If you don't know me well, I come across as a confident person with strong opinions.
Actually if you know me well, I come across exactly the same way.
But if you know me really well, and hang around at the right times, you'll learn that I constantly deal with the Impostor Syndrome.
Yet, I have developed a system for dealing with it – mostly a combination of tools that help. And the result is that I discovered there is power in the Impostor's Curve – to help me grow.
If you don't have time to watch those presentations, here's the simple reality:
Every time I get comfortable, I choose to step back into areas where I'm uncomfortable so that I can use that Impostor fear to fuel my growth.
Four years ago, I stepped into a WordCamp and just watched. I was silent. I had no idea if I could add anything to this community of brainiacs and internet superstars.
I was nervous.
Today I step into a WordCamp or Pressnomics, and honestly, I'm not stressed anymore.
Sure there are tons of smarter people than I (so maybe I should feel more stressed), but I've found my corner and it's one where I can hold my own.
And as a result, I can enjoy a huge gathering without much nervousness or stress.
And that's when I know it's time to make some changes to my calendar.
This year I'm going to different conferences
I'll be attending the Traffic & Conversion conference here in San Diego. I'm not only not presenting, but I have tons to learn. I'm a newbie in this audience.
I'm also going to be at WordCamp Maui, but not as a speaker. I'll be interviewing people. It's a different role and one I'm looking forward to.
And I'll be at Prestige Conference at the end of the month, but again, being interviewed, not speaking. Again, another change.
These changes are purposeful. I want to keep changing what I do, and the role I'm in, so that I put myself in a learning posture.
WordCamp San Diego is in March (tickets go on sale soon). I'm helping coordinate the conference rather than doing a lot of speaking. I have a small session, but maybe one of the least important as I've invited tons of brilliant friends to come share their insights. Each one of them is awesome!
MicroConf is a conference for bootstrappers. Crowd Favorite qualifies as a company that's never received an investment. But I'm also going because all the attendees are awesome and doing amazing things. The speakers are great. And as I reboot our approach to products, I thought this would be a great place to hang out with non-WordPress peers.
It means I am going to a conference without answers. And without pedigree. Simply going to listen and learn.
LoopConf is a WordPress developers conference in early May. I'll be honest, this one gave me impostor syndrome right away – because it was shaped as the ultimate developer's conference. And then they asked me to speak! Oh man.
But here's what I know – the conference is a place to help WordPress developers become awesome. So they're not running tests on your knowledge of wp_kses at the door. I'm nervous for my talk, but that's the point of this year's calendar. So join me!
Authority is a conference in May that is run by CopyBlogger. You'll notice a trend when I tell you I won't be going as a speaker, but rather as an attendee with questions for people there that are killing it – way bigger than my blog. I honestly can't wait!
WordCamp Europe was just announced for June in Spain. One word: YES!
How do you get better at storytelling? And innovation? How about going to the single conference that gathers storytellers to discuss innovation every year. It's called BIF2015 and I'm finally going this year. I think I'm getting a t-shirt printed that says, “I'm not worthy.”
What are you doing?
So what are you doing to challenge yourself? To grow your skills?
if you're a WordPress person (likely since you're here at my site), seriously check out LoopConf as you might find it the perfect place to help you grow, and they've just lowered their prices!