Confidence is often used as an artificial bluff, to help us feel less dread of failure. But this is problematic; when we put blinders on, we don't prepare adequately, often leading to blame-shifting and other techniques to maintain an inflated sense of confidence. Instead, choose bravery - the willingness to act in the face of uncertainty.
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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Self-confidence is not the key to your success. In today's episode, we're going to talk about this very often misunderstood idea and what we can replace our misguided self-confidence with. My name is Jonathan Cutrell. You're listening to Developer Tea and my go on the show is to help driven developers like you find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. Self-confidence. This is very often the route that people believe they need to travel to win an interview, to impress someone, to succeed on a project, to be wildly self-confident and to act in a way that reflects that. So just for the sake of putting some boundaries on what we're talking about here, being self-confident or having confidence is believing that your efforts will produce success. It's believing that you have the right skills, the right ideas, the right talent, whatever it takes to succeed, you have it. And this particular concept, this particular trait is something that goes wildly wrong far too often. The average person is overly self-confident. What does that mean? It means that they believe that they can do successfully more than they really can. We might be tempted to hear this and dial it way back down, try to bias in the other direction and believe that we can't do very much. This might lead us to some kind of apathy or pessimism. That is not the goal, that's not the intent of what I'm telling you today. The truth is when we are overconfident, we don't take the time to prepare. We don't consult other people as often. We may be more reckless feeling invincible. We don't seek out the information that we need to seek out, which means that we rarely have to face being wrong. Until of course, it's too late. Once we've failed at something, it's easy also to, in retrospect, imagine that something else caused the failure. I want to give you an alternative way to avoid both overconfidence and avoid beating yourself up. We'll do that right after we talk about today's sponsor, Launch Darkly. Today's episode is brought to you by Launch Darkly. Software powers the world. Launch Darkly empowers all teams to deliver and control their software. DevOps and feature management are reimagining how we build and release new products. On November 9th and 10th, Launch Darkly is hosting the TREJECTRY Conference 2021. It's a two day event for software innovators who want to break orbit, not systems. TREJECTRY is a fully virtual conference that focuses on technology, people, and processes. They continuously deliver better user experiences and more powerful software. You can register for free today at www.tREJECTRYCOMF.COM. Thanks again to Launch Darkly for sponsoring today's episode of Diffel Perti. What is the alternative to confidence? Confidence is, by the way, not necessarily a bad thing on its own. In fact, confidence becomes the byproduct of experience and research. It becomes the byproduct of talking to other people to help you get a better perspective. It becomes the byproduct of iteration. But, in the face of uncertainty, we shouldn't manufacture confidence. This is what leads to problems. And we also shouldn't avoid gathering confidence, because this also leads to problems. What should we do instead? In the face of uncertainty, we need to learn to be brave. This word is not really thrown out very often when we're talking about your job search or presenting yourself in front of a group of investors. Because bravery seems to be more of a concept for fairy tales. We think of heroes as brave, because they're willing to step in front of a sword. They know the possibility of danger. When we act confidently and only confidently, we are defying the idea that the danger exists. We're much more likely to learn, and also much more likely to seek out information that will help us along the way if we replace our artificial confidence with bravery. What is the difference here? Just to be clear, when we talk about bravery, we talk about being willing to act in the face of danger, in the face of odds that are against you, in the face of most importantly, uncertainty. Very rarely in your career, are you going to be in any real, true danger? But most of the time, every day, in fact, we face an amazing amount of uncertainty. And so the important trait to carry into the situations of uncertainty is willingness to act. That important trait is bravery. This shift might seem subtle, but the mindset of being willing to step into an uncertain situation is very different from the mindset of believing for whatever reason, whether you have good evidence to back it up or not, that you're invincible. Instead of saying, I think we can get through this, you might instead say, we are absolutely willing to try. And this willingness to try is enduring. It's not something that will dissipate in the face of failure. And this is what marks bravery differently from confidence. Bravery continues to exist and survive even in the face of failure, whereas confidence is deflated in the face of failure. In your conversations with your coworkers, especially if you are a manager, start to shift your language away from artificial confidence towards bravery, willingness to act in the face of uncertainty. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to launch it darkly. You can register to be a part of trajectory conference. That's at www.tudectricconf.com. That's a free conference on November 9th and 10th. Thanks again, www.tudectricconf.conf.com. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Developer Tea. If you enjoyed this conversation and you'd like to hear more of this kind of discussion, this is the kind of thing that we talk about in the Developer TDS court. Head over to developertea.com slash discord. Thank you again to everyone who has taken the time to rate and review this podcast. If you haven't taken the time to do that, of course, would appreciate if you take the time. While you're listening to the end of this episode, right now you can pull out your podcasting app, whatever thing you're using likely has some kind of rating and review system. Thanks again for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.