Probably one of the biggest lessons I had to learn when I entered the professional design world was to take criticism; I didn’t expect to struggle. I think a lot of designers, myself included, expect to be praised and loved for their artistic ability, and don’t expect an art director to tell them their ideas don’t work, or they missed the mark completely. But you should expect it. Better yet, you should welcome the critique!

To Struggle Is to Learn

There is no better way to grow, as a designer or professional, than to expect and welcome struggle. It offers us an opportunity to consider things we haven’t thought of—to analyze our blind spots—and become a more self-reflective and aware individual. For me, this continues to shape me into a more comprehensive analyst when presented with a new challenge, and I’m more prepared to tackle a project and do my best.

Challenge Yourself

Related to that, challenge yourself. Someone I listen to a lot, Brendon Burchard, says “Our greatest challenges in life should be those we give to ourselves to reach our full potential,” and I couldn’t agree more. There’s no better way to carve your own, best, path than to set goals for yourself and work toward them. Not only will this inevitably provide you with more struggle, you will naturally carve a path to become your best person and reach your full potential.

—Chad