Retreat Into Competence

It happens to everyone to feel overwhelmed, confused, and realizing how little we actually know or that we’re working on a project that is actually not going well. Retreating into our competence and regain it is he solution to this problem. Sometimes, stepping on the side is a good thing because when we pull back, then it’s easier for us to launch ourselves.

In the pattern, the author Dave H. Hoover says: “An apprenticeship is a roller-coaster ride. You will experience the thrill of learning new technologies, leveraging your knowledge and creativity to deliver value to your customers. But you will also experience the heart-in-your-throat terror of perceiving just how little you know compared to the craftsmen and experts you meet along the way. It can be overwhelming, particularly when a deadline is looming or when you’re dealing with production issues.”. Wen reading this, we can understand that this is a normal and inevitable phenomenon along The Long Road. Overcoming the fear of your own incompetence is the bridge between Expose Your Ignorance and Confront Your Ignorance.

This pattern is most relevant for people who have stretched themselves far beyond their ability. If your apprenticeship has you taking reasonable-sized steps forward, taking on gradually increasing responsibilities and technical complexity, then you may not need to take shelter in this pattern. But if you are really struggling or are barely keeping your head above water in The Deep End, look for opportunities to temporarily retreat. Sometimes you need to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. From this pattern, I just understand that pressuring ourselves and feeling overwhelmed, or a project not working and feeling frustrated, stepping off and pulling back will help us go even far. I love the way the author explained and said that when we pull back, then launch forward, it is like a some from a catapult. I am pretty sure we have all seen catapult and the further back we pull, the further the stone will go forward. Same with software, when we feel like we can’t do it anymore, let’s pull back and retreat into our competence. That will be the way we will regain it.

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