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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Fear of Being Discovered

It does­n't mat­ter what I am do­ing, be it work, a hob­by, or just talk­ing, I have a con­stant fear, in the back­ground pro­cess­es of my mind, that I will be dis­cov­ered, that I will be found to be a hack, a fraud, a con­man.

It does­n't mat­ter if I am ac­tu­al­ly a hack at what I am do­ing at the time, or if it's some­thing I am re­al­ly good at, or if it's some­thing that's im­pos­si­ble to be a fraud at. That lit­tle voice of in­se­cu­ri­ty is there, all the time, say­ing "they'll fig­ure you out, they'll know, they'll re­al­ize you are full of crap".

I know, ra­tio­nal­ly, that I don't re­al­ly suck at most of the things I do, and those I suck at, I could do bet­ter, be­cause I al­so have this oth­er ir­ra­tional voice telling me I can do pret­ty much ev­ery­thing. I won­der if those voic­es are the same thing, or if they are like the dev­il and an­gel in my shoul­der­s.

Be­ing an in­tro­vert means I don't want to be shown as a hack, so I try to do things well, so I am not re­al­ly a hack, so I am not shown as a hack. If I am con­sis­tent­ly not a hack, I get in­sane­ly con­fi­dent that I can do stuff I re­al­ly can't do, be­cause I am a hack at those.

I speak in con­fer­ences, which for an in­tro­vert is dif­fi­cult, but since I don't want to be a hack, I try to fig­ure out how to do it, and it seems I am not bad at it, but be­fore I do it, ev­ery time, I feel like a hack, I know I should have done my slides ear­lier, I should have re­hearsed, I should know what I am go­ing to say, and I did­n't, could­n't, don't.

When­ev­er I have a prob­lem and google and see my own ear­li­er fum­blings ap­pear as re­sult­s, I won­der if that's ac­tu­al­ly the lev­el of knowl­edge out there, if ev­ery­one else is as much of a hack as I am, and I de­spair. Then I try to fig­ure things out and do it bet­ter, and prob­a­bly stop be­ing a hack for a lit­tle bit.

I am an en­gine fu­eled by in­se­cu­ri­ty and neu­ro­sis. It's ex­haust­ing. It's a lot of fun.

Nicola Larosa / 2012-12-15 19:58:

"That little voice of insecurity is there, all the time" I used to hear it too. It's gone a while ago. I barely remember how it is.
"I also have this other irrational voice telling me I can do pretty much everything." That one has always been there. I think it's not going away. I like it. It doesn't mean I *will* do everything but yes, I feel I can. It's a nice feeling.
"I am an engine fueled by insecurity and neurosis. It's exhausting. It's a lot of fun." Yes, it is. :-) However, we're not going to save the world. We're not going to ruin it either. We'll all die sooner than we wish to. It's going to be ok, relax. (The only good thing CouchDb had going. :-) ).

Jake / 2013-01-09 20:06:

You will feel better when you read this:
You don't know how many people I've met, that are unconsciously incompetent.
That means, their level of knowledge is so low, that they are not able to see their shortcomings. For the people around them I think it's pretty dangerous at times, since they get advice from a guy that gives the impression of knowing his stuff 100% while knowing nothing. You seem to fall into one of the later categories of the wiki article, your knowledge makes you realize your shortcomings, and thus gives you insecurity.
Funy isn't it? Stupid people feel great and invincible, smart guys doubt their powers and try to hide.