How to Overcome Architect’s Limiting Beliefs


Table of Contents

Thoughts that made me feel insecure

When I started my own studio, I was full of doubts and fears.

Every day, I was haunted by thoughts that I wasn't doing enough.

Looking at other architects, I felt small and inadequate.

I was terrified of messing up, thinking I had to be perfect in everything.

I was always worried about being invisible and being overlooked.

Despite working non-stop, I ignored my own health and well-being.

This neglect led to sleepless nights, filled with anxiety and endless worries.

I felt alone in my struggles, my mind often clouded with sadness.

I started losing hope, questioning my skills and my future.

It was a dark time, where every day felt harder than the last, and my confidence hit rock bottom.


But then, things started to get better.

I met someone who helped me a lot: a mentor.



He showed me a new way to look at things.

He told me, 'Focus on what you're good at, not what you're bad at.'

I used to always think about my weak points, and it held me back.

After spending a few months with him, I began to see things differently.

I realized that if you have the right attitude and work hard, you can really improve your situation.

I learned that it's not just about skills, but also about how you think and approach your work.



In this article I will talk about the doubts that were holding me back.

I will also tell you how I was able to overcome them.

I hope you find them useful and that you too will overcome them.


Common doubts and how to beat them

As I said before, I used to doubt myself a lot.

And I bet many architects feel the same way.

You should know that these doubts are not formed in you.

They are formed from things that have happened to you.

What society says and how you see things.

Overcoming these doubts is very important.

This is how you grow personally and professionally.

You can go far in your career if you face them head on.

Let me share some of the typical doubts I used to have:


1) I'm not creative enough

I doubted my creative ability. I thought I wasn't imaginative innovative enough to design exceptional buildings or spaces.


Many architects doubt themselves.

They wonder if they are really that creative and worry that they are not doing amazing designs.

This self-doubt, thinking "I'm not creative enough," can be a real obstacle to doing well.

But changing the way you look at things and trying new approaches can help you tap into your creativity and make designs that really stand out.

The first thing to do is to realize that creativity has no limits.

As architects, we have a lot of room to come up with new and cool ideas.

Value your own style and creative spark. Build your own brand.

Because everyone brings something different to the table.

Don't be afraid to try something new.

Go ahead and try different ideas.


Don’t know where to start?

Here are 30 Ways to Monetize Your Architectural Expertise Online


2) I can't handle the business side of things

I was basically focused on my technical knowledge. But lacked the confidence to handle business aspects such as marketing, sales or financial management.


Being an architect, you probably love the design part but might find the business stuff a bit intimidating.

The good news is, you can learn the business side of things.

Begin by looking for courses and resources that teach you about marketing, sales, and how to manage your money.

Take your time learning and start using what you learn in your own work.

If you stick with it and keep an open mind, you'll get the hang of the business stuff and set yourself up for a solid career in architecture.


3) Success is only for the well-connected

I believed that success in the industry was reserved for those with influential contacts. I felt at a disadvantage if they lacked those networks.


Thinking you've got to know big names to succeed in architecture can be a real downer, especially if you're just starting out.

But listen, while knowing people can help, it's not the only way to make it big.

Real success comes from a mix of your skills, putting in the hard work, and making the right connections.


So instead of just trying to meet the high-flyers, focus on building good relationships in your field:

  • Talk to other architects
  • use LinkedIn to meet new people
  • go to events related to our industry
  • join workshops to grow your network


When you work with others on projects, you'll naturally start meeting people who can help you out.

(I got to know some of my best partners this way).

If your work is solid and you've got a strong portfolio, opportunities will come to you.

Keep aiming high in every project you take on.


4) My designs must be perfect

Perfectionism paralyzed me and made me doubt my work and inhibited my creative process.


Thinking your designs have to be perfect can really mess with you, causing you to doubt yourself and get stuck.

Let me tell you that perfect doesn't exist.

This article isn’t perfect. My business isn’t perfect.

Don’t worry about building something perfect the first time.

Little flaws can actually make your designs stand out in a good way.

Keep your eyes on the main goal of your project and don't get too hung up on small stuff.

Zoom in on the most important parts of your design and go with your gut.

Get feedback from people you trust, like colleagues, clients, or mentors.

Hearing what others think can help you improve without freaking out about making everything perfect.


Be proud of what you've done, even if it's not 100% flawless.

Every project you do helps you grow, and getting there is as important as the end result.


The only comparison is you. Keep learning, growing and improving.


5) I can't charge higher fees

A classic.

I used to undervalue my services. I used to think that clients would not pay higher fees, which led to financial hardship.


Selling yourself short can mess up your finances, especially if you think clients won't pay more.

You've got to realize what you're really worth and not be shy about asking for it.


How do you do that?

First, get clear on what you bring to the table.

Look at your skills, your experience, and what sets your designs apart.

People are willing to pay for quality, so remember that when you set your rates.


Don't be just another option for clients. Make yourself the go-to expert.

Show off what makes you different and why people should pick you.

Talk about the unique benefits they'll get if they go with you.


When you're talking to clients, be upfront about what you offer and why it's worth it.

Tell them how your services will make their projects better.

Let them know why investing in good design is a smart move.


Ready to step it up?

Check out what others in your field are charging.

Set your rates to reflect the quality you offer but keep an eye on what the market can handle.

When you talk about money, be firm but fair.

Don't lowball yourself just to get work.

Aim for clients who get what you're worth and are willing to pay for it.


Asking for more money isn't about being greedy.

It's about growing your business in a way that'll last.

Your skills are valuable, and you should be paid accordingly.

By charging what you're worth, you'll draw in clients who respect your skills and are willing to pay for quality.

That's how you build a profitable architecture business.


My tip: Learn about Pricing to increase your fees

🎓 Anxious about setting your rates too high or too low? Find the sweet spot with the Sales – Pricing Challenge. Learn how to price your services in a way that's fair to you and attractive to clients. Stop leaving money on the table and start getting paid what you're worth.


6) I don't have time for self-care

Long work days and high-pressure projects lead me to neglect my well-being. I used to think I couldn't afford time for self-care. Until I suffered extreme burnout. I had to hit rock bottom.


Thinking you don't have time for self-care is a mistake a lot of us in architecture make.

It's bad for your well-being and can mess up your work and overall happiness too.


Understand that taking care of yourself isn't an extra.

It's a must for your physical and mental health.

Like you plan your projects, set aside time for yourself.

Start simple. Take short breaks to stretch or go for a walk.

These small moments can boost your focus and get more done.


Don't let work take over your life.

Finding a good work-life balance is key for long-term success.

Too much work can tire you out and make you less effective.


Find ways to relax and cut stress.

Do things you enjoy, hang out with people you care about, or try mindfulness.

Putting time into feeling good can recharge your creative batteries.


Don't skimp on sleep.

Good rest helps you think clearly and make better decisions.

Talk to people you trust when you're feeling overwhelmed.

It can take a load off and give you new ways to tackle your problems.


Taking care of yourself helps you be a better architect.

A well-balanced mind is:

  • clearer
  • more creative
  • tough & flexible


Self-care isn't just good for you. It's good for your career.

If you've ever felt run-down or overwhelmed, you're not alone.

I've been there.

Don't ignore your well-being.

Take care of your health, mate.


7) I'm too young / old to learn new skills

I sometimes resisted adopting new technologies or learning business skills. I used to think it was too early or too late to improve my knowledge.


Thinking you're too old to learn new stuff is just a mindset that can hold you back.

Architecture is changing fast: think AI, automation, what's hot in the market.

To stay in the game, you gotta keep up.

Still using AutoCAD? Time for an upgrade, buddy.


Here are 6 simple tips to get you going:


1 Age is just a number.

You've got experience and know-how that can be a strong base for learning new stuff.


2 Be open and ready to grow.

You can always learn and adapt, no matter what's changing in architecture.


3 Spend time getting to know new tech and trends.

Go to workshops, join online classes, and learn what's new out there.


4 Team up with younger folks or tech-savvy peers.

They can show you the ropes and help you get the hang of new skills and tools.


5 Keep it simple.

Break learning down into small, doable steps. Keep at it and you'll get there, age aside.


6 Pat yourself on the back.

Each new thing you learn makes you a better architect and opens new doors.

Celebrate every win, big or small.


Don't let age slow you down.

You're never too old to:

  • get better in your career,
  • boost your creativity,
  • and have a bright future in our fast-changing field.


Still think you're too old to learn?

Time to rethink that.


8) My ideas aren't as good as others

I had a feeling of inadequacy when comparing my work with that of other architects. Which led me to doubt myself and lose my self-confidence.


Thinking your ideas are less good than others can really mess with your creative mojo and slow you down in architecture.

Every architect sees the world in their own way.

Comparing yourself to others?

That's a creativity killer right there.


What can you do about it?

First, get it in your head that creativity is a personal thing.

There's no one-size-fits-all for what makes an idea great.

What you bring to the table is special, and that makes your work awesome in its own right.


Stop the compare game and focus on getting better.

Don’t stress about how your ideas stack up against others.

Just keep sharpening your skills and thinking outside the box.


Get feedback but make it work for you.

Don't see it as a thumbs down but as a way to make your work even better.

Take what people say and use it to fine-tune your ideas.


Architecture is a team sport.

Working with others can lead to some mind-blowing ideas and new ways of looking at things.

And hey, it's not just about other architects.

Get inspired by different fields like tech, movies, the web, sports, or travel.

Mixing it up can lead to some pretty epic stuff.


9) The market is too competitive

I believed the industry was oversaturated, making it difficult to stand out or find opportunities.

Thinking the architecture game is too crowded can really bum you out and stop you from chasing your dreams.

Listen, being a standout in any field is all about rocking what makes you unique and knowing where you fit in.


Still figuring out what makes you special?

Flip the script.

Stop seeing other architects as the competition and start seeing them as potential teammates.

Working together can give you all kinds of cool stuff to add to your portfolio.


Find your sweet spot in architecture.

What gets you pumped?

What are you really good at?

Once you've got that down, shape your services to hit the needs of the people you most want to work with.

So, instead of getting stuck in a "too many architects, too little work" mindset, go find your special sauce and team up with others to make something amazing.


My tip: Stand out from your competitors.

🎓 If you need help finding your Uniqueness, we can work on it with the Audience – Blue Ocean Strategy challenge, in order to find your differentiation on the market.


You've got this whole digital world at your fingertips, so use it to make some noise!

Get your portfolio online and keep your social media popping.

Show off what you've got to a crowd that stretches way beyond your zip code.


But hey, don't just rest on your laurels. Always be learning, man.

The industry's always coming up with new stuff, so stay in the loop.

Invest in yourself, sharpen those skills, and bring something fresh to the table.


And don't forget to mingle.

Networking isn't just schmoozing at boring events.

Hit up those workshops, conferences, and whatever else where you can meet people who get what you're all about.

Make those connections count.


Quit thinking the pie is too small.

There's enough success to go around, trust me.

Instead of looking at the market like it's some zero-sum game, see it as a playground with endless opportunities.


Wondering what makes you special?

Look, the thing that's gonna make you stand out is, well, YOU.

Your vibe, your passion, your all-nighters working on that insane design.

That's your secret sauce. So own it.

You do you and let that unique flair shine.

Trust me, people will notice.

Be different. Be unique.


10) I can't balance work and personal life

I worked long hours, and I had difficulty finding a balance between my professional and personal life, which led to burnout.


Let's face it, growing an architecture business is hard.

But that doesn't mean you can't find a work/life balance.

Believe it or not, you can have both success and sanity.

You just have to be smart with your time.


I've been there myself.

I know what it means to get lost in distraction.

You can read how I dealt with it and how I solved it.

My Personal Struggle With Distraction Cancer

It was basically tracking my progress and seeking accountability.


Try to work remotely.

You already know that we advocate the most flexible ways of working.

We love working remotely and moving from place to place.

You might be working from your regular office, or maybe with a bit more luck, from home.

I still recommend you to go work from a Coworking from time to time. Or from a coffee shop.

This will keep your brain from getting used to the same place, and you will be able to focus entirely on your tasks.


One last recommendation.

If you're stuck, ask for advice from mentors or peers who manage their work and life well.

A mentor can give you killer advice, help you steer clear of pitfalls, and offer a lot of support as you get to know the ins and outs of the business.

In my experience, having a business mentor from the get-go really helped.


Balancing work and life is a never-ending process.

It takes real effort and a promise to take care of yourself.

And yes, you can do it.

Architects can take care of themselves, do better at work, and have a good life in and out of the office.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Trust me, a recharged you is a more creative, problem-solving beast.

So give yourself permission to unplug and recharge.

You'll thank me later.


What did I learn?

Here are my top 3 tips for architects who want to overcome their beliefs:


1) You can learn business stuff

Don't be scared of the business part of being an architect.

Spend time learning about Marketing, Sales, and Sales.

Get comfortable and improve your relationship with money.

Then, show off what you can do to get good clients.


My tip: learn new business skills

🎓 Start building your architecture business with the Business Challenges. It will help you understand the basic business principles to start small and grow fast.


2) It's okay to change and get better

Nobody's perfect. Don't aim for perfection, just aim to get better.

See your mistakes and tough times as chances to grow.

And listen to what others say to make your work better.


3) Keep learning and take care of yourself

You're never too old to learn new stuff.

Stay curious and open to what's new out there.

Also, make time for yourself so you can stay happy, creative, and successful in the long run.



If you've read all this, I hope you're feeling a bit more confident about yourself.


Wish you all the best.

I hope to see you win.



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