Competence Neverending

· Around 3 minutes

As I continue to progress through my career, one thing remains constant which is that I am very bad at phoning things in.

It’s not super often that I have to engage in business type meetings but this week is the rare exception.

While my manager is off on vacation, I’ll be presenting on what our team has been doing, with a particular focus on business value and storytelling.

I’ve actually does one of these before but coming around to it a second time, I have to ask myself: Why do I feel compelled to present something that’s high quality?

For the life of me, I can’t source it but I remember reading a comment about those with degrees and those without.

The commenter theorised that a big driving force for the mostly self-taught is that we value competency.

In fact, we don’t have anything but competency to fall back on as the ultimate measure of success so we’re always overly eager to knock things out of the park.

I don’t think avoiding failure would be quite the right way to frame it but more like avoiding mediocrity.

In some ways, you can even put a bit of a meta-spin on it where being open about shortcomings is to be above-average in transparency.

I’m sure this is also just echoes of my brief past in retail, as well as small town culture in general, where you’re taught that going above and beyond, even when it makes no logical sense, is virtuous.

Perfectionism really is a huge footgun though.

There are acres of things that I haven’t written down, both for myself or for my teammates, because I think about crafting this fancy document with great screenshots, and I’ll just take the concept and shove it right in your head, until the thought of all the work required becomes so overwhelming that you never sit down and commit.

My entire blog suffers from that a bit too, where I get it in my head that I’ll sit down and churn out a fully formed piece of writing in one go with no edits.

”Next time, I’ll take it slower and do a little bit each day”, I tell myself and this is, what, my 8th year of running this blog?

It will never cease to amaze me how obvious the answers to many of your own problems can be.

All the stuff I give out as advice, and all the things I inherently know are correct are just things that never seem to be enjoyable to do.

I wonder what the mechanism is. I’m sure it’s the same thing as when people say they hate doomscrolling but go back for more.

Not quite an addiction perhaps but like a never-ending false hope that next time will be different, if you just wish hard enough?

I swear I’ll go on holiday and take a break and go to bed earlier and relax more and this and that.

Anyway, I’m just rambling at this point but one silver lining is that as miserable as having a drive to do solid stuff is, you can always be relatively confident that it’ll all work out in the end.

You’re not quite sure how. Surely, luck will run out one of these days but I dunno, there hasn’t been a truly huge failure that I’ve run into.

There probably should be more to keep a healthy balance but there’s nothing wrong with being relatively comfy for a short period of time.

Consider this ramble to be a reminder to do something nice for yourself. Especially at random intervals so you don’t get complacent with it.

I certainly know I will forget as soon as I publish this!