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Christopher J Bednar Jr
Christopher J Bednar Jr

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Society values expertise, not intelligence

We often avoid things that are hard because they make us feel stupid. To make matters worse, some people grow up being told that they are smart, which creates an identity in their mind about the fact that they are smart.

Nonetheless, when you are faced with a challenging task, you procrastinate and/or avoid facing these difficult things. And you avoid these things because they make you feel dumb.

You can re-frame this. You aren't "dumb" or "stupid." You are simply inexperienced. And to become experienced, you need to, you guessed it, gain experience. You do this by facing challenging tasks.

This mindset turns something negative ("Wow, I feel stupid") to a positive thing ("I'm learning from experience"). What society values is not intelligence. Society values expertise.

I think the biggest indicator of this in my own life is my software development skills.

I feel dumb a lot of time. I don't know everything and constantly face things that I don't know. But you know what? 5 years ago, something that would make me struggle for hours (and sometimes days) is second nature to me now.

It's like I'm climbing a mountain, and all I can see is the fact that I'm not at the top and have a long way to go.

But if you turn around and look down the mountain, you'll see just how much you've already climbed... You are not at the bottom of the mountain by any means.

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