... I wanted to be able to change things. Finding out how to do things, empowers you to actually do things. This - of course - is not only true for coding :) But for me it was for sure the key booster to even start coding. I continue, because I love doing it. It is very satisfying to create things, on one hand by simply knowing how to make the computer/compiler/interpreter understand what I want, and on the other hand to have the freedom to find creative solutions for complex problems.
... a phase of telling myself that I would be too stupid and too unexperienced to compete with my super-skilled colleagues. Good luck for me that I have colleagues around that helped me convince myself of the opposite. Everybody once was a learner. Actually you never stop being a learner. Once you acknowledge that, you will also never stop wondering. Just explore!
... nothing, really! I am not very comfortable with bragging and I don't think that it is necessary to make people understand and value your contribution :)
... help them not to be underestimated, help them to be taken serious. Help them not to underestimate themselves, too.