An excellent friend sent me a post from TED-Ed about “Why Incompetent People Think They’re Amazing.” ( https://www.facebook.com/TEDEducation/videos/1805241286155736/ ) The thing we are all prone to this confirmation bias. We all have pockets of incompetence we just don’t want to explore. We all live in bubble of inaccurate self-perception creating an illusion of competency and superiority. When I go to Ace Hardware or Home Depot, I exercise this bubble in thinking that I know what I’m doing and that those who ask me if I need help don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. In reality, I need help just as all of us do. But, instead of recognizing this cognitive bias for what it is, I live in self delusion. I go about my work and personal life thinking that I have something to offer to the world but no one sees it. Again, it’s easier to live in a self deluded state than admit I need to understand how I can be better. I approach my relationship with my wife and kids like it’s me needing to teach and mentor when it is I who need to learn and adapt just as everyone living in my household. We all have to get over our inner napoleon.
Every one of us is deluded in our self confidence or lack of it. Whether we are full of ourselves or feeling everyone is better than us, we are all in need of honest feedback We are all in need of a compassionate critic willing to tell us whether we are full of shit or beating ourselves up. Without feedback, we are unable to improve and therefore adapt to our particular situation in reality. We fail to recognize the things that got us to our current state of affairs. When success happens, we gush positive sanctions of our actions when the fact is our actions were not the primary cause for our present situation. We think we and our actions or our teamwork brought us to our particular success not remembering how we fundamentally missed key steps along the way. Alternative, in our failure we think we are responsible when it is a myriad of thing things that lead to our demise. We confirm our beliefs while not realistically looking at what got us to this particular state. We pontificate our responsibility for success just as much as how we are not to blame for our failures. At the core of our existence we avoid the truth of just how much we are involved in the unfolding present moment.
The only way out of our pockets of incompetencies, bubbles of inaccuracies, confirmation biases or deluded sense of responsibility is honest feedback from others not trying to influence our course of action. Along with any non-biased feedback we can find, we need to simply sit back and look at the reality of our situation as best we can. Reflecting on how we came to our present situation is a benefit not only to ourselves but those we interact with. Knowing the roots of our successes and failures enables us to make better decision in the future. It can also help us know we aren’t amazing no matter how much we may want to believe it is so. It’s up to each and everyone of us to uncover our incompetencies and misconceptions not in an isolated fashion but by asking for help to become better in every walk of our inconsequential lives. It’s up to us to manage our biz so that all of us involved may be better for it.
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