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September 11, 2013

How Fear Can Kill Your Coding Career and How You Can Easily Overcome It

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It’s Really All About Fear, Isn’t It?

Today’s going to be a little tough I think… because today is about standing in front of the mirror a little bit. Let’s talk about fear. Let’s just put it on the table… you’re scared. It’s okay.

So am I… every day.

  • Scared you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing.
  • Scared somebody will find out.
  • Scared somebody will see your code and flame you into oblivion.
  • Scared you’ll wreck your client’s site.
  • Scared you’ll never get it figured out.
  • Scared you might break something.
  • Scared you might not be smart enough for this…

So, why am I bringing this up?

Because, the reality is… as a coder… fear is the one thing you’ll fight your entire career. At every level of mastery… there’s another level of mastery ahead of you that scares the s!@# out of you.

To be great, you have to get good at dealing with your fear. You have to figure out how to work through it and continue to push yourself anyway.

To take the client that scares the daylights out of you (what if I “f” it up?). To learn the skill you’re not sure you’re smart enough to figure out. To put your code out there to be mocked (and loved).

You have to do it.

If you can’t, quit now. It doesn’t get any easier. I promise.

BUT…

If you embrace and take it head on… you get better at dealing with it. The fear doesn’t go away, but how you handle it gets easier.

You get more confident. And, the conversations changes from “I have no idea how to do this, I don’t know where to start looking, I’ll never figure it out, my client will be pissed, they’ll tell everybody, the whole world will laugh at me, I will explode…”

Into…

“I have no idea how to do this, but I know I can figure it out”.

See the difference?

When I first started learning how to code, it scared the s!@# out of me. But, I said the two infamous words that have propelled me continually down this path and over every hurdle I encounter.

The two words I hope you’ll tell yourself when you feel that twinge of fear rising up telling you NOT to do whatever it is you really want to.

The two words (pardon my language here):

“Fuck it!”

Dumb? Maybe. But, try it. Things is, I know that fear hits you at times… so NEXT time just try it. Just say those two words to yourself and see how your attitude changes.

You might be surprised.

What About You?

Tell me why I’m wrong. Or, why I’m right. What has your experience shown you? Let me know in the comments below.

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