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Denise Jacobs on Banishing Your Inner Critic

| Podcast with Denise Jacobs Follow 0 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 11 Followers on Sep 11, 2017 |

This is the Engineering Culture Podcast, from the people behind InfoQ.com and the QCon conferences.

In this podcast Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Denise Jacobs about her keynote talk on Banishing your Inner Critic.

Key Takeaways

  • Imposter syndrome is a real thing and it has many manifestations
  • Getting into a flow state results in massive productivity increases and is highly rewarding
  • Creativity is a practice and needs to be exercised
  • Creativity Denial is rife in the tech industry – “I’m not creative”, whereas many technical skills require highly creative thinking 
  • Recognise that creativity is not just about the artistic field – it’s not about whether or not you are creative, it’s about how you are creative

Show Notes

  • 0:20 - Introductions & background
  • 2:00 - Changing career path away from project management
  • 2:40 - The pathway to writing a book
  • 4:10 - Writing a detective guide for troubleshooting CSS
  • 4:45 - Struggling with the feeling of being an imposter – Imposter Syndrome
  • 6:00 - The thoughts that go through our minds about being an “imposter”
  • 6:45 - Doing research into overcoming self-doubt
  • 6:55 - Identifying the “inner critic”
  • 7:35 - Designing a workshop on busting through creativity blocks and fire your inner critic
  • 8:50 - Entering and working in a profound flow state and not wanting to stop
  • 10:30 - The energized and productive feeling in flow
  • 10:55 - Wanting to help other people achieve the same positive feeling by figuring out what the mechanism is to achieve this state
  • 11:55 - Wanting to help people embrace and express their creativity
  • 12:45- Researching why and how the inner critic blocks creativity and finding ways to remove the blocks
  • 13:50 - Creativity is a practice and needs to be exercised
  • 14:15 - Creativity becomes easier the more you do it, just like other practice disciplines
  • 14:40 - Small “doses” of creativity – small activities which help build the habit of creativity
  • 15:05 - How these ideas resonated with tech audiences
  • 15:50 - Articulating a problem that everybody has but no one talks about
  • 16:30 - Using the “snowball fight” to gather information about people’s main fears around creativity
  • 16:50 - The patterns that emerged from the snowball activity:
    • Fear of being deficient in skill or capability
    • Comparing oneself against others
    • Fear of being judged
  • 17:35 - These are forms of the inner critic which had not been identified and named
  • 18:15 - Deciding to write a book which explores those aspects which are not commonly identified
  • 18:40 - Producing a handbook or toolbox with different ways to approach dealing with these problems in the book
  • 21:30 - Examples of the tools
  • 21:45 - Tackling the “I’m (technical/logical/pragmatic/etc) so I’m not creative” viewpoint  
  • 22:35 - Creativity Denial is rife in the tech industry – “I’m not creative”, whereas many technical skills require highly creative thinking 
  • 22:48 - Recognise that creativity is not just about the artistic field – it’s not about whether or not you are creative, it’s about how you are creative
  • 23:30 - Overcoming a perceived lack of ideas by becoming an “idea machine” – come up with 10 ideas a day
  • 24:02 - Advice for generating ideas
  • 24:55 - It’s the process of coming up with ideas that’s important, not the content.  Build the mental muscle then it will be strong when you need it
  • 25:05 - The art of disciplined creativity – creativity involves discipline and deliberate practice
  • 25:55 - The ideas in the book are based on research, they are not speculation

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