Matt Birchler tweeted and wrote about the Dunning-Kruger effect recently. I have no idea what prompted the post, but I hope to god it wasn’t me. On looking at the graph posted I realised that I am very susceptible to this and there is a very specific point on it just for me. I am calling this the ‘Morris Point’ because it's caused me so many issues in my life, so I’m claiming it as my own.
When you first start doing something new, or learning about a new subject, the curve at which you take in new things is steep. Leading to overconfidence and often a very high chance you will make a fool of yourself. I love these periods, where you’re obsessed with everything about the new things and learning lots, but with no experience to back up your opinions.
As time goes on, this lapses, and your tendency to have confidence in your skills starts to wane. With me, this gets to a certain point, and crashes like a stone. This is the Morris point, typically one of no return. I start to question why I am doing this, if I am good enough to carry on, and often give up completely. With little encouragement, the easy way out is to quit.
Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit - Dan Green
The curve at the bottom looks insurmountable on the way down. The time you put in impossible to achieve, and the imposter syndrome hits hard. Only sheer determination and a bit of luck gets you through this point and on the way up again. It doesn’t matter what it is, YouTube, podcasts, newsletters. They all bit the dust because that’s the easy way out at the bottom of this curve. I am only still writing through sheer force of will, and I have nothing better to do!
A few likes, some feedback, a positive word or two, all help when you’re at the bottom and trying to get up again. I guess you have to bear with the gobby overconfidence for a bit to see if something better comes out the other end, or if they just give up trying. Doesn’t hurt to know your limits though — and watch out for the Morris point. It’s a killer.