I drew up my own diagram for the attitude change that occurs throughout my creative process during a project. It is a mix between the Creative Design Process tweet by Marcus Romer and design courage by David Whetstone.
What I’ve experienced as a freelance product designer, is that you’re constantly going through periods of self-doubt. This is or course natural, but sometimes hard to grasp for people outside of the industry or even for clients that just want you to deliver.
Fear is generally the biggest obstacle I face during this process. Fearing that you won’t deliver on time or to the expectations of the client, fear that you took on too much, and the fear that you’ll deliver sub-par design that will wreck further job opportunities.
My exercise lately, that’s come through a lot of rounds with myself, is to try to absorb that fear and turn it into a motivational driver to work harder and extend further. It doesn’t always work, and I often fall back into the same track of ups and downs that are presented in the diagram above, but being cognizant about the emotional roller-coaster and accepting it as a process makes it somewhat easier to perform the tasks at hand.
I do have a love/hate relationship with design and I think it’s healthy to be able to take a step back and be critical to what you’re doing, but at the same time let the process take control and in the end try to be content/happy with what you have produced as long as you gave it your all.