5 Ways I Overcome Impostor Syndrome As A Developer
Steps to take today
"I am not good enough". "I am not worthy of this position". "I am a fraud".
We all have these negative thoughts every once in a while. It happens even to the best of us. When it comes, it saps away your self-confidence like a leech and leaves you low, drained and demotivated.
Impostor Syndrome is the belief that you're not as competent, successful, intelligent, talented or wise as you claim or are regarded to be and that your success or achievement was based on luck and hence, undeserving of that position.
Software developers are particularly prone to impostor syndrome. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tools and concepts a contemporary web developer is expected to know.
Personally, I have been affected by impostor syndrome a couple of times and the feeling of it really sucks.
Below are five effective ways I handle impostor syndrome.
I Find High Profile Failures
Whenever I am held down or feeling low, I tried searching for some high profile failures and mistakes by experts and then try to imagine how they must have felt following their incidents.
I kind of tell myself this:
"If Mr X, a well renowned and highly educated professional could make this kind of mistake and still bounce back then you have a chance"
What I essentially do is that I use the enormity of their mistakes to excuse or justify mine, I use it to boost my confidence and motivate myself to rise up from my self-pity.
It fills me with the notion that no one "knows it all".
This works almost all the time.
Open Up And Ask For Help
This is a very important step to take. Opening up for me is one of the single most effective way to lighten your mood and restore your self-belief.
Whether it's a fellow developer on social media or a team member at work, opening up to him about your feelings can be very helpful as he/she is most likely to give you words of encouragement in hopes of allaying your doubts and motivating you.
Of course, you should be very careful of the kind of person you open up to. Some might actually aggravate the feeling by making jokes and cruel comments.
You should only reach out to someone with delicate demeanour who you are positive will listen and help you.
Hark Back To A Point You Did Something Incredible
This is the ultimate reinvigoration.
Once I got so low in spirit that depression completely beclouded me. I lost a lot of belief in my ability to code. Then I had an epiphany. I suddenly recalled a time when I had successfully set up a back-end in a language I barely knew. It was one of the most proud and triumphant feeling I ever had in my life. Just think back at it filled me with renewed energy and boosted my spirit to lift myself up and try again.
Watch More Tutorials
I know you're probably wondering what the hell I'm driving at, but here me out.
The aim is boosting your spirit and your self-belief.
Watching tutorial makes you think, or gives you the illusion that you finally understand how it's done.
You can channel this renewed interest and zeal into actually finding the solution to your problems and who knows, that might turn out to be your break-through moment.
You might disagree with me on this, but it works a lot for me.
What a new tutorial. Energize yourself by thinking you now understand everything. Trying and fix the issue. Fail. Repeat. Success.
This process also tries to make you better. So it's a win-win for both your confidence and your actual abilities.
N/B: If you're looking for some beginner-friendly tutorial on web development, I'll highly recommend HTML To React By Sleepless Yogi
Think About How Success Would Feel
Sometimes all you need to motivate yourself is by visualizing what you stand to benefit from succeeding. The goal is to lift you up and keep you going.
Whether it's the income or other kind of rewards, visualizing what it would look or feel like is a great way to bolster your already depleted self-esteem.
Impostor Syndrome is a phase every professional go through at one point of their career. These are the most effective ways I use to subdue mine.
I emphasized the word "subdue" because I still get impostor syndrome sometimes. I don't know if it's really possible to completely get rid of the feeling.
However this time, I am mentally more equipped to combat it.
If you enjoyed this article and want to support me, feel free to buy me my favourite fruit:
Thank you for your time and see you soon!