On Feeling Incompetent

from Seth’s Blog

At some point, grown ups get tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning.

We start calling that feeling, “incompetence.”

We’re not good at the new software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem, we never did bother to learn to juggle…

Not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.

More here.

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44 Responses to On Feeling Incompetent

  1. Danielle C March 4, 2019 at 10:39 pm #

    I can agree with Seth’s posts. Having the feeling of incompetence can be very testy. It can shake a person’s perspective of doing something that is new to someone. For instance, when I started at my first job, I was good at getting things done, keeping things flowing, and keeping my boss, co-workers, and customers happy, however, I felt incompetent when it came to dealing with customers who have an issue with your service or workmanship. It took me a couple times to get better at it, but in the beginning, I had to deal with both my boss getting upset as well as the customer. It wasn’t easy finding a balance for the both to be happy. I felt like giving up and passing the issue to someone else, however, I had to face the issue that was not easy, but I learned how to handle the issues and work through it to get better at handling customer’s complaints. It was a good lesson learned and was very helpful in my next job. One day I had a customer come in to the store and wanted to purchase a suitcase. My one boss decided to make a deal with the customer, but the customer was hesitant and decided to think about it. A few days later, he came back and wanted to do the deal. However, my first boss didn’t leave any notes about the deal and the second boss had no idea if the guy was serious and to her, in her defense, his deal almost seemed like it was an unfair deal. They both argued back and forth, and I decided to step in. I had my second boss walk away in her frustration and some unfriendly words the customer told her, and I called my first boss and talked over the phone with the customer and my second boss that the deal was legit and okay to do. The customer purchased the case, however, did not come back again. With the knowledge I had in handling the customer’s frustration I was able to take care of my past incompetence issues with customers’ issues and arguments. To this day I still deal with customers who can step over boundaries and be a little nasty, but if I wasn’t able to fight my incompetence, I would have had larger issues with customers and not be in the position I am in now. I keep thinking that incompetence is like a mountain, you have to fight through it and not give up to trudge through to get to the other side.

  2. Demetri Allen March 5, 2019 at 11:42 pm #

    Seth makes an interesting point with this blog. Here Seth is trying to explain one of the cruelties of age, the fear of incompetence. I heavily agree with Seth’s argument because this is something that even I have experienced. As a child your perception of yourself is very different from when you grow up. You see the world in a very different way because you are naive to what it truly entails. As a child you have a short attention span, a wide imagination, and endless mountains of creativity. You don’t really care about what others think or if you are any good at anything, too you the sky is the limit. However, when you grow up that all changes. When you grow up you start to change and see the world in a different light. Many things can cause this and it simply comes down to aging, but I believe school is the main cause of this shift. From the time you turn 5 years old you will spend the next 12 years of your life underneath the rules of the education system. Endless tests and exams, mandatory readings, bad teachers, classes or subjects one might deem worthless. You go through all of this while your developing brain tries to figure out who you are and who you become. I believe one of the things Seth’s argument stems from is social anxiety. As we grow up, we tend to lean on our peers for everything. Help, advice, and most Importantly approval. What Seth is describing is the fear of failure which stems from the fear of embarrassment. This is the main reason when students get older, they volunteer less, putting yourself out they’re into the spotlight and potentially embarrassing yourself in front of all your peers is terrifying. Once this fear of incompetence develops it never goes away. Most people can’t stand failure and when they don’t get something right away, they drop it. Why would I waste time doing something I am not good at and making myself look like a fool? For example, when it comes to almost formal party, I have been too whether it’s a sweet sixteen or a Prom, nobody wants to be the first person to dance. Even if they are a decent dancer, that initial fear of putting yourself out there and being judged holds people back from doing something. Seth is right when he says that if it is worth it then do it. Failure breeds successful and you will never know if you don’t try.

  3. Rayzan Alarashi March 6, 2019 at 11:44 am #

    In his blog, Seth brings up an issue that almost everyone must deal with at some point in time, the feeling of incompetence. When we are younger this issue doesn’t pose as big of a frustration compared to when we grow up. As children we are filled with extreme curiosity and fascination with an abundance of things. Due to our curiosity, we are willing to try whatever it is that fascinates us without the fear of failing or doing bad. If we see a sport on tv that interests us, we immediately try to play that sport and if we take an interest in something like art, we continue to draw and show our parents our drawings despite how awful they may be. This courage to try anything new without fearing the consequences fades away as we get older, and it is mostly due to the feeling we develop of wanting to be viewed as competent by others. It’s the same reason that we may not raise our hand in class despite knowing the right answer because we fear that if we are wrong our peers will view us differently. Its also why we easily give up on tasks that are new and pose some difficulty because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves if we do bad. This is why it is sometimes easier to start a new sport when we are children because when we are older, we may be fearful of how we perform in that particular sport instead of just facing the challenges and overcoming them. As adults we are definitely more prone to giving up on something if it is too difficult and I can personally vouch for this. When I started working at my job in the summer, I found it extremely frustrating when I wasn’t able to understand or perform a particular task in the ways I was expected. This increased my urge of wanting to quit because I no longer thought the job was beneficial to me if I wasn’t good at it. Instead of quitting I decided to take another position that required me to do work I was more familiar with such as working the register. Now reflecting on it, had I not gotten so frustrated and fearful of what my coworkers or boss would think if me, I could have easily overcome the issues I was facing. It’s not easy to do, but if we overcome the fear of incompetence first, then we will be better able to handle the challenges we face.

  4. Lillie Moran March 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

    One of the most important take-away from this particular blog post is the idea of how we as humans, especially in the age of AI, refuse to take on challenging tasks because we do not want to feel incompetent. But this is more than just us not wanting to feel incapable of doing something- it is an actual fear. In the age of new technology and improving innovation, new software and artificial intelligence promises to move our economy and the people in it into the future, but it also has the tendency to hold some people back. We as humans have a natural tendency to resist change. Look at the entire conservative party, major religious organizations, and even our legal system- we refuse to look into the future without backlash. The idea of changing something without our say in what happens to our future scares all of us; however, this fear of failure and feeling incompetent will ultimately hold us back more than taking risks would. Lets look at the company Apple. Starting off as just a standard cell phone, the iPhone dramatically changed into the phone company that everyone is expected to have. In the beginning, the phone was not meant to take over the world, or even have apps such as Facebook or Instagram, but now, the iPhone has become a worldwide phenomenon that is glued to almost every hand in the world. Why is this the case? Because the creator, Steve Jobs, took a risk. The man that turned dreams into reality, Walt Disney, was turned down 302 times before he was finally able to have someone believe in his company. These two innovators who have shaped our entire culture failed many times before shifting the world. Without the amount of trial and error, their ideas would have never reached the market.

    In simple words, you should not be afraid to fail. Do not simply turn something down simply due to the fact that the journey taken may be long and a difficult one. One thing that I took away most from this post was how when we first realize something can be done, we then realize in ourselves that we cannot do it, but then we eventually get it done. This speaks to the idea that our brains go through a process where we try and convince ourselves that something can’t be done, but this is actually our greatest encouraging figure. We have to skip this second step in order to become successful. Another important part in the journey to success is to care. Any successful person will have a passion for making a difference. For example, any great leader has a mission, something that they believe in, and they take that vision and inspire people around them. Martin Luther King Jr. had a vision and was able to change the entire Civil Rights movement. But caring does not just mean caring about success, it means also caring about the fact that at times, you will fail. This acceptance of failure will push you beyond limits. If you care enough to continually improve, nothing will hold you back. Success is not just about the praise and recognition you will receive, it is about the journey of failure that pushes you to your maximum potential.

  5. Shegufta Tasneem March 6, 2019 at 4:04 pm #

    Through this blog post, Seth has brought up an emotion that every human being has felt at some point in his or her life. dreaming is one of the things that motivate us to work harder every day, to make the best possible use of our resources and own energy. We always dream about achieving the highest position of something, which is the aim in our lives. But the truth of the matter is that reality is not always on our side. Even when trying to do our best, we sometimes don’t manage to do it. Every person gets this feeling as they grow up and enter the adult world. Our responsibilities increase and along with that, complications increase too. It is a natural instinct that we always look for the easy way out of a problem and when we can’t find one, we give up our hopes to achieve success on that. Again, the only thing that is constant in this world is change. Our environment and our lifestyle are constantly changing with each passing day. Be that because of our own conditions or technological advances. The people from Generation X and Millennials have done everyday tasks in a certain way all their lives. But the people from generation Z have been brought up in the world of technology and science. They have a faster and easier solution to every problem which the people from the previous generations are not familiar or comfortable with. This creates a conflict between people and results in millennials or Gen X people either dropping out of the work willingly or being forced to retire because of not being technologically advanced. As Seth said from their perspective, “We’re not good at the software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem.” Although this process of keeping up with new technology may be difficult for those people, they must have the motivation to make full use of their potential and productivity to create their own path and keep up with the pace of this changing world. The most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to never lose focus from what we aim in life. people who fight against the wind always have a chance to gain, because they prefer the risk and gain experience.

  6. Abdulrafay Amir March 7, 2019 at 10:26 am #

    The feeling of incompetence accompanies everyone at many points in their lives. As children we grow up at the forefront of the world’s advances and are taught these new ideas, new ways of living, or advanced technology. As children, we grew up during the boom of the technology area. We were taught how to use computers in-depth and raised in the era of social media which is why our technology has become an extension for almost all of the youth in our world today. This leaves the ones generations ahead of us who are forced to adapt and remake themselves to conform to the new ways of life in society otherwise they will be left behind. A prime example of this in my life would be my father. He grew up when computers and technology were first being developed and it would cost a fortune to own your own monitor and to teach yourself how to use it was even more challenging. My father was able to learn the basics but when he came to the States, he was forced to re-invent himself. He didn’t realize in the coming decade that everything would be so different. He had to learn how to use a smartphone and the latest technology and he can’t catch a break. He has adapted pretty well but with new advancements coming out literally every few months, it gets very challenging for an individual to be motivated to keep up.
    It is interesting to see this when looking at my dad who is a very hard-working individual, but it is believable as many of us don’t want to feel incompetent as individuals. It is clear that as I grow up, it is clear that I will face this same dilemma as well because we have no idea the future capabilities that technology will possess. I will probably be looking at my kids and leaning on them for help or I can force myself to always keep up with the new trends and ways of handling our technology because in the end, that will separate me from the others for years to come in our society.

  7. Richard Gudino March 7, 2019 at 11:34 am #

    This is the second time that I have visited this blog, the first was about digital peer pressure and gave me a new light on how digital peer pressure can encourage others to get out of their comfort zone. Now my second time on this blog and the word that stands out and blares at me is incompetence. I know that at some point or another we have all felt incompetent, that whenever we have tried something we weren’t the kid who picked up the skill on the first try. We have been separated into two distinct groups of talent vs hard work. Most of us fall under the group that has to work hard to be able to compete with those of us that were gifted. Incompetence comes from what the blog describes as the moment we realize that what we are trying to do ends up being difficult and turns us off from that task or skill. The blog bring this some an older standpoint, from the perspective of someone who has reached their half life and needs to adapt to the changing world of tech. It is an older gentleman who is trying how to figure out how to maximize the use of their computer or company software. This is understandable and is okay to feel incompetent. What happens to the young college student that starts to fell incompetent? What solution is there for the young man trying to adapt as well? Here is the thing that I think that Gen Z and millennials suffer from in today’s changing world. They have suffered from the every wins and gets a trophy mentality, trying to make them feel special. Then in school they are told they are smart and easily pick up basic math skills. What this has done is that they now have grown impatient and incompetent at the first sight that they will have difficulty doing something new. What young people need to know is that you and I have so much time, we are so young and we are in no rush to be able to do anything. Yes people will remind us that dates are coming up closer than they appear to be, but time is relative and what you do with it is how you will perceive time to move, it has to do it your attitude. There will always be times where we are going to feel like we are not enough, that we never really had anything special about us. All this could be true but that all depends how we react and feel to it all, we have grown so weak and its made the other generations to bring back the tales of “in my day” and make us feel worse. What we need to realize is that everyone has struggled, we can not avoid the struggle it is always going to be there. What we need to do is have more patience and keep going, because of the incompetence comes the last step in the blog. We get better at it. We just need to stick to it, because the business world is only going to get more competitive and wallowing away at what we think we can’t do is not going to make us better. In the end if you stick with it, it will only serve to make you better. It turns out that being incompetent is a good feeling and not bad.

  8. Diamond Vasquez March 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm #

    This article is very impactful to all people, whether he or she is a student, an employee, or someone who is teaching themselves something. “On Feeling Incompetent,” an article published on Seth’s Blog, discusses how at times when we are learning something new, we begin to feel incompetent, meaning that we feel as though we are not going to succeed in what we are learning or what we are doing. According to this article, it is “not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.” The difficulty of what we are learning tends to control us and cause stress in ourselves, leading to all people feeling this way. Though, as described in “On Feeling Incompetent,” incompetence is one of the three steps towards success in whatever you are learning. In order to achieve, you have to experience this sense of doubt; it helps you better yourself.

    I thought this article was very interesting to read because it describes how it is okay to feel incompetent. As long as you are willing to better yourself, you can get through incompetence. Yes, this second step may mess us up and make us quit, but if you care about improving, you have to face incompetence. I will definitely take this one to heart because I have had this experience before. There are many times when I am learning something that is very difficult, and I just want to give up because I feel as though it is too difficult for me. However, I think to myself, You took on this challenge because you wanted to improve yourself and your knowledge. Do not give up! With these self-talks and positive affirmations I have for myself, it just pushes me even harder to fully comprehend and gain a better understanding of what I am being taught both in class and at home.

    If I were to give somebody advice on college, one piece of advice I would give is this, “You may feel like you want to just back down from something because it is too difficult for you. College is not easy, but do not doubt yourself. You can do it. Keep going, keep pushing yourself to do your best, and reach for your goals.” Overall, this article was a very inspiring, insightful read, and I would definitely encourage others to read it.

  9. Edward Holzel March 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm #

    Feeling incompetent in today’s world is a more and more prevalent feeling. All areas of expertise are innovating and changing at rates that are too fast for one person to keep track of them all. New technology is introduced every day, new medical breakthroughs every week, and there are many more innovations as I am writing this brief comment. The feeling of incompetence is an unavoidable feeling in 2019 and that feeling will only become more and more of a reality as time passes. The only way to overcome the incompetence feeling is to understand that you can not possibly have a firm understanding of everything but figure out what the issue is with one’s understanding of some concept.

    The skill of being able to teach yourself a concept is going to be the ultimate skill in the future. The second step of Seth’s blog says, “Then we realize we can’t do it”, but you got to be able to do it. There are always going to be challenged in one’s life because that is what life is all about. Getting a good paying job, raising a family, supporting a family, paying bills, and many more challenges that people face in life. Most of these things that life throws at you are things that you can’t prepare for, no matter the amount of research done on the topic. Everyone says that no one is prepared to raise a child, but all of us were raised by someone. Being able to learn and teach yourself a skill that you believe you can not do will allow you to evolve and stay as close to real-time innovation as one can. Being able to teach yourself something that you cannot understand, through reading, research, or whatever, is the key to being successful in the modern era.

    If someone feels incompetent about a situation or anything in life and decides to do nothing because they believe they cannot, then how do they grow?

  10. Andrew Kenny March 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

    Feeling incompetent is one of the most degrading feelings one can experience in my opinion. Anyone who wants to grow and become successful will always need to experience some sort of road blocks to force improvement. There can be no growth without some turmoil. However, that feeling that you are “not good enough” is really hard to get over. Seth stresses that this is what humans struggle with the most, but that there is always hope. New technology, an ever-changing workplace, and new innovation leads to workers having to become super adaptable and well-rounded. Those who strive for being the best version of themselves will put in the effort to become competent again. The hardest step is facing the fact that not everything is going to come easy. It is a harsh reality, but some people are going to adjust faster than you, but that cannot lead to quitting and failure. Being discouraged is normal, but there is always a chance to get better at something in time.
    Over the summer, during my internship, I was one of the, if not the, youngest employee. A lot of my coworkers were already getting ready to graduate college and had much more experience than me. At first, I was discouraged, because they would be called on to do the more in depth and interesting tasks. As time went on, I strove to be just as effective as them, and eventually began making a change. I was a great observer, and took pride in what I did. The feeling of incompetence began fading when my bosses began trusting me with solo tasks, and sending me on the more fun and interesting operational jobs for golf tournaments. It was a hard first month, but I eventually worked my way into being one of the more trustworthy interns by the end.
    I know one day I will feel a sense of incompetence again. I realize that that is just a part of growing up and maturing. As I attempt to make a difference and become successful, I know the challenges are going to be countless. It is very unlikely that I am just going to be handed my future by a stroke of luck. I am willing to face defeat and learn from it to become wise and mentally strong. Through strong work ethic and valuable life lessons, I am confident that I will be able to achieve what I set out to do.

  11. Claudia Ralph March 7, 2019 at 9:11 pm #

    Incompetence is scary. Not only is it scary because of its negative connotation. Incompetence is seen as a failure, as a vulnerability. Incompetence is falling short of expectations. “Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent,” is a statement that outlines the idea that as humans, we shy away from a challenge or new experience simply because it is something that may not be good at or seen up to par when we do it.
    To us, learning is seen as child’s play. Once we leave school, learning no longer holds the scent of fresh new notebooks or sitting down for class during syllabus week. Learning looks different to grown-ups and that is part of what makes is so uncomfortable for us all to face.
    The word “different” became the focal point of the end of the article. As we grow older, a lot of things become different, including how we deal with failure. Mistakes are no longer opportunities to learn, instead a series of failures are cumbersome events that make for learning a new task or completing a new assignment begrudging at best. This failure or incompetency may disrupt our normal course of mundane tasks that we may take part in every day.
    How do we, as college students that are making the transition into young adults, cope with the concept that learning will not always be the delightful task it may have once been? The answer is not simple, but it is all about perspective. One may only think that they are incompetent as a reflection of other events that have taken place. Instead, take the opportunity to see a failure as a potential growth situation. Perspective changes everything. Failures shake up our regular routine and have greater implications than what is meeting the eye. Incompetence gives us all an opportunity to learn, look at my first TID as an example of this idea at work. After submitting it, I realized that I looked wildly incompetent. My initial reaction was not to be bogged down by this though, it was to use this failure in order to fuel future success.

  12. Allya Jaquez March 7, 2019 at 10:48 pm #

    Seth definitely makes a great point in this article. I certainly agree with the three steps that he mentions as well. The first one was that once a new task comes upon us, we know that something can be done about it and that there are certainly different ways to get around the problem. The second step that Seth brings up is that once we see a new task that looks difficult, we automatically assume that we can not do anything to fix it or get the job done. A lot of elderly individuals have this problem when it comes to the technology today which Seth also brings up in the article. They are not used to all the new technology that we are using today and it is understanding that they might get frustrated sometimes. According to Seth, this second step is the one that messes us up all the time. I would have to agree with him on that thought because almost everyone starts to think very negative once they get a new job and they tend to carve it in their heads that they can not get the job done because it is too hard and learning how to do it would be difficult as well. The last step that is mentioned in the article is that we eventually get better at the task we are trying to achieve. Seth is absolutely right with that idea. Being incompetent should not stop us from achieving a goal that we have set for our selves. I have been incompetent as well when it comes to researching for papers and even starting a new job.

  13. Trovonta Burgess March 7, 2019 at 11:19 pm #

    As many would think there are many instances in society when one will wonder if they feel up to a certain task. Even if the task could have been done easier, we often question our ability to complete things or give it a try at all. This can be seen as playing into incompetence which is the feeling lacking the ability to perform well. As new innovations continue being developed people begin relying more on other resources that putting in the work themselves. There is also the fact due to these new inventions that enable people, deterring them from attempting such a task seem difficult to carry out. This includes not having or representing the skills needed to do something successfully. Commonly seen within the education system where professors teach students a long-extended version of how to do something but there is a simpler way of completing the work. Like in math when learning to do a problem by hand, when in reality it can be put into a calculator and solved in a few seconds. Incompetence is also a topic that means different things to different people. Although it can generally be denoted as the inability to do a job to a certain level of satisfaction. For instance, when a person is asked to perform a take on the job and does that to the best of their ability that employee is considered competent. This is because they properly executed the situation and in doing so put forth an effort to complete it. It is situations like these where we realize meeting the satisfactory standard can actually be beneficiary to the end goal. Therefore, it is easy to detect an employee because they lack the skills that show preparedness and enthusiasm. Some of these skills include turning in work late, having multiple errors, being inconsiderate of the circumstances and etc. I feel Seth’s blog touches on these key topics of being dependent on other things rather than ourselves and motivation. It makes a difference when you enjoy doing something and often times it is portrayed through our work, so being incompetent is a voluntary excuse that reflects poorly on the person being assessed.

  14. Horace Bryce Jr March 7, 2019 at 11:24 pm #

    I wholeheartedly believe in what Seth is preaching on his blog about incompetency. Honestly it makes sense in every way. As people get older they tend to lose their curiosity resulting in getting “tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning.” Instead of taking the time to learn and master a new skill many people rather not try at all because they are scared of their own failure. Seth supports this by stating ” Not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.” Incompetence is simply falling short of personal and social expectations. People tend to lean towards things that are effortless and that why it is easy to control the masses. Difficulty accompanies all growth whether it be physically, mentally or spiritually. Anything worth having will not be easy to obtain and roadblocks are a given. Seth states :
    “First we realize something can be done.

    Then we realize we can’t do it.

    And finally, we get better at it.

    It’s the second step that messes with us.”
    This is one hundred percent true. Many people have dreams and aspiration that they will never reach because they are scare of feeling incompetent, scared of failure ,not realizing they are all mandatory factors of success. Feeling incompetent is normal. Personally I can say that I felt incompetent when I was writing my first TID. I had no idea what I was doing and every step I took felt like the wrong one. Eventually I got really anxious about it and submitted it before ever reaching the minimum word count. This shows how the feeling of incompetency can stop one from reaching their full potential. To feel incompetent is to be open to the possibility of failure, but better yet success.

  15. Tyler Graham March 8, 2019 at 10:40 am #

    Seth brings up a good point – as he does in all of his blog posts. I would take it a step further and argue that even people in my age group feel this on a regular basis. By reading the comments of my peers I can see I’m not the only one who thinks this (don’t worry Leon, I was there too). Incompetence is never an easy feeling to process. It’s in the very nature of people to deny that they’re useless in a field or don’t know something. Ask yourself how many people have admitted they’re wrong in their life. It probably isn’t many. That’s why people are so afraid to learn something new. After all, it’s hard to get past the initial roadblock that comes with incompetence. I can recall countless times in my life when trying to learn something I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve been producing music for 7 months now. It may seem like a long time but in reality it’s nothing compared to those that do it professionally. Hearing a new song or watching videos online of talented producers can be inspiring, but it also does damage. It makes me realize I’m not as good as I want to be. However, the words of Seth are inspiring:

    “If you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better–you should care enough to experience incompetence again.”

    He’s entirely right. Incompetence, while it feels awful, also shows that you’re actively trying to improve, which at face value is way more than incompetence itself. My strive to succeed increases every day while I face incompetence and other obstacles. That is just a part of life, and I’ll experience failure all the same – but what is important is how we rise from that failure and improve from it. Incompetence, and thus failure itself, breed success. When you get a poor grade or a bad review on something you’ve made, sure it hurts, but it motivates you to try harder to make sure you succeed. This is the blog post to show to people who feel like giving up on something – I can think of a few people I would show this to right now.

  16. Peter Honczaryk March 8, 2019 at 11:32 am #

    Sometimes, just a few words make all the difference. Seth’s three steps to experience incompetence: First we realize something can be done. Then we realize we can’t do it. And finally, we get better at it. This applies to every task that anyone has ever faced. As a child, you are always used to having your parents around, giving you a feeling of protection and always helping you out but hen one day they send you to kindergarten. My first day I was surprised that I was being left alone by my own mom, in a room full of strangers. I did not think that I can be left alone, but then I got better at it the next as I made more friends, realized how much I loved being around other people, everything was going well. Then of course comes elementary school. The same problems arose, you are starting over, have to make new friends, meet new teachers, and get through each day on your own but even though you are on your own, you must always remember that you are never actually alone and that there will always be others around you that have the same problems that you face and help overcome those fears. Middle school and high school are no different experiences that you face, only now that your older there is always more work to be done, less fun to be had and more people you meet, like some, hate others, the process is all the same throughout your first eighteen years up until college comes along. That is when the real challenge begins, doing well on SATs and applying to various schools hoping that one will accept you even if it was not your first choice. After that all the people that you have know for a decade are all moving on and have their own lives to tend to. Personally I decided that my first year of college I would leave the state and dorm. I did. At first I was terrified, not knowing if I would make any friends and then I met my new roommate, realized how well I was able to get along with a stranger and live with him, realized that I had a fresh start to everything, that I should not be afraid of anything and that the reason I had left home was for a fresh new start that I had desired for a long time and took advantage of the opportunity that I longed for. It is always that third step of getting better at something that is the most satisfying feeling in the world.

  17. Cameron Lindley March 8, 2019 at 12:57 pm #

    I think this is the most relatable blog post I have read thus far. I think this article encompasses the expression, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” With that being said, in the age we live in today, it is absolutely vital to not succumb to this certain level of incompetence that comes about with age and so many years of experience. I would not go so far as to say that this feeling comes from level of arrogance; in that since these candidates have been doing their job for so long, thus they feel that they are doing their job the best way, because it has worked over so many years. So why change?

    While this carries some validity, in the increasingly technical world we are growing into, plain and simply, there is no room for stubbornness towards adaption and learning. I think that if the desire to learn doesn’t burn like it used to, that is an indicator of retirement. In this day and age, we never stop learning and if that desire to learn is nullified, that is counterproductive, which the very opposite of what is required in the work force.

    The yearn to learn should never lack though. Even if it’s not present in the professional world, we should always strive for continuous learning and personal improvement. If we don’t better ourselves, or at least try, what’s the point? I understand that after a certain, but subjective age, people get tired. That happens, growing old is not easy. However personal betterment is never is not something one can, or should, simply get tired of. That is the very essence of giving up, and furthermore succumbing to the stressful environment the world we live has produced.

  18. Patricia Franca March 8, 2019 at 1:05 pm #

    People feel incompetent because society charges more than it should. The feeling of incompetence begins when the human being creates a competition to get along better than the other, and with this they end up failing twice, one for wanting to be always better than the other, and another for not doing the job the right way . The frustration comes soon after, because they put unattainable goals and the result never goes as expected. People care so much about being better than the other, and gain from it, they just do not realize what they’re really doing. Many people rely on their frustrations to be better in the next step, some are lost in their own learning because they charge a lot of you. Sometimes you are not incompetent, you just are not prepared for that activity. It does not have to do with age, it has to do with interests. When you seek to do your part, research and study on the subject, just not to be better than the other, you end up overcoming these two obstacles, incompetence and frustration, because in addition to overcoming the obstacles, you will fulfill your duty.

  19. Domenico Cirielli March 8, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

    In reading Seth’s Blog, the idea of incompetence and combatting that idea in one’s life cannot be more important, both in a personal and professional setting. As humans, we like routine. We like to be in control. We’re predictable – wake up, sit 8 hours at a desk doing the same type of work that one has been doing for years, go home, repeat. However, that’s changing. The world is becoming less and less predictable especially with all of the advancements in technology as it pertains to automation and artificial intelligence. Pretty soon those standard 9 to 5 jobs are to become automated and many are to be left with this sense of incompleteness and discouragement. They are going to feel incompetent – I mean, who wouldn’t? A robot is stealing your job – that has to make somebody question the level of the work he or she is doing. Personally, if a robot took my job I do not know that I would be feeling that good about myself. Although, this is why incompetence is as importance as ever – we can either use it as fuel to grow more accustomed to a technologically advanced world or we can let it discourage us and lead to us falling behind in a rapidly moving world.

    In this article, a three-step process to problem solving is introduced: the idea that we realize something can be done, the realization that we cannot do that ‘something’ with our existing knowledge, and finally adapting and learning so that we can learn to solve the problem at hand. However, what the article explains is that it is through feeling incompetent that one is either able to make the most out of a situation or not. It’s cliché, but the saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” could not apply more to this article. Individuals cannot halt their progress in their professional and personal lives just because something does not come easily to them. As the article mentions, it is not that people do not want to be successful, it is that they are scared that the journey to that success will be too arduous. Individuals do not want to brainstorm or learn a new software because they are scared not only that it will be difficult, but also that it will be outside their realm of ability. It is natural to think that at first, but that cannot deter people forever and discourage them from advancing in their lives.

    Overall, if one never feels incompetent in their life, their drive, their motivation to succeed is simply not there. They’ll reach a point where they are comfortable and will plateau, and once technology catches up with them, who knows what is to come of their lives. Will they grow discouraged at how lacking they are in a new era of technology in the workforce? Or will they recognize that there are things that they are incompetent in and use that as a driving force to constantly better their selves? As the article notes in its closing lines, “If you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better – you should care enough to experience incompetence again.”

  20. DeVante M March 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm #

    I can relate to Seth about feeling incompetent at times. This is especially true for when I am learning about new technology. Even though I have grown up with technology many things are still difficult for me. Often times I reject new technologies. I become comfortable with a certain tech, the once I acquire the newest toy it takes some getting used to. This also happens for me when I am trying to learn something new. There is a class that I am currently taking now at University called networking/telecommunications. When first began the course I thought it would be an easy class. I am currently a senior in college so it is clear why this would be appealing to me. The class has started off with very simple areas of networking and telecommunications. By the second or third week things started to pick up. The chapters in the book have become even more challenging and the assignments have as well. My latest assignment was so difficult that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. My generation is apparently supposed to be great with all technology, but this class has surely been very difficult for me so far. Seth’s words speak volumes to me in this instance. He says “First we realize something can be done. Then we realize we can’t do it. And finally, we get better at it.” This quote from him can be applied to everything obstacle one may face in life. Instead of giving up I have really applied myself to the course. I have done everything in my power to understand the material.
    This topic is very broad, thus in can be interpreted in many ways. The power of incompetence can really be life changing. At times incompetence can be very aggravating, but overcoming it will lead to success. Seth states that grown ups get tired of growth and learning. I think a lot of this can be attributed to laziness. If someone wants to enrich their life and become better you will have to at one point put in the hard work to do so. For those people that absolutely resist incompetence will never succeed. Being successful doesn’t come easily. Almost all success stories come with a lot of adversity. Take LeBron James for example. He grew up with no father figure. When he was in fourth grade he moved half a dozen times, causing him to miss nearly one-hundred days off school. Him and his mother settled down in a one-bedroom apartment that belonged to one of his mother’s friends. There were many times were he was left unsupervised in an unstable household. He didn’t have much money either, his mother was on welfare. Despite all of these shortcomings LeBron James has become one of the greatest athletes of all-time. There were many feelings of incompetence for LeBron, but he showed exactly what can be done when you can overcome it. These words from Seth are very wise, truly words to live by.

  21. Doran Abdi March 8, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

    The idea of incompetence can be a little intimidating in certain situations but becoming incompetent is something that truly marvels me. As briefly mentioned in the article, many people who tend to be more elderly have been the face of the most common instance of incompetence in learning the new technology of the world. As it is true that at one point in time there was a large resentment from those of older age to accept and learn the new forms of technology which derived largely from the fear of being incompetent. In reality, it is the fear of being incompetence that truly stops many from growing and learning because people are afraid to fail; not only failing once but failing over and over again. Today, I find that many of older age have became more accepting of this developing technology largely due to the widespread social acceptance of this technology forcing those who were once incompetent to become competent.
    The issue with incompetence goes hand in hand with the fact that majority of the people in the world like to be comfortable. Meaning that most people would rather do the same routine on a daily basis rather than being a risk taker or someone who is open to substantial change in their life. This leads to many to resent or ignore innovation and change as long as it does not push them too far back from the societal norms. Yet, the truth is, that by getting used to doing something on a routinely basis, this leads to people feeling safe and undisturbed. For example, if you were to take a teenager who had grown up in a poor neighborhood and placed them in a rich neighborhood, they would have a very difficult time in adjusting and vice versa. When being placed in a different environment, people tend to then go further into their shell as they feel uncomfortable surrounded by something that feels foreign or different to them. This is exactly why many will find themselves becoming incompetent. It is not that they cannot learn, change, or better their lifestyle, it is that they are afraid to do so.

  22. Justin Rahl March 8, 2019 at 4:10 pm #

    It is unfortunate that this is more than a common situation in today’s day and age where new innovations are constantly being thrown around in the workforce. Of course it is common for people to not want to go past the step of incompetence because why would anyone want to put themselves in that situation. It will always be hard to see the light and the end of the tunnel when you take your first few steps inside. You won’t know what you’re doing there or why you decided to start walking in the first place. Why would want to enter the tunnel when the entrance is comforting and stable enough to satisfy your lifestyle? This is the reality a large majority of people go through on a daily basis which is in my opinion good and bad. We can’t all be rocket scientists taking steps on the moon like Neil Armstrong, if that were the case, there wouldn’t be anything special about it to begin with. Staying outside of the tunnel is essentially the norm where people can get enough accomplished to feel good about themselves day in and day out which is not bad at all. That’s why So little people take that journey into the tunnel to reach the end. Yes of course the example I provide is an exaggeration, but if the objective was easy it would not have the incompetence step in the first place.
    In any job a person goes into there will require a time that change is needed. Change is necessary to progress in any field you find yourself in and should be sought after instead of feared. Yes something may already be working just the way it is, but there will most likely be a new method that could create a much better outcome than what is already being achieved. I have felt this feeling time and time again through my college courses which has always brought me to question if it is worth doing this in the first place. But I come to the same realization that in the long run of learning new skills and new ways to solve problems will benefit myself much more than what I am currently able to do. Do we all have to accomplish groundbreaking works? No absolutely not. However, going to that training course, learning a new piece of software, or whatever can benefit yourself in the long run that requires change is always a good place to take your first steps.

  23. Kyle Stephens March 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm #

    Seth’s Blog brings up an interesting point about this feeling of incompetence and the steps for growth. The feeling of incompetence is one that I feel like I am familiar with. When Seth talks about the steps of growth, the second step really resonated with me and I’m sure many others. That roadblock you hit where you just don’t know what to do is the worst, and its something we actually face every day. It’s just whether or not we want to put the time in to solve the problem. So, its not really realizing I can’t do it, its realizing that I can’t do it EASILY. Everyone wants things to be as easy as possible and when things start to get difficult people feel pressured and overthink the situation resulting in the thought that you can’t do it, when really all that is required is the effort to find the solution. And, for the third step, I’d say its less of us getting better at something and more us being more motivated to do something. Motivation is really the key in any problem-solving situation. Think about it, if It’s something you don’t really care about why would you have any drive to solve that problem? However, if it is something you care about or have an interest in, then you will have that motivation to find the solution by any means. It’s not necessarily because you are good at one thing compared to the other, its just the motivation you have for the problems. So really, incompetence is just a mind game that you play with yourself. You tell yourself there is a problem that you could potentially solve. Then you tell yourself you can’t do it bust because there isn’t an easy solution that would only take 5 minutes. Then finally you find the motivation to get up and go solve the problem and you get to feel the satisfaction and accomplishment from completing that task. So, to sum everything up, incompetence isn’t the inability to do something, incompetence is really the inability to motivate one’s self to take action. Anything is possible, you just have to put your mind to it.

  24. Ruth Francois March 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm #

    I agree with Seth’s idea of incompetence; as grown-ups we put our fears over accomplishing something new. He discusses how adults view growth and learning situations as feeling “incompetent”. He brings up good points such as, “we’re not good at new software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem”. I can truly relate to that statement. I get nervous attempting something new; I start doubting my ability instead of thinking of new solutions for different problems. When a person feels insecure, he/she shuts down new ideas due to fear of failure. We tend to be scared of challenges, and I wonder if we’re taught to be fearful or is it innate? My daughter took snowboarding lessons two weeks ago with her aunt. The whole trip I was nervous for her; I started thinking about all the negative outcomes. She could hurt herself, she may be too cold out there, she might not like it and want to come home. When I spoke to her over the phone, I asked her “are you scared?”
    She yelled back “no mom, I’m having fun!”
    At that moment I stop fearing for her safety. As an adult who has never been snowboarding, many things crossed my mind. Why haven’t I gone snowboarding yet? Seth’s blog puts a lot into perspective for me. My fear of possible outcomes, like hurting myself, is making me incompetent in a sense. After the trip my daughter boasted about how easy snowboarding was for her, and that she wants me to learn as well.
    I responded to her desire said “One day baby, I’ll go” and she laughed knowing the true answer to her question. She experienced something new and exciting. It might have been challenging, but she conquered it. I do wish that I could be more adventurous as children are, but I do let the feeling of incompetence get in my way of growth and experiencing new things. I admire fact that children try new things without fear in their hearts. They could be fearless because they don’t comprehend outcomes that could be dangerous, or they just feel like they can accomplish anything. If we thought more like children, maybe we could reach our full potential in life and not wonder about “what I could have done” instead just go for it. For us to grow from our decisions or mistakes in life we have to at least try; that’s the only way we can see progression. We need to realize that we may feel incompetent, but that might not be how people perceive us. For example, if you were given a new task at work due to your previous ability to accomplish an assignment, then you are more than capable of accomplishing this new task. It might be a challenging task, but just get out of your head and start. I agree that we should see everything as a learning experience in life and that we are going to experience incompetence time and time again when doing something new. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll overcome my fears and snowboarding with my daughter.

  25. David Torres March 8, 2019 at 5:53 pm #

    On Seth’s Blog, “On feeling incompetent” makes me think about why people choose to give up. As humans, we experience tasks that promise to be difficult every day. Some things an individual may find difficult is completing homework before a certain deadline, or even going into work after a long school day. Another thing that this blog post made me think of is the quote that goes “It’s not how hard you can hit or how hard you get hit. It’s about how hard you get hit and keep going; that’s how winning is made!” This is a famous saying from the character Rocky Balboa of the Rocky film series but it can be applied directly to what this post is saying about incompetence. To feel incompetence means to feel helpless and unable to progress positively in the tasks that you are doing. When something is incompetent, you feel that it is going to cause you to struggle and out a considerable amount of stress on yourself.
    Incompetence is inevitable. This is because if you are going to explore new things, bringing you outside of your comfort zone, or things that you are not used to. There’s no denying that at some point on the road, you will feel like you cannot accomplish the obstacle that has appeared in your path. The result of this feeling is incompetence. You begin to fret, become anxious, and slightly depressed. It is clear that you are now at a low point in your life. You start to realize that low points are normal and everyone comes across points like these in their lives. You then remember that second step of “Then we realize that we can’t do it”, which leads you to try again. From trying again, you seem to have been getting better at your task, resulting in a progression that allows you to see light at the end of the tunnel. There is no one in this world that does not come across feelings of incompetence. If you want to become better at anything you do, you must be willing to revisit that feeling of incompetence. Another saying that is closely linked with this article goes “An expert in anything was once a beginner.” I believe that all people should live by this quote because it shows that the people that you admire were once in your shoes that merely chose to experience incompetence over and over again.

  26. Kevin Metz March 8, 2019 at 6:20 pm #

    No matter what life throws at us as humans, overcoming obstacles is never an easy task. Most of these journeys come packaged with doubt, stress, fear, anguish and even the occasional lack of confidence. This article discusses how the feeling of “growth” as you progress through life is instead changed to the feeling of incompetence. Defined as not having the skills or abilities to do something successfully, this feeling can shadow us like the cartoon storm clouds. It can cause you to procrastinate, or run from your problems or, as the article stated, stop you from trying to learn new things or ways around a problem, sometimes leaving detrimental effects. As we progress through the article it claims that eventually you will find out that whatever it is that is stopping you can be overcome. “Then we realize we cant do it,” but we can, you eventually figure out there is always a way. The last quote from the article that really impacts the entire message is, if you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better-you should care enough to experience incompetence again.” These words show that if you want something to be done, you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It is okay to feel dumb sometimes and that is what people forget when trying to do things, they get discouraged when they don’t know everything but the hard truth is that you don’t know everything and it is an unreal expectation to think you do. The overall message here is feeling incompetent is something we should grow to understand is a big part of life and I fully agree.

  27. Daniel Gibson March 8, 2019 at 7:32 pm #

    Sometimes in life, you might not be able to achieve what you thought. Nobody is good at everything. Each person is unique in every way, but have depending on the individual, there are some things that are simply hard to do or be good at. Being young, you have dreams and goals that you want to accomplish. That’s a good thing especially if it motivates you. The problem is that fantasies are just fantasies. Growing up, you start to take in the fact that a lot of things will never go your way. There is a good chance that you won’t get the job you wanted. When you face reality, there are always challenges to overcome. There do come circumstances to the point where you can do something even if you tried. Feeling incompetent about so and so isn’t that bad. It just shows you that the task isn’t right for you.
    I can say that I have felt incompetence before. The summer of my sophomore year of high school, I bused tables at this restaurant. I was able to handle the work, but I felt useless doing it. I felt like a was benefiting from it at all. I didn’t feel passionate about it, so it made me not are about working there. Whatever field you want to go into when you’re older, you must make sure your passionate about or else you’ll hate yourself. The things you love the most are what you should stick to. Loving the work is step one, but then you need to make sure that your human capital is good enough to handle the tasks. With a growing population, there are still millions of jobs that haven’t been created yet. That’s why its crucial to work as hard as you can now, so you can be ready for whatever the future has to offer. People think that once they finish college, they have the necessary skills to do the job they hope to. To tell you the truth, college is just the first part of giving you the steps to succeed in life. Seth made several good points, but it all comes down to never giving up.

  28. Rachel Leto March 8, 2019 at 7:32 pm #

    Feeling like you are not capable enough to do the task at hand is a scary thought. Knowing that the company around you, that you used to once know, is rapidly changing can set a person back. Professor Shannon mentions all of the time in class, that people need to keep up with the times. People are barely still using paper to do reports or even just use word documents to upload on a platform. This feeling of incompetence can really set a person back and make them stray away from even wanting to be a part of that world because they think it will be too hard for them and they do not want to deal with it. When I first started working at staples, this woman comes to my register and she is on the phone and has about $300 worth of school supplies in her cart. I ring her up and she hands me two credit cards. I tried to ask her why she did that, but she waved me off and so I handed the cards back to her and proceed with the transaction. She looks at the pin pad and starts yelling at me that she wanted to split up the transaction onto two different cards. I had just started working there 3 days before that and she is yelling at me “You don’t know how to split it between two cards? What are you incompetent? Get me your manger because you need more training.” After that day, I was so reluctant going ot work and I just started that job. Now, imagine working somewhere and then slowly watching everything that you once knew how to do become foreign to you. That thought of “I can’t do it” is all it takes to stop someone from even trying something new. Some older people in their jobs simply do not want to have that feeling of incompetence because they feel that they shouldn’t have to kind of like “why teach an old dog new tricks?”. They should want to learn because it will lead to more success in the end than sticking with their old ways, just because it is what they’ve always done.

  29. Shane K March 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm #

    In this short blog, Seth Godin examines the feeling of incompetence and how the feeling grows as we get older. Seth describes the feeling of incompetence in two steps, the first is recognizing that something can be done, then realizing that they can’t do it. In reality, there is very little somebody can’t do if they try hard enough. Although this sounds very cliché it could not be more true. As Seth explains in his blog, most people recognize that the task is achievable and that they want the outcome, but are turned away by the difficulty and amount of work required to accomplish the task. This is a feeling that everybody can relate to in one way or another including myself.
    One way in which a lot of people can have a feeling on incompetence is trying to get in shape. It is something that everybody wants and it is very obtainable for most, yet so many people get turned away by the amount of work that it requires. Most people take a few steps in the right direction, but after going to the gym for a couple weeks and realizing how much work is required, many people give up trying. People who are older are much more susceptible to this feeling because they are already at a disadvantage in terms of time. We need to train ourselves to push past the feeling on incompetence because that is the only way to eventually become competent in anything. While it may take a long time for some tasks at least we can get better in the time we do have to spare. This idea applies to a lot more than just getting in shape. One can feel incompetent in almost any aspect of their life and realizing that it’s just a mindset is the only way to relieve it.

  30. Daniel McNulty March 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    After reading Seth’s article, I find some issues with the common person’s mentality. It seems that people do not have enough mental strength or overall confidence to push themselves so that they can grow and eventually perfect their craft. In order to perfect one’s craft, one must accept failure. Failure is going to occur one way or another at some point during your life, it is how we react that shapes us as an individual. Society needs to do away with immediately saying I can’t and giving up when adversity comes their way. The saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” may be cheesy but it is true. The mentally tough people in the world find a way to overcome their struggles because they have the mindset that they are limitless and the only obstacle in their way is themselves and their own insecurities. Motivational outlets are everywhere and easily accessible and have a good chance of helping you push yourself farther than you thought you ever could but that does not go for all people. For most people motivation must come from within because at the end of the day, if you want something done right or the way you want it, it needs to be done yourself. We owe it to ourselves and to our teammates, our family members, our friends, or whatever the case may be, to become the best version of ourselves so that we and the people around us may flourish. It would be a disservice to sell ourselves short and take the easy way out so that we are comfortable in mediocrity rather than a constant drive for excellence. All in all, a great deal of the way we end up is a result of our mental toughness. It is a battle to strive for perfection but since no one is perfect we fall short of it but we land on greatness. The important thing here is that we be proactive rather than reactive.

  31. Trevaughn Laney March 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm #

    This is an article I can relate to because the feeling of being incompetent happens to me a lot, especially when there is a time limit on it. One thing I’ve notice that comes with the feeling of incompetency is self doubt. Being surrounded by people who may have knowledge on something that you have never heard of can really bring out the self doubt as to if you should be here or not. This is a topic that I have dealt with so many times that even though I feel incompetent I always know that this id just a normal feeling for me.
    Technology In todays society can really make someone feel like they don’t belong and the truth is that if you don’t know how to use a computer than you probably don’t belong. Technology keeps advancing just as we keep learning and if you are someone who behind the learning curve or doesn’t like technology than you probably have to be really good at sports or do something that technology can’t replicate which is really hard to do because of the more advanced upcoming technology like artificial intelligence.

  32. Jon Sozer March 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm #

    When I was in high school, I would volunteer with my local nursing home/senior center. I would do a lot of organizational tasks there: sorting applications, organizing fundraisers, and going through their online systems and records and sorting things to make sure everything was running smoothly. Occasionally, when I had free time during my lunch break, I would speak the some of the members of the senior center. I would listen to the stories, hear our their problems, and try to learn more about them. One individual would tell me about her son and daughter-in-law. They still lived in the same town that the center resided, but she would come to the senior center more frequently rather than spend time at home. She knew that, should she stay at the house, that she would burden her son and his family with her needs, with problems she couldn’t solve herself at her heightened age. It really struck me when I heard just how difficult it was to grow old and realize that you had passed your prime. Even more so that, when I turn old and grey, that there’s a change that I’m nothing more than baggage and burden to the people that I care for the most. That type of feeling, of incompetence, that I learned more about that day is paralleled in Seth’s blog post.

    Though the feeling of incompetence that Seth speaks about is an intermediate step in a longer process, which is vastly different from the finality of my anecdotal experience with incompetence. Hopefully, when I grow to be old and grey, I can realize that my incompetence is much more akin to Seth’s definition than the old lady’s definition. Being afraid to fail, to lose, and to be a loser is inherent in many of us. However, the ability to grow from failure, to experience tragedy and persist, is a skill that must be honed. Everyone must lose at times, and those losses should but nothing more than motivation.

  33. Cameron Kharazmi March 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm #

    This blog post stood out to me because it gave a good explanation as to why older people in society are not as technologically adept as the younger generations. In my thinking, I always found it odd that adults who experienced the first-hand release of new technology such as the iPhone and the Internet would quickly learn about them and be adept in its use as compared to children who had no understanding of the products when they were released. However, most adults I know are not nearly as advanced in the technological stage, and I attribute this to the “incompetence” feeling described in Seth’s blogs. An older individual has problems setting up his iPhone or trying to access some internet feature, and proceeds to abandon their goal. At that point in their life, “incompetence” is not worth the time or the effort that would enable someone to be competent. Whether it is their jobs or their loss of curiosity as they grow older, that older generation seems defeated by that stage. Thinking deeper into the issue, I believe that poses a problem, especially into the government. Seth’s blog mentions that “grown ups get tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning” and suggests that passing the incompetent stage would help us grow. This directly mirrors what is happening in our government and positions of power. Older generations man those positions, not thinking in innovative or curious manners, and impede the growth of this country. An example could be made about Net Neutrality, where it was seen that many of those in congress had very little digital literacy and made the vote on that issue primarily based on politics. We need younger generations in power(at least of the ages of 25-40) who choose to think past the “incompetence” stage and find innovative solutions to today’s and the future’s issues. Letting older politicians decide for our people that climate change is not an issue or that we do not deserve internet freedom does all of society a disservice. We must utilize the creative and curious aspects of our minds that compel us to push civilization forward, and put people in power who can understand the needs of coming generations and share some of their habits.

  34. Melissa Caniz March 8, 2019 at 8:07 pm #

    The word incompetence means not showing or having the necessary skills to do something successfully. This concept of being incompetent can be related to our daily lives, whether personally or business work matters. This country in which we live has granted us the opportunity to live in a land of the free and home of the brave. We have more liberty than any other country in the world, but one way or another certain aspect of our lives are not fulfilled by the mere statement of freedom. For example, at work, there are always improvements and upgrades to make, whether on security, surveillance, employees, or even software and technology upgrades. Getting accustomed to modern and fresh upgrades may not be easy to learn. Learning how to do a task a different way will require circumstances where one feels incompetent due to the difficulties that arise in the learning process. Now personally, a perfect family doesn’t exist, it leads to a family having arguments, discussions and so on. Trying to get every family member on the same boat will not always be simple as ABC, and therefore the feeling of incompetence kicks in, not feeling like you are able to solve a simple problem within the family or just getting overwhelmed by the fact that your family are on separate boats will always raise a red flag. Now, on the other hand, there are always people who believe they are smarter and more capable than they really are which is defined by the Dunning-Kruger effect. Incompetence people are not only poor performers but they are also unable to accurately assess and recognize the quality of their own work. David Dunn in an article for Pacific Standard once wrote “In many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious……. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.” This effect can have a profound impact on what people believe, the decisions they make, and the actions they take. Incompetence over time is a feeling that is overcome by success, as Seth’s Blog mentions “if you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better- you should care enough to experience incompetence again.” The act of failure makes a person stronger compared to anyone else because they are no longer afraid to fail, instead, they are ready to be the best at any cost.

  35. Devero McDougal II March 8, 2019 at 8:08 pm #

    When taking about incompetence I feel that is importance to keep one thing in mind and that is the expectations that you set for yourself when you are looking to learn something new. We all set expectations for ourselves when we are doing something for the first time because as humans, we have confidence in our abilities we believe that we can be the best at something if we apply ourselves. However, when we fail to meet these expectations, we start doubting ourselves and start to have the feeling of incompetence. When dealing with this feeling I feel that it is important to not give up this is a mistake that people can make sometimes, and it can be a detrimental one. If we choose to give up on something because we are feeling incompetent, then we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to have the full experience of growth. It will require the feeling of incompetence to cause us to grow and learn new things this will also teach us how to learn to deal with this feeling. Feeling incompetent is something that can happen to everyone I personally have had this feeling before. Being involved in sports my whole life has cause me to have expectations put on me by a lot of people including the expectations I have for myself. When did not meet the expectations of not playing to the level I was expected to It made me doubt myself at times. Even though I would have these feeling I would still continue to work hard and try to get better. I would eventually overcome these feelings of incompetence and would not only grow as an athlete but as a person as well. It is important to keep in mind that that expectations is a factor when taking about incompetence because it can be the cause of it.

  36. Kayla Clavijo March 8, 2019 at 8:17 pm #

    We live in this giant, super-competitive society that stares down at us and says, “prove to us that you are worth our time”. What do we do when we can’t offer up that proof? This isn’t just at work; this feeling permeates everywhere. In Seth’s blog, it is clear that the feeling of incompetence accompanies every human being at some point in his or her life. According to Seth, as adults we are definitely more prone to giving up on something if it is too difficult. There many reasons why this may occur. Everyone has a fear of failure and feeling incompetent will ultimately hold people back more than taking risks would. Laziness, lack of people skills and poor communication are many factors as well. When you try a new skill or activity for the first time, you don’t know how to do it right, and you can’t see what you are doing wrong. As adults, we can see clearly everything that we’re doing “wrong”. We begin to feel embarrassed or feel like a failure. This eventually leads to tell yourself to stick to the things you know how to do well instead.

    In my opinion, we all are incompetent on certain levels. Everyone you know is absolutely terrible and unsuccessful at one thing. We all lack something in life, and that’s okay. In a work place, you can be fired during your career for a number of reasons, including dishonesty, bad behavior and incompetence. There are a number of reasons why employers view a worker as incompetent, even if the employee is trying hard. Some causes of incompetence you can avoid, while others you can’t. Personally, I’m always feeling as though I am less effectual at simple everyday tasks than others. At work, I constantly worry that I might be a slow learner, and that coworkers may see me as unfit for my job. I feel that coworkers who are newer than me pick up the ropes quicker and even surpass me in knowledge of the workplace. In fact, I feel that many people feel this way. They feel like a child that never grew up. This feeling of impotence at some point in life is when you feel like you will never be able to prove yourself capable of handling any kind of responsibility or any kind of task that requires even the slightest degree of professional skill.

    Overall, let’s be honest, the advice along the lines of “If I can do it, anyone can do it” is tempting. This is exactly what Seth is trying to point out. In life, adults eventually tend to feel worthless and incompetent. In addition, Seth states, “We’re not good at the software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem.” This is very true. This world of extroversion, efficiency and networking is just not compatible for many people! However, this should not stop us from trying keep up with the pace of this changing world. Based on the blog, my best suggestion is to repeatedly, experience incompetence beat it and then learn something new again. Give yourself credit for making an effort and you’ll find yourself motivated to continue. Ultimately, we may not be perfect, but we will not be doomed so long as we try. This potential can foster your growth, your evolution, and your progress.

  37. Daibelis Acevedo March 8, 2019 at 8:41 pm #

    Seth’s article addresses a topic that isn’t talked about as often as it should be. In my opinion, everyone hits a stump like this at some point in their lives, specifically as an adult. The fear of trying new things and experiencing something new becomes greater. The fear of failure trumps over any new adventures that one is willing to take. In the article, it says, “the journey promises to be difficult” and I think this is one of the most powerful lines in the blog. As we grow up, tasks that may be difficult don’t really make us feel incompetent because it is a part of growth and learning and we understand that the tasks must get done. As an adult, fully grown, and “competent” a difficult task can be more embarrassing and scarier to take on that one can imagine.
    There are endless examples of moments when I have seen an adult feel incompetent. To begin with, I have a few family members who are against all the new technology and unwilling to learn about it. Without a word being spoken of fear, I can see it in their eyes that they’re afraid to look “incompetent” in front of others and this is stopping them from expanding their horizons. Caring enough to experience incompetence again, like Seth mentioned is the key to everything. There are millions of opportunities that people miss out on because they are scared of the outcome, or how they will be perceived by others.
    I enjoyed reading @LillieMoran’s post, her connections with the iPhone and Walt Disney make perfect sense in regard to this topic of incompetence. The fact that these two major companies failed multiple times before making it, should give all the hope to these people who are afraid to take a step further into reality. It’s easy to get caught up in a comfortable pace with a routine, doing the same thing every single day, and not stepping out of the bubble of your own life. The only term I can think of to describe this kind of lifestyle is literally being stuck. Life is about growth, learning, and experiences. It’s difficult to mentally grow when a person is afraid of taking actions that can help them do just that.
    As cliché as it sounds, one of the biggest issues is that adults stop dreaming. Similar to what @RayzanAlarashi mentioned, children are filled with curiosity and imagination, which leads them to want more out of life and try new things regardless if they are good at it or not. If adults continued to live their life with the same burning fire of motivation and curiosity, they would not experience the feeling of incompetence that Seth refers to. The idea is that if adults continued to dream the way kids do, they would be more open to new things and not fear failure as much as they do. Seth said, “if you care enough to make a difference” and honestly this is the main point. A person needs to care more about their own change and how they can make themselves better rather than the feeling of incompetence. The feeling of incompetence is a real thing and I can definitely see how adults can fall into this funk, maybe without even noticing. Failing is a part of life, and without it there wouldn’t be any sense of enlightening. Terrible situations, failures, and mistakes are all components that mold us into stronger, more knowledgeable people.

  38. Jamila Cuentas March 8, 2019 at 9:15 pm #

    I can relate toward this article from agreeing that as grownups, we start to feel incompetence. I think that as the years pass on, we feel that we know and can do almost everything, because of the many experiences we go through. However, that can affect when we want to accomplish something major or important but realize that it cannot be done. The article points out a great point in us not knowing how to juggle the journey towards solving a problem. We should all learn how to not become incompetence or experience incompetence because that would look negative to other who are looking up to you. In my personal experience, there was a time where I felt incompetent when I walk in on the first day of my first job. I had no experience and would have to learn from beginners’ level, but as the days went by it seemed easier and enjoyable because I put in all my effort to it and try and be successful. I think incompetence is like hiking, you must go through many trenches to reach to the best view of the mountain or hill, if you give up you will be stranded in the middle of nowhere and unable to look at anything.

  39. Ria Bagga March 8, 2019 at 10:30 pm #

    The incompetence Seth describes in his blog post is similar the reason for the stigma adults have today, against millennials. People my age are all too familiar with the put down of an adult blaming our generation for the problems in the world or things from the past becoming less important in our society. There is a fear that the newer generations will reject them in the same way so many of the things they loved became obsolete in the world.
    I have recently previously disclosed in a blog post a friend’s experience of their uncle’s job relating oil refinement went out of business permanently. His uncle turned to drugs due to feeling incompetence and hardship of a changing world. In similar situations regarding the event of Toys’R’Us closing blaming millennials for being more interested in electronics forcing the company out of business, was proven far from true. It is easy to assume the usage of electronics leads to children having less time for using toys. It is also possible that Toys’R’Us simply could not keep up in an online world and is pulling a Sears.
    A similar connection I can make to Toys’R’Us going out of business is the politics of unemployment. There are endless reasons causing people’s unemployment, but people’s favorite reason is to blame immigrants. There is a sense of incompetence and helplessness these people feel in having no control over their careers, they will look for any reason to blame their unemployment on. Incompetence is a feeling people project onto other problems in the world, blaming people who aren’t the root of the problem like millennials and immigrants.

  40. Brandon S. March 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm #

    Seth’s post regarding the feeling of incompetence is an easy one to relate to, and while it is a short blog post, its message carries a lot of weight. He makes a few interesting points, the first being that we as adults call the feeling of tiredness that comes along with learning as incompetence. Seth does not outright say that this is not correct, but I believe that this feeling we all get is not always necessarily incompetence, and sometimes it really is just tiredness or a sense of being overwhelmed, which is not the same thing as incompetence. The definition for incompetence is: “ not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully” and I read that as not having those skills at all, rather than not having the ability to learn those skills. They say that we are our harshest critic, and by calling our failures incompetence, we are being very hard to ourselves. Another point Seth makes is the feeling that we can all sometimes get when things move on without us. The example listed is an age old example about not being very good at a new software. This is a problem for a large percentage of the workplace today, as technology moves on so fast, it is hard for those set in their way to move along with it. I wouldn’t necessarily call that incompetence either, but it might be closer to the mark than some in that situation would like. I think the biggest takeaway from Seth’s blog post however, is that it is all part of the learning process and accompanies growth. More specifically, he says that the step that messes with us the most is “realizing that we can’t do it.” All throughout our lives, we all face this realization. Some probably face it at school, orat work, or at home, but regardless of where, we all face it and it is very hard to overcome. In reality though, incompetence, or failure, is a part of learning and we learn best from our mistakes. In my life, I make mistakes all the time, and generally think nothing of them, as many of them are trivial and carry no real importance. It’s when I do make a real mistake, at work for example, that I start to feel that familiar sense of failure. I might try to assign blame on some other factor, but when it is ultimately my fault, it hurts. My confidence will lower, and my apprehension to try new things will be stronger than it was before, but learning to push through the feeling of incompetence can mean the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful one. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of being human, we just have to learn to live with them and grow, wearing our mistakes on our sleeve.

  41. Matt H March 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm #

    I found this article very interesting. Since I am a college student myself, I have found myself in situations where I do not know the answer. In the beginning this feeling has made me very frustrated. The feeling of incompetence can make someone question their intelligence. However, I learned failing only makes you one step closer to succeeding.
    Primarily, I have felt the feeling of incompetence in class. There have been multiple times where it seems everyone understands the material, and I have to study for hours to comprehend it. I have learned some people can obtain information faster than others. However, I have also learned that by working hard you can be successful in anything you do. Through internships it gave me a glimpse of the “real world”. And the reality is even adults in the workforce get confused. People are always running into problems they do not know the answers to. However, with research, hard work, and dedication, the answers can be solved.
    Furthermore, I have learned the feeling of incompetence is normal. The greatest inventors in the world have failed countless times. However, it is not about failing. It’s about how you learn from your failures. An example of this is with Albert Einstein. He failed 1,000 times before creating one of the greatest inventions known to man. Einstein was not dumb, however, he knew the feeling of incompetence was normal. Albert understood he needs to learn from his failures to create one of the biggest successes in the history of mankind. It can also be see with young children learning to walk. They never give up because they know it is possible. And eventually they take their first steps.
    Lastly, you have to understand that failure means there’s room for growth. Because you fail at something does not mean you’re bad at something. The greatest success stories come from people knowing their weaknesses. This allows them to utilize their strengths and better their weaknesses. This can be seen with NBA athlete, LeBron James. When he first joined the NBA he had no jump shot, and critics doubted his potential because of it. LeBron constantly worked on his shot and is now one of the greatest players of all time.
    In my opinion, I think everyone has the potential to be successful. However, understanding the feeling of incompetence is normal will be very beneficial.

  42. Dean Elnagar March 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm #

    The feeling of being incompetent is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. To grow and move up in the world we always have to challenge ourselves and along with those challenges comes the feeling of uncertainty. Uncertain whether you’ll be able to complete the task or not or in other words, incompetence. It’s the fear of failure that scares us away from challenging ourselves. What people need to understand is that there is not a single person on this earth that hasn’t failed multiple times. It’s how you learn and grow from those failures that truly defines a person. The more you fail the more you learn. For example, it took Thomas Edison 1000 times to finally get the lightbulb right. A reporter had asked him how it felt to fail 1000 times and he replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”. Each step was a lesson learned. He didn’t let failure stop him but he allowed it to push him even harder. He learned and grew from every single one of his failures and now he is considered America’s greatest inventor. It’s normal to be nervous or uneasy when facing a challenge but it’s important to never back down from a challenge and use it as a way to grow into the best version of yourself as possible.

  43. Ashley Bock March 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm #

    Incompetence is defined as the inability to do something successfully, this being the main focus that is explained in Seth’s Blog post. I agree with the article and how he discusses the feeling of incompetence when doing new things. His post details how feeling incompetent is inevitable, this including people of all ages. However, he specifically mentions adults this because at some point they decide to stop growing and learning new things because they do not want to feel the incompetence that is often a bi-product of learning or doing something new. I agree with these things in Seth’s articles as I can relate to this feeling as I have felt this feeling multiple times, such as when learning new sports, starting a job, and entering college. The reason most individuals often do not want to start any new projects or journeys is because they know it may be difficult and that they will feel unsure and incompetent. However, even if something could be difficult, I feel that means one should continue with it if it is something you feel passionate about or have an interest in. This because through any new thing or difficulty comes growth, and as Seth’s Blog says incompetence “accompanies all growth” (Seth’s Blog). He states that there is a process that one goes through when overcoming this incompetent feeling. Firstly, we feel that we cannot successfully accomplish the new task but as we push ourselves to learn and try to become less incompetent at the task, we in turn push ourselves to succeed. Seth’s blog, although short, is filled with powerful advice on how to get ahead even though we have fears of failure. The final sentence, “If you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better–you should care enough to experience incompetence again” (Seth’s Blog) shows that one step to making a difference and feeling that fear will give you the confidence to experience more.

  44. Niall El-Adawy May 5, 2019 at 8:54 pm #

    This particular post means a lot to me for its accuracy and because it relates to myself a lot. It’s a common trend for humans to give up after they fail instead of bettering themselves and, metaphorically, come back swinging. It is often that “I can’t do it” is our go-to response when things don’t go the way that we want. Whether it is academically, professionally, or emotionally, we must learn that the only way to reach the good parts in life is to trudge through the bad, and learn from it as we trudge through. Feeling incompetent is a normal emotion, it happens to all of us, and it will continue to happen to us as we navigate this thing we call life. I can say that in all of my shortcomings, my immediate reaction was not to get up and back at it. Instead, I would wonder where i went wrong, and feared falling short if I were to pick up where I left off. Life will throw things at you from all angles, good and bad. But it is important to remember that there is always a way up and over, no matter how tall the mountain is.

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