[This post was written on 9/27 and 9/28 during the heart of FinCon 2018]
For many bloggers, FinCon provides abundant material to create a post from.
FinCon ’18 also provided me with material for a post, however this was not the post I had in mind or wanted to write.
For those viewers who frequent blogs like this, FinCon should not be an unfamiliar term.
In essence FinCon is considered THE gathering of like-minded people who share interest in all things finance.
Bloggers with all levels of experience congregate into the designated locale (this year Orlando) for four days of senses overload.
It is a wonderful opportunity for bloggers to network, make connections with vendors in the industry, and come away with some cool swag.
Or so I am told.
You see, while the majority of the bloggers I have developed a close online friendship with have descended onto Orlando from September 26 to September 29, I chose to remain planted at work/home.
Did I have some sort of conflict in my schedule?
Was I not able to get coverage/time off?
I didn’t ask, but it was likely I could have gotten the appropriate days off.
Was it a matter of money?
When asked point blank by several bloggers why I was not going to FinCon this year I really did struggle to find an excuse.
A couple of the excuses that were running through my head when confronted with this question:
- I am a relative newbie in blogging (my blog is still not even 6 months old!), and I don’t belong there.
- I even thought, “Hey I could pretend like I am the Designated Survivor for the physician blogosphere”
- This excuse DRAMATICALLY lost its significance when Jim Dahle of White Coat Investor also did not attend FinCon (trust me if you want to rebuild the physician blogosphere up from the rubble, he is the one you want to do it since it would just be a repeat of what he has already done)
But honestly these responses/excuses felt hollow.
So what was really preventing me from making my first appearance at a conference that had my fellow bloggers excited about attending for the past few months?
I could not quite put my finger on it until I came across a great post by Liz from Chief Mom Officer titled, “Wheels Up! Musings on FinCon, Imposter Syndrome, and Introversion.”
Everyone who knows me will classify me as far from the introvert spectrum as possible
During our office Christmas party for over 500 employees, for example, I have on more than one occasion gotten on stage and taken over lead singer duties with a local favorite 80’s cover band band (I performed Jump Around by House of Pain one year and It Takes Two (Rob Base) the year prior).
So I felt the introversion component of that post could definitely be ruled out as a potential root cause for me not attending FinCon this year.
That left Imposter Syndrome as the main suspect, the phenomena which is eloquently described in the post, “5 Types of Imposter Syndrome (And 5 Ways to Battle Each One)”
Between these two posts, I definitely found that this was the true source behind the decision to not attend FinCon this year:
What if I go and people realize that I have no idea what I’m doing and the gig is up?
As mentioned in the very first thing I published on this blog, it took me several years before I found the courage to launch XRAYVSN.
The doubts that swirled around me of whether I was good enough to enter this space is the epitome of Imposter Syndrome.
There are wonderful memories that have been created at FinCon ’18, none of which are mine.
The opportunity to transform virtual friends into actual friends in the real world has been lost or at the very least, postponed.
The opportunity to be immersed directly with like-minded people in a conference designed to bring this very collaborative group together has also been wasted.
As I type this I am quite disappointed that I let inertia and complacency, coupled with Imposter Syndrome, prevent me from breaking free of my comfort zone and venture into uncharted waters.
As I am already wistfully looking at photos from this conference popping up on the various social media outlets, even while the conference is ongoing, I realize that I did make a mistake and let this syndrome get the better of me, just like it had in the past.
Time is not guaranteed for anyone and who knows what lies in store for this blog or me, but my plans are to attend the 2019 FinCon event (in Washington DC) so that I can prove to myself that I am not an imposter anymore.
Even if this blog crashes in a big ball of flames, I still would like to attend as a “former blogger” and meet the people that I have grown quite fond of.
So for all my blogging friends who were attendees fortunate enough to experience FinCon 2018, I send out a plea that you will make every effort to attend the conference in 2019 so I can negate some of the mistakes I made this year and actually meet you in person.
And for those who, like me, missed out on memories from FinCon 2018 due to Imposter Syndrome (or something else), please join me as we put any doubts that we may have to bed.
Hope to see you there.
(p.s. I call “not it” on being the Designated Survivor)
[Update: I have since purchased passes for FinCon ’19, booked a room at the conference hotel, and requested the time off, so I am now officially FinCon bound.]
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