This is an inwards-facing post, which you may or may not find valuable. The short version is: TL;DR: Do something that scares you. Perhaps submit a proposal for a conferences Call-For-Papers?
Some time ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak at NDC Oslo, with a dear friend and colleague of mine. An experience I will cherish with personal growth and many connections made.
I feel, though, I had the home-side advantage. Presenting in my country of residence. On stage with a colleague that had my back. The topic was in context of my employer, who was well-known for the home audience.
I’m not trying to de-evaluate the accomplishment, but rather the potential and hunger to take the next step. But is it worth it?
Talks are fun, but they take a silly amount of time to prepare for. I'm thinking it's not really worth it.
— Tomas Ekeli (@tomasekeli) September 10, 2016
The next step, maybe
Fast forward a summer vacation / paternity leave and the speakers-high has started to wear off. I’m curious if I can make the step to an international arena, alone. Searching around I stumble over The Lead Developer New York, and decide I want to try for that.
I take a first step, and ask for feedback on the talk from NDC Oslo. Feedback is decent, but there’s a lot of work involved to re-angle it for it to work in that setting. Challenge accepted…but not today.
A few weeks more go by, and I’ve procrastinated away my first opportunity as a CFP (Call For Papers) goes by. Too much going on, or so I say to myself.
Reality check. I can actually do this if I want to. Then Imposter Syndrome strikes. Hard. More procrastinating. Some interactions, and writing the blog post on Imposter Syndrome remind me of what I need to do.
Last week I submitted a proposal for a talk that’s been swirling in my head for some time for The Lead Developer London 2017. I have no idea if it will get accepted, but I’ve taken the first step.
The journey from idea to submitting a proposal is a tale of missed opportunities, failure to take action, internal struggles with my self-worth, but most importantly growth.
For the record, the title of the talk is “You are more than just your code“.
What’s holding you back from taking the first step towards something that scares you?
Reach out to me directly if you have any thoughts, questions or criticisms. Or leave a comment below.