Believe in Yourself

How do Tech Pro’s Overcome Self Doubt?

One of the first things you may notice in people working in the tech sector is their striking lack of confidence. Though it manifests itself in many ways, most of the behavior issues outsiders believe IT and Cybersecurity people exhibit stem from a fundamental lack of confidence.

After 40+ years working in the tech space of several industries as a “Geek”, I can say for certain the most common trait IT and Cybersecurity professionals share is a lack of confidence.  Some mask their lack of confidence with arrogance, some with 37 reasons why any proposal won’t work.  They simply don’t believe in themselves.

And why shouldn’t we be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs? Our technical knowledge and the very foundations of what we do every day seemingly crumbles with each new technological innovation. How would you feel if suddenly everything you know has become outdated?

Of course, there are the exceptions that prove the rule.  There are some technical personnel that do not have the arrogance or the insecurity.

A Problem You Can Solve

What can be done to change this behavior? How can we help anyone with a lack of confidence turn the tables and become a person full of confidence?  You see the same characteristics in athletes. How do elite athletes defeat the little voices inside their heads telling them they aren’t good enough?  The Roman philosopher Seneca gave us this, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Simple answer, training and practice will, over time, give you all the “luck” you need. Sitting around feeling like a failure or feeling like something is too complicated for you is self-defeating behavior.

If you’re in the tech sector and you’re feel like an imposter you probably don’t know enough about what you’re doing to understand how you could accomplish your task on time and under budget. To correct this, you must make a change.

The change has to be in yourself.  Change begins within!  You need to understand that you can accomplish anything.  You have the will and the intellect you need to get there from here. No matter what anyone tells you.

 

People will constantly tell you that you can’t do something because they don’t want you to succeed or fail. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it.  The first stems from either their fear you will surpass them or their fear of change. The second comes from a place of caring, caring that you won’t fail and possibly be hurt by your failure.

The Solution is Yours for the Taking

Belief in yourself stems from a place of knowledge and certainty that is developed by a combination of education, training, and practice.   It doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or a geek, the three components will get you any place you want to go.

Think of an elite athlete prepping for a game or a match.  They are going to find out everything they can about their sport, the location the contest will be held and their opponent or opponents.  These athletes study everything about themselves and their sport.  They will train with experts to hone their skill and then practice the lessons their experts give them until they get it right.  Professionals continue to practice until they can’t get it wrong.  They work on a level of excellence that will maximize their probability of winning.

If you want to believe in yourself, work on yourself.

What Do You Need to Succeed?

To succeed in the tech sector, you must be a continuous learner. That means you are going to be studying something about your craft every single day.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes.

You will also need a plan!  What is it you wish to master, Python, DNS, AD, Linux, Kubernetes, AWS, Azure, or Windows? It doesn’t matter what it is you wish to master you’re going to have to put in the time to allow you to initially master the technology.  Then you must keep learning to stay up to date with the evolution of your technology stack.  Technology is ever changing.

Invest in Yourself

Someone will have to pay for the education and training to get you to the initial level of mastery.  It would be great is we could count on the companies we work for or our families to pay for all the education and training we need in the tech sector. That’s probably not going to happen. We must be ready to invest in ourselves.

We need to be ready to pay for our education, certification, and any ongoing training if we are going to keep up. If we’re going to get ahead, we have to add an additional layer of hands-on work.  What does that mean? Simply put, we must be able to answer the question, “What’s on your home network?” We must take the time to build our own technology stack that we can experiment with and learn on at home.  Hands on gives us a level of knowledge that’s practically impossible to get any other way.

Conclusion

Believing in yourself is a superpower.  One you can develop by simply focusing on your objective.  What is it you want to be in the tech space? Whatever it is, you’ll get there is you get training and then practice what you’ve learned.  If the company you work for won’t pay for training, you need to seriously consider investing in yourself and your future by paying for it out of your own pocket.

If the company you work for won’t pay for training, but they will pay for your education, there are numerous colleges that have training course and even certification courses as college classes.  You get a degree and several certifications in the process.

Once you have the training, keep practicing. Taking certification exams is easy if you have a lab set up in your home. With the IoT proliferation we’re seeing these days, it should be easy to turn your home into a working lab.  A word of caution, make sure you aren’t going to shut off the whole house with one of your lessons or experiments.  Of course, if you do manage to shut down something you shouldn’t, that’s an excellent learning experience!

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