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Roberto Hernandez
Roberto Hernandez

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Face your fears as Developer and get the best award

Have you ever asked yourself what scares you as a developer? If the answer is Yes, have you decided to really face and think about how to overcome those things that do not allow you to get your maximum potential, or are you still dealing with? I dare to say that for most of us the answer is NO and let me explain to you along with this post why we have to recognize, embrace and face ours fears as developers or human being, and the most important thing - get the best award after all. I am completely sure there is no battle without any rewards,  some of them you will conquer and you will learn from others instead.

Most of us have fears. why? Because all fears are learned. No one is born with fears, we grew up with them, Is that bad? NO, that is fine, the real struggle is how to face and unlearn them. Throughout my life and professional career, I have not met someone who is not scared to do things that terrify them and this has a scientific explanation. Our brain is designed to protect us from any kind of things that represent a danger for us so that every single time you want to do things that scare you your brain is going to act in a defensive way.

The purpose of this article is to encourage you to face your fears either as developers or in any other role you have, and demonstrate you that fears are not dangerous. I know is not an easy deal: public speaking, decide to start something challenging that is going to put you out there and get out of your comfort zone, overcome failure. As I mentioned earlier all of these fears were learned, hence, it is a good idea to start off unlearn them, the good news of this is that you are not only going to overcome them you will get the best award, at the end of the post you will finally understand what I am talking about.

Everyone, including me, are going to feel comfortable doing easy or well-known things as I mentioned above your brain does not let any pain and things that represent a danger for it,  so if you do an easy thing is good for it.

On the other hand, most of us are unwilling to do things hard such as challenging ourselves to learn something new in X period of time and share that progress to expose you out there, express a point of view when you know you are going to be judged, criticized or rejected. This happens because our world sees failure and make mistakes as synonyms of a dump, stupid or silly person.

The above is not real. Why? Just to bring a great fact of this, if we go back in history and we see the incandescent electric light bulb invention, created by Thomas Edison, he failed 10, 000 times before created it, any of us would have pointed him out as failed, to summarize this point, he said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".

After the prior huge introduction about fears, I would like to talk about some specific points and techniques you should be aware of and also apply to face your fears as a developer. I really do not like to talk about something I have not experienced firsthand, so my point of views and opinions are 80% of that and the rest is based on expert's opinion or articles on this matter.

New Challenges, same fears

Two months ago I started a new blank page in my life and career as a developer at a leading software development company, Applaudo Studios. The first day was great and challenging since one of my new coworkers invited me to play Smash video-game, I accepted but I was scared because I have never learned to play video games. I grew up out of the city, far away from that stuff so I never had the opportunity to do that, anyway, to refocus on my prior point again, I literally was sweating trying to hit whatever video-game control button that my fingers came across with. This is just to give an example of how sometimes fears and unknown things play against us. Just say to them, I am here to defeat you.

Fears are running you away from your goals

The borders of your comfort zone are patrolled by your fears - David Duchemin

There is a signal you are crossing your comfort zone is when you decide to face your fears. In the beginning is normal you feel overwhelmed, scared, but as American successful entrepreneur and speaker  Tom Bilyeu says the most important step to do something is just get started now, this implies to learn how to embrace and face those fears, little by little, the idea is to cross from your comfort zone into a discomfort zone here is when you will realize how you have progressed and not only you will have achieved overcome your fears but also have a story to count and inspire others to do the same. We are much better when having the ability to inspire others with our own story.

My goal as a developer is to be a new version as a developer every single day,  start being a beginner every morning, not because I am not good at dev until now; this a title I can not assign myself but also because I do not want to lose the hungry to learn and get better, so that, at the end of the day I want to become from version 1.0.1 to 1.0.2 of myself, this is not just what we do at work, actually I am talking in general terms, this includes side projects you never complete them, start to do courses to teach others, support others, comment on other posts, write technical posts, or whatever technical things that will challenge you. In my case, the biggest problem was fear was running me away to achieve the goal to write helpful stories based on my experiences and later soon technical posts. Coming soon!

Fears make us feel we are not prepared for something and nobody is willing to take the risk to put themselves out there. You realize and consider your skill-sets are not enough yet and this vicious circle never ends, it is a trap to continue putting off your great stuff and so is running you away from your goals.

Marissa Mayer former Yahoo CEO, in a CNN interview, said, "I always I did something I was not ready to do"

Self-awareness - Understanding where the fears come from 

For prescription, you have to know the diagnosis!

Along the way, I came across with different challenging moments, which have taught me how to become more and more strong and a better person with a self-awareness who I am now and who I want to become in the future. They have forced me to think in different ways, analyzing every single part of my behaviors and reactions, I know myself much better than yesterday, this means it is not a sprint is a marathon instead. In the beginning, was exaggeratedly painful face the fears to show my point of view, my opinion, speak in front of an audience. They are still there sometimes but I feel more comfortable to handle and send them to hell then because I am awareness where they come from

If you are able to understand the root of your fears I promise you will be able to conquer them. With this point I mean you need to know yourself, just ask the question I did at the beginning, what are my biggest fears? where they come from? Under which situations they come up?

For example, I did not like to ask other developers, because I thought the questions would be stupids. The reality was that I was losing the opportunity to learn and give a chance to make mistakes to learn from them. So I identified where they came from and overcome them, this does not mean I do not have fear, it represents a battle won.

Face fears and keeping alive

When you decide to face your fears, at that moment you are not choosing exist, you are choosing to live, is when you realized the flavor and the sauce of life, the excitement of being alive. As you face them you will experiment with different physiological changes, the nervous system will command to our body to release adrenaline and cortisol, as I mentioned before, they will trigger body changes the benefit of this is they remind us we are alive, it helps us to stay motivated, alert, and focused.

Pushing yourself to face fears even just a little it will give you a glimpse into your true potential. Probably you and I have lived in doubts of our dev skills, trying to be perfectionists on what we do as developers. What is the feeling when you are trying to figure out a coding problem in front of an audience? This special moment is challenging and exciting at the same time, to this I call, this is LIVING!

You are not defined by your fears

The fact you have either few or a lot of fears does not mean they define your life a lot less they do define who you really are. I remember when I started to study English on my own, I set the first big challenge, the biggest at that moment in my life, 90DaysEnglishChallenge  I invite you to take a look, since my English is not my first language, I had a goal, it improved against the odds, I remember I was terrified and scared to it.

Now I see it and of course, I see a lot of mistakes but I also see myself committed and with a great attitude facing the fear of exposing myself out, we need to be mindful and left to think that fear defines our life.

Unfortunately in some cultures, when you want to show up to the rest and show your dev skills and work, your web applications ideas, your projects, your thoughts, just after it you do it is going to come up with a person who is waiting for your first mistake to be criticized and judged you. it must be because of that we are not able to discover our real talent and grow as others around the world do. So now you not only have to struggle with your brain but also struggle with that bad feeling caused by criticism and judging.

Attack your fears, dancing with them

"If you stumble make it part of the dance"

Fears are inevitable,  it's going to take a life to unlearn them, so when they come up, attack them frontally, relax your horses and invite them to dance with you. This is not going to achieve overnight, of course, you will have to work little by little as mentioned earlier in this post.

With this point I want to convince you to embrace them when they come up, I will devote a complete post to know how systematically we can overcome.

Appreciate your courage and reward yourself after a battle

Having the courage is not an easy task, so that appreciate that courage, motivating yourself every single day to continue on that way, feel good you tried it, this is going to become in the gas you need to keep it up. Moreover, award yourself after face a fear or win that battle, do not underestimate that every battle counts to win the war.

So wait, and the best award?

After all prior things. what is the best award I will get?. As the fear fly away you will have the power and ability to face even stronger fears, at that time you will be stronger, much happier and more convinced that no matter what is in front of you, you have the ability to face them.

Do not be scared to show what you know so far as a developer I think out there always there is someone waiting for that knowledge no matter if is basic or advanced. Sum up I am completely aligned to the "fail, fail but fail fast" philosophy. At the end of all, you will be turning from one version to a new one of yourself.

The best award is that you will become every time a better version of yourself as a developer, a better human being, a better friend, a better dad, a better professional, what are you waiting for to change of version?

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