high standards


Battle of the Spas: Which of Paris’ 8 Palace-Hotels Tops Our List?

Paris isn’t like any other city when it comes to hotels. For instance, a privileged handful (eight so far) have received the very sought-after ‘palace’ distinction. While all the hotels have very high standards, we’re leaving it to the guests to decide on which is the best – however, what we do want to know is which of Paris’ palace hotels has the best spa. So we tried them all. Read more >

#90 Confidence is a main ingredient of success.

One of the easiest things you can do is doubt yourself. When you doubt yourself, there are no longer expectations. If you think you can’t do something, then aren’t able to do it, it doesn’t really matter because you just proved yourself right.

Your perspective, or sometimes called “outlook on life” will determine your reality. Here are some THOUGHT FORMULAS I have recognized over the years relating to how people think + the outcome of that mentality:


You don’t think you can do it,

and you don’t try to do it.

= Nothing Happens

You don’t think you can do it,

you try anyway, and you fail.

= You won’t try again.

You don’t think you can do it,
you try anyway, and you succeed.

= Surprising Victory. You might not try again because you knew it was an accident. (Sometimes your mentality changes because now you know you are capable of doing it.)

But this puts you in the next section:


You know you can do it,

and you don’t try to do it.

= You’re cocky

You know you can do it,

you try it, and you fail.

= You will try over and over again, because you know you will eventually get it right, because you know you’re capable. (Sometimes your outlook changes though and brings you into the NEGATIVE MENTALITY.)

You know you can do it,
you try it, and you succeed.

= You will look for another challenge and continue progressing.

Of course we know that everyone thinks differently, and putting the thoughts of society at large would be impossibly complicated, but you get the general idea. If you have a positive mentality, you are going to be more encouraged to succeed and continue.

I know, (Good lordy, trust me I know), that this is easier said than done, but if you at least KNOW that your mentality should be positive you can work towards building your confidence because you know it is good for you.

A great way to stay confident, even through adversity is to follow these rules:

1. Don’t take things so personally

We get caught up so heavily, especially in the design world, with what people say or think about our work that we think they are talking about US DIRECTLY. If you are not good at drawing, you are still a good person. You just have to get better at drawing. Take critique and criticism as helping you get better and do your best to decipher between good criticism and bullshit remarks. Realize that people, ESPECIALLY TEACHERS…. let me repeat… ESPECIALLY TEACHERS, are not good at teaching and will try to belittle you instead of giving constructive feedback.


There are a lot of great teachers out there, but not everyone can be amazing at what they do. When you’re feeling attacked, just do your best to take the essence of what they’re telling you and say, “Ok cool, I’ll work on it.” Then actually work on it. :)

2. Find the good in what you do.

Saying, this sucks, I am terrible at this, I will never be any good, is never going to get you anywhere. While it is important to acknowledge your weaknesses, you should also look at your strengths. Having confidence in yourself will come from being comfortable with your abilities, and also being comfortable with patting yourself on the back. 

(Remember, there is also a fine line between CONFIDENCE and ARROGANCE, and the difference is honestly HOW you pat yourself on the back; On the inside or On the outside. Let your actions show your confidence on the outside, let the voice inside your head do the talking on the inside.)

3. High Standards, Low Expectations

When I teach, I talk about this all of the time. Your standards should be as high as you can set them. I usually look at the people who are the best in the world, including through all of history, and I set my standards ABOVE what they have accomplished.

Insane right?

But then my expectations are low. If I do not reach my goals right away I do not give up or even get upset. I just keep going until my goals are reached. Make your long term goals SUPER high, and your short term goals smaller as you make your way towards the larger goals.

If you always have high expectations, and expect that you’re going to always do amazing, you’re in for a lot of disappointment. Because trial and error EXISTS and it usually what makes the greatest things in the world. So let your STANDARDS be high, as high as you can imagine, but don’t expect anything until you make it happen.

I have been getting a lot of messages lately about being unconfident, hopefully this will give you a little more guidance on your journey towards being a more confident designer. 

Just keep at it, you have a lot of awesome left to do.  :)


- Mark, tipsforarchitectureschool