A lot of times when I’m helping people, it’s about figuring out the right technology and the right tools to use, but there’s one thing that is vital, and it isn’t a specific tool. That thing is a specific mindset.
The whole idea with a lot of what I do is to take the intimidation out of technology. In the years that I’ve been helping people, I’ve realized that often times the barrier is not so much with the tools themselves, but rather just within their mindset. People feel like they can’t do it and that the “barriers to entry” are far too high.
Prefer to listen?
Here’s the thing, if you want to get better at something, first you have to actually try, and second, you need to surround yourself with people who can do it better than you. It’s one of the best ways to learn. The fact that you’re even reading this article already shows that you’re willing to seek out help from sources that might be a step ahead of you. But even when you seek out advice or help from other people, sometimes it’s still hard to actually take that step of doing and trying.
In 1978, psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes coined the term “imposter syndrome” or “imposter phenomenon.” Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.
Now this whole concept can go really deep and clinical, but in a very basic sense, what imposter syndrome means is that we have these thoughts in our own head that say we can’t and we allow it to prevent us from doing certain things, even when in reality we could actually do those things.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they aren’t smart enough or tech savvy enough to use technology or digital tools in their lives, so they just keep doing things the same old way they have been. They let themselves be so intimidated by technology that they talk themselves out of trying anything new.
Look, there are always going to be people who are far more advanced in the technological world than you, and for me too, but no one’s asking you to be a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or any other number of the incredibly intelligent tech minds out there.
When you compare yourself at that level, and you let imposter syndrome stop you from learning new things and trying out new tools, you’re only ever going to feel like you simply can’t do it. We don’t have to impact the entire world. Maybe we will, and that’s incredible, but more importantly, we just have to impact our own worlds — that place where we have influence, that place where we are able to help others.
If using technology for you means keeping a good family calendar so that everybody makes it to all their commitments on time, that’s great. If it means using a spreadsheet to keep track of all the content you want to put on your blog, that’s just as good. Maybe you’re using technology to prepare weekly presentations that keep your audience listening and not on candy crush. Or maybe you use technology to run an organization that brings fresh water to villages in third world countries.
Everybody has a different need for technology in their lives, but all of us can find ourselves caught up in the imposter syndrome mindset that intimidates us, and ultimately stops us from trying new things. I’m guilty of this too. But today, I want to bust through the imposter syndrome and take the intimidation out of technology.
It’s not the fact that you aren’t tech savvy enough or a computer geek or whatever you want to say. You can use technology. You can use these tools. As Pablo Picasso said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Ditch the imposter syndrome mindset and make a conscious decision to use technology. Just pick one thing and start there. If you make one decision at a time to use the right tools + the right way, you’ll be using technology like a pro in no time!