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Witness Protection Program

Published 3/15/2019

In today's episode, we're talking about trusting yourself to know what you want on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This episode will challenge you to trust yourself when you get feedback to make a confident decision that builds on your personal growth and development.

Today's Episode is Brought To you by: Linode

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Do you trust yourself? Not in the sense that you believe that you're right about everything, or even the idea that you have some kind of special intuition or got feeling that is usually right? That's not the kind of trust that we're talking about here. Do you trust yourself to know what you want? To know what you want to become? That's what we're talking about in today's episode. My name is Jonathan Cutrell. You're listening to Developer Tea. This show exists to help driven developers find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. One of the things that developers face on a day-to-day basis, no matter how experienced they are, is the glaring blind spots, the obvious places where they're wrong, where they have main mistakes. These mistakes are unforgiving, often cold, and usually we can see them in black and white. A lot of the time, when we find a mistake that we've made, it's not because of some incredibly deep technical reason. Usually the mistakes that we make are simple. They're straightforward. We make spelling mistakes, or we don't run our tests right. Maybe we use an API wrong, or maybe it's pure negligence. If you have committed one of these terrible crimes as a developer, you may feel a sense of self-judgment that somehow you're not cut out for this. This is a form of imposter syndrome. It's fed by the idea that good developers wouldn't have done what you did. Good developers wouldn't have made the mistakes that you made. This is a particularly difficult form of imposter syndrome because you're not wrong in that you made a mistake. You're not wrong in that it would be ideal if you had caught that mistake. It's easy to extrapolate from that information that suddenly, now that you have made a mistake, that you supposedly shouldn't have made, that you're not cut out for this for whatever reason. But I want to challenge you in today's episode to trust yourself, specifically to trust yourself to understand how you can improve. The reality is in our day-to-day work as developers, we get a lot of feedback. Most of us do. We get feedback from our coworkers, from our code, from our managers, and all of this feedback is incredibly important. But ultimately, we have to decide what we're going to do with it. And we have to decide who we are going to be. We're going to take a quick sponsor break and then I'm going to come back and walk you through a basic exercise that kind of puts you in the right frame of mind to think about this, to think about how you can start perceiving yourself a little bit differently than you have before. Today's episode is sponsored by Linode. With Linode, you can instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. You can get a server running in just a few seconds with your choice of Linux distribution, resources, and node location. Linode is now offering dedicated CPU instances. These are designed for a consistent, high-performing computing needs like video encoding, game servers, and just busy application servers. You can get started with $20 worth of free credit. That's $20 for free. And you can build almost anything on Linode. $20 is going to get you four months, four months on the Linode's entry plan that's $5 a month normally. And with $20 worth of credit, you get four months. That's basic math, right? But beyond that, let's say that you decide to scale up an application with Linode. You're only going to pay for what you use with hourly billing across all the plans and all of their add-on services. You can pick from any of the nine worldwide data centers, and that's soon to go to 11. They're opening two more data centers in Canada and India this year. Go and check out what Linode has to offer. Head over to Linode.com slash Developer Tea, and use the code Developer Tea2019 at checkout for $20 worth of credit. Again, that's Developer Tea 2019. Thanks again to Linode for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. Many of you who are listening to this episode right now are fraught with anxiety with uncertainty and fear. With a doubt that maybe you're not totally cut out for this, or maybe that last mistake was the last straw. Or maybe you're not going to be able to grow in the position that you're in, and you're just going to stagnate. Many developers are looking for jobs, and you feel like you're never going to be able to find one. A lot of aspiring developers are uncertain what technologies to pick or what they should do next. We're going to do a very simple exercise in today's episode. It's kind of a visualization exercise. I want you to engage with this whenever you are not engaging anything else. If you're listening to this while you're working, either take a couple minutes break or pause this episode, save it for when you can focus totally on the exercise. Otherwise, you just can't really get a lot out of it. So the exercise is simple. First, find somewhere where you don't have anybody looking on, so you don't feel uncomfortable or exposed to the world in any way. And eliminate as many distractions as you can. And what I want you to do is imagine that you went into something like a witness protection program. And in this program, of course, you're going to totally wipe away your old identity. All of the people that you know now no longer will you know them. Your life is going to kind of start from scratch. Now, imagine that this doesn't have a negative impact on your relationships with your family or anything. Just imagine that you're basically in this program and give yourself a wide window, like a 10-year window that you're going to be in this program, this witness protection program. Now, the reason that we want to eliminate all of your relationships is because this is going to force you to imagine that you have no expectations placed on you, but the ones that you place on yourself. From this vantage point, I want you to think about those expectations that you would place on yourself. You're building your life from scratch without anybody's input with no, you know, degrees that you have no job history, nothing is established in your life. You get to decide all of those details. How would you write it? What responsibilities would you want to take on? What kind of words would you want the new people that you interact with to describe you with? Imagine a handful of adjectives that you would like people to describe you with. What kind of activities would you participate in? What kind of job would you have? If you're a developer, what kind of work are you doing? You can imagine even down to the very specific things like what kind of clothes do you wear in music to listen to? And you can take this exercise as deep or shallow as you want. You can ask yourself questions like what do you believe? So you may be wondering why are we doing this exercise in the first place? And the reality is very simple. The exercise allows us to imagine a world where we don't have any particular social consequences. No constructs that we have to fit inside, nothing that we have to maintain consistency with. Something that we previously were, we no longer have to maintain that consistency. We are kind of freed up from it. We're freed up from the social expectations, we're freed up from our self-expectations, and we can kind of build from the ground up. Now why is this important? Well, a lot of those desires for consistency that we have are not necessarily based in something rational. It's not necessarily healthy, for example, for you to always play the role of antagonist in conversations. But if you normally play the role of antagonist in conversations, then you may feel out of place, or like people are going to judge you negatively for acting differently. These roles that we set up for ourselves and these commonly worn paths that we take, we have to trust ourselves in finding the paths that we no longer want. The things that we no longer want to be true about ourselves, about our surroundings, about our lives, these changes can motivate us to become the people that we really actually want to be. And I want to be painfully clear here that we're not talking about you envisioning your life as a billionaire. And suddenly, just because you did this exercise, you have that capability now. That's not the goal of this. Instead, the goal is to help you uncover places where you created these artificial boundaries for yourself, these artificial roles, artificial expectations. And instead, a line with something that is deeper that's derived out of kind of a pure expression of what you care about, what you want. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. I do hope that this was challenging and truly difficult, because this kind of exercise is intended to kind of jump over some laws that we're going to be trying to do. And hopefully, I'll give you a moment where you can look back and say, wow, this specific moment, this thought has really motivated even a small change in your life. That's the goal of this episode. And really, ultimately, the goal of this show. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. If you haven't yet subscribed and you found today's episode valuable, encourage you to subscribe and whatever podcasting app you're listening to right now. Thank you again to Leno for sponsoring today's episode. Head over to linnow.com slash Developer Teato get started today. Use the code Developer Tea2019. That's Developer Tea 2019. Check out this show wouldn't be possible without the spec network. Head over to spec.fn to find other shows created specifically to help designers and developers level up in their careers. A huge thank you to today's show producer Sarah Jackson. Thank you so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.