How take constructive criticism…

I have pretty thick skin. I usually take criticism well, because it gives me some directions and steers me away from what I shouldn’t be doing. The other day I got an email from one of my mentors and it knocked me back a bit. It wasn’t mean spirited in any way, but a wake up call for sure.

you’re a bright lady and my only wish is that you step out of the shell.
I mean be pro active, be a leader. You have the ingredients why NOT?

 

I always appreciate honesty. Especially when it serves to better my character. I will say though, when I first read it, it was kind of a hurt piece. I knew it was coming from a good place, so I took the time to really digest the comment and see what changes I need to make.

I feel like 95% of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I just sort of push through things and if they work, “yas!” if they don’t, I try something else. The same goes for this world of tech as well. I’m still learning and I’m not at all confident in my skill. A lot of times I feel like I have no ideas to contribute or even any thoughts to add to the conversation. The email from my mentor proves that someone thinks I have something worthwhile to contribute. Being a leader terrifies me for some reason. I’m learning to push through fear in other ways, so way not in this way too. Here’s to a productive, assertive, confident 2017!

How to be good enough…

I am constantly second guessing myself. Can I really learn AWS and pass the certification exam? Can I handle working in tech and deal with real clients? Did I put one teaspoon or two teaspoons of baking powder in this cookie batter? Will these cookies taste like cardboard??

The point is oftentimes I feel like I’m not good enough. This feeling never comes from professors, or mentors, or toddlers (who can be particularly cruel). It comes from me. I am my biggest and worst critic.

It was refreshing to see my favorite internet young person tackle this feeling in his latest video.

It’s so easy to get caught up in your shortcomings that you forget that you (we, me all of us) are works in progress. There are going to be growing pains. In order to get good at something, we have to push through the discomfort of being a novice until we can reach expert level.

This Medium article really gave me some perspective on not feeling good enough.

“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.” ― Beverly Engel

The writer Thomas Oppong says that the best way to shut down your inner critic, is to basically dare yourself be better than your inner shortcomings. don’t be afraid to fail, or get things wrong and don’t stop until you prove that inner voice wrong. This dials back to a post I wrote about an Ira Glass quote a few months back. The gist of that quote and the essence of Nathan’s video is to make some trash everyday, until you get better. Fail at some things everyday until your and expert and then your inner voice will have to shut up. No one can argue with an expert. Right?!?!

How to make a Magic Mirror – Part Deux

I couldn’t get the configuration file to work in Michael Teeuw’s Magic Mirror source code so I coded my own ‘app’ over on CodePenScreenshot 2016-09-01 15.49.55

I forked some of the code from Free Code Camp’s Weather App as well as Emile’s Smart Mirror Layout. I also coded in some major keys from the Guru DJ Khaled.

Screen_Shot_2015-12-21_at_2.39.57_PM

via 

I cleaned up the typos and was ready to do the final assemble, when the screen stopped working. They don’t want me to build this Magic Mirror. Will I build this Magic Mirror? Find out on the next episode.

How to find inspiration…

Sometimes I get big ideas in my head. Maybe I CAN build a TARDIS from scratch and travel through space and time. I could be a bit more realistic and maybe just end poverty and violence in the Third World. I could zoom in on that idea a little more and maybe…(well I’m not telling you my idea yet. I don’t even know you that well). Where do I even get started? How do I get over the feeling of not being a good enough programmer, not having any business savvy. How do I just get over all the doubt hurdles and just do the damn thing?? Find some inspiration. Nothing inspires me and fires me up more than watching someone talk about their passions. That’s why I love TED Talks. I mean I could go down a serious rabbit hole and spend a good twenty hours watching them so I try to limit myself to a few videos in a row. Here’s a playlist of my current favorite TED Talks.

 

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/jennifer_pahlka_coding_a_better_government.html

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/richard_turere_a_peace_treaty_with_the_lions.html