The Importance of Being Stronger Than You Need To Be: A Designer's Perspective

Hey,

Today, let's talk about a concept that's often overlooked but incredibly vital in our line of work: the importance of being stronger than you need to be. No, I'm not talking about bench-pressing your iMac or doing push-ups between client calls (although physical health is important too!). I'm talking about building resilience, both professionally and personally, to not just survive but thrive in the design world.

🎯 Why Strength Matters

In the realm of design, strength isn't just about having a robust skill set or an impressive portfolio. It's about having the mental and emotional fortitude to navigate the ups and downs of a creative career. Whether it's dealing with difficult clients, tight deadlines, or the inevitable creative blocks, being stronger than you need to equip you to handle challenges with grace.

It also fosters self-confidence, allowing you to negotiate your rates, pitch your ideas, and hold your ground, even when the going gets tough.

📌 How Strength Manifests in a Designer's Life

Emotional Resilience

Let's face it, the design world can be tough. Clients can be demanding, and feedback can sometimes be harsh. Emotional resilience allows you to take criticism constructively without letting it affect your self-worth. Not only does it help you manage stress, but it also enables you to bounce back more quickly from setbacks.

Adaptability

The design industry is ever-changing. New tools, technologies, and trends emerge all the time. Being strong in this context means being adaptable and willing to evolve with the industry. This adaptability makes you invaluable in collaborative environments where fluidity and the ability to 'roll with the punches' are often required.

Self-Discipline

Freelancers know this all too well—without a boss looking over your shoulder, it's easy to slack off. Strength in self-discipline helps you stay focused and productive, even when Netflix is calling your name. Being disciplined also means setting boundaries, like designated work hours and spaces, to optimise productivity.

Networking Strength

Building a strong network takes effort and courage. It's not just about attending events but about forming genuine relationships. A strong network can be your safety net when times are tough. Don't forget that your network can also be a source of inspiration, offering fresh perspectives that can help you break through creative blocks.

🏗 Building Your Strength

Continuous Learning

Never stop learning. Whether it's new design software or a course on client management, continuous learning makes you stronger and more adaptable. Invest in courses, workshops, or even books that can add layers to your expertise.

Self-Care

You can't be strong if you're burned out. Make time for self-care. Exercise, meditate, or simply take a day off to recharge. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health in maintaining your overall strength.

Seek Mentorship

Learning from someone who's been there and done that can provide invaluable insights into building strength in your career. Mentorship not only offers personalised guidance but can also help you avoid common pitfalls, saving you time and stress in the long run.

Challenge Yourself

Step out of your comfort zone regularly. Take on projects that scare you a little. The more you challenge yourself, the stronger you become. Challenges offer opportunities for growth, pushing you to refine your skills and adapt new strategies.

🤔 Final Thoughts

Being stronger than you need to be isn't about preparing for some apocalyptic worst-case scenario. It's about building a career and a life that can withstand the inevitable challenges and uncertainties that come your way. It's about being proactive rather than reactive, and it's a philosophy that can serve you well in both your professional and personal lives.

Think of it as a lifelong investment in yourself—a toolkit of skills and qualities that will serve you no matter where your career takes you.

🔗 Quick Links

  • This Week's Blog Post—Why Your Ability to Influence Outcomes Matters in Freelancing—Explore the power of influence in your freelance journey. Learn how persuasive communication, relationship building, and adaptability can make you not just a freelancer but a valuable partner for your clients.
  • Weekly Instagram Poster—Get inspired with my weekly design poster. Make sure to follow me for your weekly dose of creativity!

Thanks for reading. Strength isn't built in a day, but the journey is always worth it, right? If you found value in today's topics, I'd be over the moon if you could share this newsletter with your friends or colleagues. Because, hey, strength in numbers!

Until next time, keep flexing those creative muscles! 💪

Cheers,
—Gary