Incompetence Month Day 2 of 30

Against the real world now

The plan for day 2 was to play both Warframe and CS:GO – I ended up spending all my time in CS:GO – and there is one simple reason for that. It’s exciting.

As mentioned in a previous post, this is not the experience I’ve had in the past when I started out playing a new, hard game with a steep learning curve. In the past (merely a few years ago in fact) I would have given up after the first day of play. And one of the reasons for doing so is very simple: I felt incompetent and at the time I have a massive psychological resistance towards that very emotion.

Since this is my journey down the road of incompetence, I will tell you what I now know and which I didn’t know back then. You might be able to recognize and relate to some of the stuff I write here, maybe you can’t. But it will serve as an example of one of the reasons you might experience extra psychological resistance towards this emotion on top of the biological reason.

The Seeds of Psychological Resistance

If you’ve followed my blog or my stream, you might have heard me talking about how our subconsciousness work. If you want a more detailed walkthrough of that, let me know and I will create a separate post about that. For now, it is enough to know, that our subconsciousness is the one taking care of most of our behaviors and providing emotional signals throughout our everyday lives. And this part of our mind is further divided into two part – our biological emotional and behavioral heritage as well as our social emotional and behavioral heritage.

My own resistance towards feeling incompetent stems from these two parts in connection, which I’ve learned by gaining knowledge of how the human brain works as well as working with myself in therapy. I’ve mentioned earlier that we have a biological resistance towards feeling incompetent since we’re dependent on belonging to and be an important part of our tripe to maximize the chance for our survival.

In my case that biological resistance has been reinforced by my social heritage. My parents weren’t too big on acknowledgements regarding what I achieved. As children we are totally dependent on our parents to tell us whether we’re going in the right direction or not. Children needs some guidance towards getting information whether what we do is worth doing. Or not. To do that in an optimal way is very hard, but a crude guideline could something along the line: acknowledge your kid’s efforts (and later when you’re an adult: your own efforts) and not the result (doing this sometimes makes sense of course). This will let your kid know they are on the right track, letting them know if they work with their assignments, it’s good enough. They will learn that if they are in the process and put their work and energy there, the result will take care of itself.

That guidance lacked in my childhood, especially from around the age of 8 to 17. This left myself to judge whether what I did was good enough or not. And a child doesn’t have the competencies to do this. In turn, this makes the child’s judgement unrealistic.

In my case it ended up with a stride for perfection, over responsibility, thinking what I did wasn’t good enough, always overworking myself and being too critical on myself. I hated feeling incompetent, and even though I was quite accomplished in many ways (“You’ve always been lucky,” my mom says), I still felt incompetent most of the time – and that’s not very motivating in the long run. The result was (among a whole bunch of things) I ended up not playing games unless I felt good at them within the first hour or so.

What Happened on Day 2?

I had planned to do some training of what I already did before going live again with day two. And I didn’t manage to find the time, so I felt guilty about that since I had an agreement with myself.

Guided by Friis I still played some DM on Mirage against bots upping the difficulty and still managed to be in top of those games. I quickly jumped into a defuse match against bots after that.

After an hour or so, I was joined by DigDirector on Discord, which I found out was one of the co-workers from my partners at Skybox. Together with Friis we had a chat where I got some great pointers towards what would be good to practice from the beginning – and he validated all of what Friis already had told me. After that, we jumped into a game together against real people, which was a very humbling experience but also very instructive. DD showed me around the map, telling me about angles, what to do and why, while I tried to just do my best.

It was a whole lot of condensed information in a very short time and in the end, I was just very spend and very tired.

After the stream ended the following emotions was dominant: I felt incompetent, happy, humbled, tired, confused, and proud. Also, I actually managed to get a couple of kills as well, which was very surprising.

The Lessons learned

These are my key take aways which I will focus on in my off- and on-screen practice:

  • Practice against other humans
  • Look into which buys makes more sense in which situations
  • Learn terminology
  • Learn callouts
  • Practice one side, CT seems to be the easiest to get your head around
  • Practice one or two maps (Mirage and Overpass was suggested)

Moving Forward

If you know the game, this seems obvious. If you’re new to the game, this may seem very overwhelming. I believe it is – my age might have something to do with that, but that’s a whole lot to learn.

It’s still a very humbling experience, but I still think it’s a fun journey and I’m very curious as to where I will end up after the 30 days are over.

I’m also very grateful for the guidance / mentoring I’ve already received and the help from the community.

Have a lovely one until next time.

Now I’m off to make sure I have some okay key bindings for what I need. Thanks for reading.