Comfort zone and impostor feelings (in the snow)

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In this 40+ minute walk I talk about how we think of our self in relation to things we are familiar with and others that remain unknown to us. Fundamentally, the idea is how we rationalise our inhibitions as the best we could ever get. The talking points in outline:

  • I started thinking about the comfort zone and impostor feelings after I received an award from the Free Software Foundation for my contributions to Emacs and free software.
  • How can someone with my non-technical background make contribute to a technical milieu?
  • How can someone get out of their comfort zone and basically declare in public β€œhey, I do not actually know this!”?
  • The basic idea that helped me overcome my fears is to entertain the worst case scenario. What could possibly go wrong if I am incompetent in my technical endeavours? The answer usually is that nothing major will happen and we are misjudging the extent of the issue.
  • Explanation of the tension that arises between our actual imperfections and the pretences on faultlessness that we have.
  • At its core, we base our conduct on the lie that we can be something other than a human: a fallible being.
  • The comfort zone can be a prison cell. We may be treating the realm of the familiar as the realm of the good.
  • To escape from that cage is to allow yourself the chance to learn more about who you are and what this world has to offer.
  • To start working against our inhibitions we must lift the burden of perfection from our shoulders. We admit to our humanity, to our actuality, and thus accept that mistakes and omissions are part of what we do.
  • No-one who has ever said or done anything has been perfect. No expert is omniscient. If we were to take the view that we need to be perfected before doing something, then we will all do nothing.
  • Talk about my caricature of the world into introverts and extroverts and how that funny yet truthful insight helped me stop overthinking my fears.
  • Change happens in a stepwise fashion. We have to take it slow, focusing on the immediate task at hand and not worrying about the end goal.
  • Ultimately, we must put faith in the process.