It’s the first week of the new year and I just read Chris Do’s new book, Pocket Full of Do, in one sitting. In his book, he shares all the wisdom he has amassed throughout his design and entrepreneurial career. It was like listening to a village elder speak, and depending on where you are in your career, some of his words may resonate more than others.
As a visual designer who transitioned into UX just last year, my mind is hyper focused on growth. I’m trying to absorb as much information as I can, and reading Pocket Full of Do helped me narrow this year down to two goals. Two skills to master in order to become a better designer.
This is a skill, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s actually a combination of a couple points Chris makes about fear and the unknown.
“Asking why? is an expression of curiosity. Asking why not? is an expression of courage and willingness to act before knowing.”
Asking why? lets you gather more information, so you can be more confident in the choices you’re making. Asking why not? is saying yes to the unknown and dealing with what happens next. It’s taking a leap. It takes me out of my comfort zone, because I allow myself to be unprepared.
A few months ago, I was asked to moderate a UX design panel. It would be in front of an audience, asking questions about things I didn’t have much experience in (yet). I had to think on my feet, which I knew I’m not that good at. I had to face the anxiety of public speaking, which I hadn’t done much of before. It would be my first time.
So, why not?
On his experience about talking to strangers, Chris says “by exposing myself to things that scared me, I started to build up my resistance and learned that most of the fear was created in my mind.”
It turns out moderating a panel is kind of fun. So much so that I did it a second time a month later.
If you want to grow in your career, I encourage you to open yourself up to opportunities that scare you.
Then “ask yourself why not? Why not me? Why not today?”