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The Undo Anxiety

posted on 2020-12-27

In real life I often have a lack of confidence, and I blame computers for that.

During my $DAYJOB I spend most of my time working with computers. Computers are great (most of the time). One of the best features of computers is the undo functionality. On a computer you can basically undo anything you do. To name a few: you can undo typing text, undo clipping an image, and even undo deleting a file. So when I’m writing code, I can type a possible solution, test it, and if it would not work, undo it and try something else. This gives me confidence.

The same applies to video games. When playing a game you usually save and reload whenever you want, or when you die, you can just try again. Funny, by coincidence @dinoman_j recently posted a great cartoon that also mentions this.

Cartoon with two dinos. Dino says: "I wish life was more like a video game." Other dino says: "so you could retry every time you fail?" Dino says: "no so I could enjoy it"

But things don’t work like that in real life. There usually is no retry. Everything you do has a permanent effect. Okay, in most situations you can take action to rectify the outcome, but your initial actions will be part of history. For example, when you say something that offends someone, you can apologize and express your good intentions, but the offended person might remember this for quite some time and judge you on that.

Things like this makes me extremely insecure IRL. It will often lead me to refrain from taking initiative, because I am afraid to fail. I also do not speak up a lot in conversations. Even if I’m pretty sure I’m about my case, other people can give me second thoughts because they outclass me in confidence.

I call this phenomena “The Undo Anxiety”. There must be a more professionally researched term for this, but I could not find it in my 10min of searching the web. I’m writing only this, because I was wondering if other people can relate?

Did I choose this profession because it fits my personality, or grew my personality to this because of my profession…?