Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself & Get to Work

Sometimes I get messages from students or teenagers wanting to work in the design industry and I always try to help out as much as I can and answer the questions. It feels like just yesterday when I was a design student myself, not knowing how to get in contact with companies, if my dream of working as a designer somewhere warm would work out or what “design” really is. Still today, I don’t think I know what design is. What is it? It seems to have a different meaning depending on who you ask.

In many of these messages there’s a lot of focus on the problems and hurdles that seem impossible to overcome. There’s too much talk about what you can not do, instead of proposing a solution and asking if that might be a good idea. That I can help with. I can’t come up with solutions on how to solve your problems, that’s your job.

Growing up in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden, me and my sibling used to push each other to see who would reach our goals first. We all started from scratch, the only one who could get us there was us. Nobody has all the answers. I honestly had no idea how to work as a designer or get a job in the field.

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But instead of focusing on all the problems and stuff that seemed so hard, you have to figure it out. All your “what if’s” and “how to’s” that’s in your head now have been in everyone’s head and there’s a solution to all of them. How do I know? Because I see people all around me that’s been where I am right now and managed to figure out how to be where I want to be 5 or 10 years from now.

My point is this, look for solutions instead of problems. Problems will always be there. You can either stop and complain that it’s not going to work, or you can get to work and crush that barrier by figuring it out.

Feeling sorry for yourself because of your current situation won’t do anyone any good. Believe in yourself and make it a habit to solve one little problem each day. Keep a journal and look back at it after 365 days, I’m sure you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come and that will give you the confidence to do whatever it is you want to do and be whatever you want to be.