So the other morning I received my official invitation to Tech Field Day 19 in Silicon Valley, June 26th through the 28th. This official email set my Imposter Syndrome (from now on known as IS since I’m a lazy typist) into over drive, all while sitting in San Diego getting ready to participate in a Cisco thing that already had my IS on edge. There are few things on the planet that warrant this kind of reaction in the technology world, but this is on the list.
A little history for those who haven’t read the past 18 months of my ramblings.
I’m a Two Way Radio guy by trade, got into Wi-Fi because I was “bored” and just over 2 years ago, was introduced to a greater online technology community. In the interim 2 years, I became more involved in the Wi-Fi community, started to get certifications, and last year was invited to Mobility Field Day 3. Before that invitation, I knew about Tech Field Day the same way we know about most things. We know it exists, every once in a while it pops up on the radar, but not really sure about the greater community that lives behind it.
With some trepidation, I made my way to San Jose in September of 2018 to attend my first event, the aforementioned Mobility Field Day 3. If you have never attended any Tech Field Day event, it can be a little unnerving honestly. You find yourself hanging out with people you have only read about and listened to (or watched) online in podcasts or video blogs. Then you find yourself sitting next to them, with a dedicated microphone snaked down your shirt, a camera that will spin around to face you when you talk, being broadcasted on the Internet in real time, while a vendor presents their new tech and ideas. All while a bunch of people watch you live. I think it’s worse than being on TV since the people watching KNOW when you mess up or ask a dumb question.
Imposter Syndrome? Yea, that’s a poster child for Imposter Syndrome right there my friends.
Now, to top it all off, they have invited a wireless guy (“mobility” is the new term I guess) to go sit with a bunch of smart techy people and do the same thing again. Yea, that’s a little unnerving.
Why do it you ask?
Cause I know what Imposter Syndrome is. I also know that people that I hold in the highest regard also suffer from IS. These are people that teach classes that others pay for and they worry about it. I do it because I know that having a little fear is healthy. It keeps us sharp, keeps us on our game, and forces us to continue to work hard. If you stop having IS, then maybe you should re-evaluate your commitment to your craft. Maybe one day you won’t worry about being found out as a fraud, but you should always worry about being the best. Worry about keeping up to date, worry about learning more than you know today. When IS gets to the point you can’t function, then ask for help. Ask me, ask on social media, ask a medical professional. (Maybe run that list in reverse order, I’m probably not the best at this!)
If you managed to make it the 500 plus words to get to this point, and have never heard of Imposter Syndrome, I have to say that I am truly sorry. Once I heard about it (from the people I hold in high regard) I was finally able to put a name to what I felt. I might not know how to solve it, but having a name helps. I was also able to learn what it is, and how many people it affects. I’ve seen countless other blogs about it, I have seen articles on LinkedIn about it, I even saw it referenced in a documentary on called “The Gentleman Driver“. While it doesn’t solve my issues, at least I get to talk about it.
Talking about it is a good thing, since I like to talk and being on some of these adventures require that I do some talking. Sometimes it helps if I even sound intelligent about it!
As part of writing this, and to feel like I did something other than ramble on about nothing, I found some more information about Imposter Syndrome. To quote a “mentor” of mine, I turned to the source of all knowledge on the Internet, Wikipedia, and found this. In order to have a little fun, and to kill some time, I found an online test you can take to find out how much you suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Even if you don’t trust the results of the test, the questions were rather insightful and, I might add, useful. You can find that test here.
Until then, stick around as I work to improve my own Imposter Syndrome. Go ahead and mark your calendars for June 26th and when that day comes around, tune in to the Tech Field Day website and watch as yours truly takes his Imposter Syndrome score of 94 out of 100 for a test drive for all to see!
Jim …great blog…as one who knows less the most…I suffer from that everyday…it’s. A funny thing about IS ….the more you learn the more IS seems to affect us.
I’m doing Tech Field Day, not just Mobility Field Day, to force myself into facing my fears. With technology, running from it won’t make you any better at it.