8 Things That Will Make You Feel More Confident About Your Work

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What if I told you that there are things you can do to make you feel more confident about your work? Even small things to do daily. If that’s something that piques your interest, read along!

When you’re at the beginning of your professional road or if you’re self-taught, you might have problems with feeling confident. Ever heard of impostor syndrome? Yeah, I’ve been there too. You see all those professional interior designers around with years of experience, various degrees, and amazing projects and you think ‘what am I even doing?’. Sounds familiar? Not anymore! With a few tweaks to your mindset and workflow, you’ll be feeling more confident than ever!

Besides, you don’t need any outside confirmation, a special degree, or a huge portfolio to be able to feel confident about what you do and serve your clients accordingly.

The number one thing that will make you feel confident about your work is… work.

Yes, you read it right. Once you start working ON your business and not only IN your business, you’ll notice the difference. What do I mean by that? I know you spend a lot of time creating your clients’ projects, making sure they love them. And that's super important, obviously. But if you take time to work on your systems and processes, perfecting the client experience, preparing templates, and automating parts of your job - trust me, you will feel super confident. Moreover, knowing that your business runs smoothly like a well-oiled machine will make you feel professional and assured because you’ll know you’re providing a great service. Plus, you will most likely save lots of time with the systems you create.

Work on yourself, too.

As much as the first point is important to running a successful business confidently, it’s also significant to work on your mindset. Because if you keep repeating that you’re not good enough in your head all the time, even the best systems and processes won’t help you as much. To feel more confident about your work, you need to change your attitude towards your work. What I found very useful were affirmations. I’m sure you’ve heard about them before. And it doesn’t matter whether you believe in "the woo woo" or not - affirmations are a real deal. Try doing this exercise for a week and see for yourself:

It’s all about positive self-talk. Change "I don’t know what I’m doing" to "I’m constantly learning". Or "I’m not good enough for this" to "I’m getting better each day". Find other positive thoughts, like "I can do anything I put my mind to, and I can do it well", or simply "I am enough and my skills are useful"

You can do it in the morning while standing in front of a mirror, but it works great anytime, anywhere. Repeat it out loud, or in your head, or write it down even, several times a day.

A cup lying sideways with a text flowing out of it. The text says "doing my best". Positive affirmations are a thing that will help you feel more confident
Estudio Bloom for Unsplash

Stop comparing yourself to others.

A while ago I found this great quote from Dr. Seuss that stayed with me ever since:

The people you are comparing yourself to are not you. You have different backgrounds, different motivations, and different experiences. Plus, you most likely don’t know how they got to where they are or whether they were always like that. Please stop comparing your beginnings to someone’s years in. It’s not worth it if you use that to beat yourself up. Instead, treat it as a motivation. Social comparison can be pretty harmful, however, if you do it right, it can have a positive outcome. Looking up to people you admire for motivation can help you realize that if they were able to get there, you can too! Get inspired by their work and commit to getting better and better each day. After all, the only person that you should compare yourself to is you from yesterday.

Make a list.

And I don’t mean a to-do list. You probably have tons of them already. Instead, make a list of all your achievements. Even small ones. Thinking you don’t have any? Think again! Pursuing your passion for interior design and making it your job is a helluva achievement in my books! Taking up a client that seemed difficult and managing to make them love your project - awesome! Learning all the ergonomic standards for bathroom design? Put it on the list! Buying the book to expand your knowledge? You’ve got this! Heck, even getting up in the morning and sitting down to work is a thing to be proud of! 

You can also practice gratitude or write down things that went well each day. Anything that helps you realize you’re doing your best and getting there!

Get ready to feel confident.

You’ve probably experienced a situation where, at school, a teacher asked you in front of the class to review your knowledge on the subject you’d been discussing last week. Are your palms sweating already? Well then, chances are you’re thinking about a moment where you weren’t prepared and you thought you'd embarrass yourself in front of everyone. Now think for a moment, how would it have felt if you’d been prepared? If you’d studied the night before and had been ready for the review? Much better, right? 

You can do exactly the same to feel confident whenever you meet your clients - prepare yourself. Get ready for what you’ll be talking about. If it helps - think of the possible questions they might have and research some solutions. Don’t let the situation surprise you. You’ll notice how calm and confident you’ll feel talking to them, if you prepare yourself first.

Strike a pose.

It might seem like a small tweak but it’s a surprisingly powerful one. You might have heard about power pose training (anyone else thinking about Amy Santiago from one of the Brooklyn 99 episodes?). I don’t necessarily suggest taking full training unless it’s something you’d be interested in. But appropriate body language and simple tweaks to your pose daily will result in you feeling more confident. Back straight, chin slightly up, feet apart… How is this connected to my work? you might ask. If you train yourself to keep a power pose regularly, then anytime you go to a meeting with your client, you’ll make an impression of being confident and professional even before you start talking. Now wouldn’t that be helpful?

The picture shows a figure of Wonder Woman standing on a countertop. Practicing power pose is a thing that will help you feel more confident
Dale De Vera for Unsplash

Asking for feedback will make you feel more confident.

Whenever you finish a project, ask your clients for feedback. Get them to tell you about their experience - what was good, what could have been better, and where you can improve. It might sound terrifying but trust me, it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid or discouraged if you hear something negative. Much like with the social comparison - look at it from a positive perspective. Treat it as your chance to get hands-on input about which areas to ameliorate. Write it all down and look for methods to fix it. This way you’ll be able to revise and mend your design process and your approach to the clients. On the other hand, you might hear something nice - that would be a great confidence boost, don’t you think?

The picture shows two women discussing a project. Asking for feedback will help you feel more confident about your work
Windows for Unsplash

Learn, learn, learn.

Let’s think for a moment about the core of you not feeling confident about your work. I’ve mentioned it before, but I wanted to keep the best for last. The problem is you feeling like you don’t know enough or don’t have enough experience. Well, the easiest, most effective, and foolproof way to deal with that is to keep learning. Constantly. Interior design is a vast field of expertise. And it's continuously evolving. If you don’t keep yourself up to date, if you don’t expand your knowledge, you will most likely stay behind. Instead, you should get used to reading professional articles, and books, going to conferences, and following the ever-changing standards and norms.

Anything that will make you feel that your knowledge is on point. It shouldn’t be only a feeling, actually. Your knowledge should be on point. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s impossible to know absolutely everything but at least have an idea and know where to look for the information. The more you know, the more confident you will feel that your work is valuable and that you’re providing the best service possible to your clients. Trust me, fall in love with constant learning and it will change your life.

A bookcase with books. Learning will make you feel more confident about your work.

I've prepared a few freebies that might be useful for you. Go ahead and check the RESOURCES page to grab what you need.

Also, you might want to get a copy of my ebook - Everything An Interior Designer Should Know About Light. It's filled with theory and practical info about light and how to design it in your interiors. It's still fresh so don't hesitate and get your copy today!

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Don't be too hard on yourself

Feeling overwhelmed? Take a deep breath or two. You don’t have to implement it all at once. Choose one that resonates best with your situation, and start from there. Start small and with baby steps, or immerse yourself in a mindset shift. Whatever you do, remember that you’re doing it for yourself. Your work matter. You matter. You are enough. And there are plenty of people who would love to work with you. So chin up and go conquer the world!

hi there!

I'm Aleksandra, an interior architect with multinational experience, on a mission to help beginning or self-taught designers gain confidence and create systems that will help them bring their businesses to the next level.

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COMMENTS

8 Replies to “8 Things That Will Make You Feel More Confident About Your Work”

Since I graduated college last May, I have been working on developing myself professionally. I love this advice, especially the points about confidence and not comparing yourself to others!!

Thank you for sharing, Aubrey! I’m glad you found it useful and I wish you all the best on your development journey!

Okay, I have never heard of the strike-a-pose power pose training. I think that would be very beneficial for me! Body language is something I definitely need to work on. I loved this post and the information you shared. Thank you!

I’m so happy to hear you found this post interesting, Ciara. The biggest part of communication is done non-verbally so working on body language can be beneficial indeed 🙂

We can always be working on ourselves and building confidence inner and outer! Thank you for your post!

Thank you for your comment Suzanne 🙂

This is such great advice to help us creators find more joy and peace in our work – thank you for sharing!

Thank you Jodi! Everyone needs a confidence boost sometimes 🙂

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hi, I'm Aleksandra!

I will help you create an organized interior design business with systems and processes, and to gain confidence to bring your career to the next level.

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