Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Overcoming Self Doubt – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 5/17/16

This week, Adam shares how he overcame a recent funk he was in after a bad day at the shop. We discuss the universal feeling of self doubt and impostor syndrome, and how we each move past it. Plus, an appreciation for the movies Pleasantville and The Truman Show!

Comments (27)

27 thoughts on “Overcoming Self Doubt – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 5/17/16

  1. Totally off topic but. Adam One thing I’d wish you would have done on mythbusters would have been to see if you could generate lift on a wing made from nothing but legos ( and perhaps superglue. )

  2. JUST recorded a CreatureGeek podcast about this topic LAST NIGHT! HAHAH. so, in a few weeks, you can hear my stories.

  3. I enjoyed the topic of resources vs time. I have time, but can’t afford large tools or lots of resources. I say this as I follow David Goldbergs build of the DeathStar laser cannon. I hope that me building it out of foam core doesn’t offend anyone.

  4. This is so weird that this topic of self doubt has come up as the topic of the podcast. I just had a tremendous bout of self doubt concerning a current project involving EVA foam. It is true that it happens to everybody and it is nice to hear that even Adam has moments of self doubt as well (does that make him even more human/down to earth?) But self doubt is a constant battle with me (that is I worry about weird things that are so far off they will never happen) and at times it leaks into my projects. But I tend to walk away, regroup and reevaluate the project or my process (or have my wife look over it and give me a unbiased observation of what I am working on). It helps and gets me back on course. Anyhow great podcast again and a very pertinent (and needed to be addressed) subject matter. Thanks again guys.

  5. Hello there, Dutch person here.

    Strand Beest. in English vocabulary you say it as Straunt Based. where it’s just your word for “aunt”. with a “str” in frond of it, no pause. so, not as “ent” as I know some English speaking people announce “aunt” but as “awnt” this is how you reach the correct sounding dutch tones for the name Strand Beest. just thought I share. ^^

    For years I have been following both Podcasts and the site. and will hope to do so for many years more.

  6. Strandbeest! That is worth going to San Francsico for (I always love to visit anyway) Does anybody know if this is the end of Theo’s Jansen’s tour. His website shows no other dates in America.

  7. “I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak…all my life and I have to live with that, you know…Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

    –John Lennon

  8. I’m a computer programmer. There are times when nothing goes right. I’ve been known to write a program to do little more than read a record from a file (row from a table for the SQL types) and print what I’ve found– just to prove I can still write a program that works!

    When it comes to ‘maker’ projects, if I haven’t built something either in my head, on paper, or in Sketchup at least 3 times before I touch any actual materials, I know something’s wrong! When I have a project that doesn’t go well, I tend to walk away in disgust, and let it sit. Sometimes for months! I’ll mope around until my subconscious has finally figured out what needs to be done. Which usually involves ripping out the bad work and re-doing it. It’s the only way I’ll be satisfied!

    Finally, at my previous house I gutted and drywalled the upstairs. Drywall and joint compound require you to to be in sort of a Zen state– you must be calm, unhurried. That’s not to say you can’t work fast– because you can. But it can’t be hurried! And patience! If it’s ‘pretty good,’ LEAVE IT! One more touch and it’ll be ‘pretty bad.’ Come back tomorrow and add that last touch to make it ‘very good!’

    –Paul E Musselman

  9. Amazing timing with the self doubt subject. I often have the same thing happen to me. I build electronics and sometimes when things aren’t going right, I feel like I shouldn’t be doing this. Like I really don’t know what I’m doing. I usually go to work on something else, and in time go back to the project, usually with a fresh eye. I also write music, and sometimes I’ll sit in the studio with no ideas, thinking well, that’s that. Or I’ll write nothing but utter tripe and think we’ll that’s that! Then one day, everything changes, creativity flows, and magic will happen. Often it’s just plugging away until something bends.

  10. Hey guys

    Just a little bit of information on EDTV. It was actually a remake from a french Canadian movie (or Quebecois if you want to relay the exact information about the origin) Louis 19 roi des ondes. And if you like EDTV just take a look at the original (I am sure that you can find it with english subtitle. Anyway always a pleasure to watch you guys and alway looking to the next podcast.

  11. For me this video has no sound. Other vids do, like the near in time one with Frank Ipolito. Anyone else running into this?

  12. This weeks podcast has really helped me out. I’m just about to start a project at work which involves machine nearly £3k worth of material and not wanting to make a mistake means I keep off putting it off. I think now I’m ready to make a start. Thank you Adam, will and norm.

  13. I’ve noticed that over the last few episodes Will’s mic is noticably louder than Adam’s and Norm’s. Please fix you levels. Thanks.

  14. Thanks Adam for the advice. I’ve been feeling that “I’m faking it/someone is gonna tap me on the shoulder” feeling for about year now. It helps to know others have felt that. Keep on making.

  15. Mr. Savage, as a follow up to the discussion on Self Doubt, have you ever run into the situation where you had finished a job and didn’t get proper credit for being the designer/artist. I ran into this many years back during my internship with a major toy company and once or twice in my professional career as a toy designer. It still bothers me this day that I never got due credit for coming up with a major character design look that then appeared in a movie about toys coming to life (and it wasn’t Toy Story). I even sat through video conferences with the director and effects/puppet studio, but because I was the intern I was told to keep my mouth shut. How have you delt with situations like that if any?

  16. So great to hear that even Adam hits those Impostor Complex moments just like the rest of us. It reminds me of something that Adam has said in the past in regards to how only we ourselves know how much more we could have done or how much effort we left out along the way. That knowledge can make us feel really exposed — really fearful that someone else is going to realize that the thing we did should be “better” than it is. I definitely encounter that in my projects, and if I’m honest, sometimes it keeps me from starting.

  17. I saw the Strandbeest exhibit in Chicago and it’s terrific. You guys are going to love all the detail and how hands-on the exhibit is. I was particularly impressed with how low-tech all the components are. Everything is hand made and one-off, yet he’s creating the same little component over and over. It’s incredible. If they structure the exhibit the same way there as they did here in Chicago, you’ll have the opportunity to actually “walk” small Strandbeest sections yourself, which is really fun. For me, the most remarkable thing was realizing that unlike the small model kits that run on direct drive and gear reductions, the full-size machines are propelled by much less conventional means. On the most successful Strandbeests so far, the legs don’t actually drive the machines forward at all. They’re just there to support the structure and are basically elaborate wheels. Can’t wait to see what you guys make of it.

  18. I loved this episode and it applies in many ways to my life right now. Thank you for your insights.

    Off topic, I wonder if you have any suggestions for my eight year old son for great videos on building, science, and more that are interesting for his level of understanding.

  19. Hey Adam, Will and Norm!

    I recently went to an event where there were 19 retired astronauts! I got to speak with 4 of them, but I was too intimidated to speak with the Apollo astronaut who was there! Everyone was talking to him and asking for pictures, but I felt like I didn’t want to be “that guy” so I didn’t talk to him.

    I’m disappointed that I didn’t, and I was wondering if you had advice about being in that situation. How do deal with an event where you are intimidated and feel weird having a chat with someone so ground breaking and important such as an astronaut who has walked on the freaking moon?!

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