you are about where your strengths lie, the more seamlessly you’ll be able to move to a position of confidence.

Great confidence begins with a great foundation. And building self-confidence as a designer isn’t easy. So first, discover what you’re best at, and use it to grow in ability and assurance.

Chris Do

Chris Do is an Emmy award winning director, designer, strategist and educator. He’s the Chief Strategist and CEO of Blind, executive producer of The Skool, and the Founder and CEO of The Futur— an online education platform that teaches the business of design to creative thinkers.