As a programmer, it's easy to be paralyzed with lack of confidence in your skills. Instead: solve problems, add value, keep learning.
— Luke Stokes (@lukestokes) July 1, 2013
By Tuesday, I was surprised to see new retweets and favorites still coming in. I struck a nerve. Over 200 retweets in less than two days!
And before you ask, no, I haven't yet received a check from Twitter. I, like many, have often wondered what it would be like to watch a 140-character idea populate the interwebs. Contrary to popular belief, it didn't change my life. I still have to go to work and do my best to build awesome.
The past few days, I've been thinking about this tweet and why it resonated with so many people. I've sent over 12k tweets and never received this response.
I'm part of a master mind group of 12 individuals who meet every Wednesday morning. At the recommendation of Jeff Goins, we recently read The Icarus Deception. Building art is hard, and whether or not we want to admit it, we're all artists in some way. The deception is we'll fly too high and endanger our wax wings. We forget how the parable also warns us of flying too low to the water.
If you're read authors like Seth Godin or Steven Pressfield, you're already familiar with the concept of the Lizard Brain and the Resistance. The voices in your head telling you you're a fraud. Telling you you'll never succeed. Trying to convince you you never really grew up and you're just a kid pretending to be an adult.
You're insecure. So are those around you. Even the prideful, arrogant ones. That might not be obvious, but I believe it's true. They are often the ones trying harder than anyone to prove their worth. Man-pleasing, insecurity, and pride often work closely together. They are all trying to handcuff you.
So what can you do about it? Admit it. Understand how it works against you and work out a solution. The insecurity holding us back is, at its very core, basically a lie.
Insecurity: the state of being subject to danger or injury.If your next project is a total failure, will you really be in physical danger? Will you really be injured? The answer (for most professions, anyway) is no. And yet, we still believe the lie.
Admit the weakness. Understand how it prevents you from moving forward and discredit the lies it is based on. Once you can do that, you can create a path towards incredible success.
Along the way, you will fail. If you intend to be great, you will fail a lot. Use each failure to strengthen your mental and emotional muscles. Remind yourself you're not in physical danger and the fear you felt in the beginning was in fact a lie. Celebrate each small step of progress and learn from your mistakes. This is what great men in history have always done.
"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." Thomas A. EdisonStart today.
As Jon Acuff would say, Punch Fear in the Face. Admit your insecurities, understand how lies limit you, and move beyond them. No one can give you permission to be great but you. When you believe it, even just a little bit, you'll start doing great things. Stay humble and hungry and there's nothing you can't accomplish.
Within your profession, what fears paralyze you?