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Why you should believe in your abilities

Last nights Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka 5 x hour long five-setter tennis match at the Australian Open is the perfect example of possibility on a world class stage. The possibility of one’s greatest performance and also the possibility of one’s worst. I don’t know much about Wawrinka, however I do know that he’s Swiss and fair to say has been playing in the shadows of Rodger Federer. That didn’t matter last night. There’s the saying “you’re only as good as your last race”. I think you’re only really as good as the moment and Wawrinka rose to that occasion. Although the score says otherwise, Wawrinka deserved more than an impressive loss.


 “Doubt creeps in the mind when nothing else fills it”.

I think that truly believing in yourself and your abilities means having a heightened level of confidence. A characteristic necessary for success. It’s when your mind, body and souls perfectly align focusing on one inevitable end result.


Ultimately experience and specifically repetition. I’m sure we can all agree that repetition is the mother of skill and because of that, talent only serves people so far.

“Hard work will always beat talent when talent refuses to work hard”

This means being humble enough to accept the possibility of many mistakes, many challenges and many sacrifices. In my design career these learning curves have included:

  • Not asking enough questions
  • Not having other designers and creatives sense check my work
  • Not doing enough research
  • Not to fall in love with my work
  • Accepting criticism as an opportunity for improvement
  • Accepting that criticism isn’t personal
  • The importance of up-skilling
  • Listening more
  • Never stop studying typography
  • Watching more tutorials
  • And never stop creating


Greatness is simply a standard referring to a high magnitude of quality and grandeur. If you don’t believe you are capable of greatness, then no-one will. When you are designing, always ask yourself “Am I happy with this design? Is it absolutely the best representation of my ability? Is there any way I can improve this?”.

Of course there will always be time constraints, deadlines and budget limitations, however that does not excuse poor design. I’ve seen a cheap run of single colour prints on found, recycled paper that look phenomenal and tick all the boxes of great work.

The mind set should never be “I’m not a good enough designer” but rather “How do I become a great designer and enjoy the process?”.

How do you better improve you’re own abilities? I’d love to know!

For more, pick up a copy of Ram Castillo’s internationally and industry-acclaimed book ‘How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed’.

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Author: Ram Castillo

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About Ram Castillo


Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, Instructor and Author of two internationally acclaimed books 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed' and 'How to get a mentor as a designer, guaranteed'. He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, and Apple.

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