"Imposter syndrome also know as the fraud syndrome or the imposter phenomenon is a concept of describing individuals who are marked by an ability to accept their accomplishments and a constant fear of being exposed as a fraud"
For developers , whether you just started to code or in this for a long time. At some point we all have thought of doing nothing compared to others are achieving neglecting your own accomplishments. This is known as imposter syndrome and its fairly common in modern days. Imposter syndrome is also more common among high achieving individuals.
Development is a fast-paced industry always changing and always in flux, disregard of what you are developing. Be it software Development, Web development or Game development, its pretty common that you gonna face challenges. That's what makes development fun (At least for us as developers :). But this also means that you're constantly faced with things that you don't know. And before you even get to learn those they already changed again. This makes everyone say that you need to learn this and thats ASAP (As quickly as possible). Here comes the catch, There are different developers with different skills and learning speed. Some learn things quick enough and some take their time to learn and this is not something you need to feel bad about. Its just the way you are and there is nothing wrong with that. But the problem comes when things change while learning. This makes the learning curve change its course suddenly and is difficult for those developers to cope up. Those devs got depressed and suddenly starts to feel they can do anything despite of their accomplishments they have gained previously.
So a lot intro about imposter Syndrome but the main problem with this is despite what's written above is that everyone facing imposter Syndrome thinks that this is only happening with them but honestly this happens to about 70% of people think at some point they have imposter syndrome.
I know what imposter Syndrome is. How to overcome it?
Ok so the reason you probably came to read this is on how to overcome it? Here are some steps you can follow to overcome imposter syndrome:-
Know when you are having Imposter Syndrome
Awareness is a big step in overcoming imposter syndrome. If you get stressed if a problem comes or while implementing a feature and if it takes a little longer to implement or if you are struck and always thinks what other people are thinking of me then try to remind of the following things :-
- The feature can take as long as you want
- You will write more sustainable and efficient code and care about the quality of the code you produce
- You will try to find a permanent solution of the problem rather than a temporary solution and it always pays of at the end.
- F*ck what others thinks as they are not doing the job, you are. So its your responsibility to produce good quality work as you will be judged on that.
Throw your negative thoughts out of your mind and into the dustbin
Yep you read that correct. When you start to think negative your mind continues that thought and keep expanding it. However, the real thing to know here is that these thoughts will never happen disregard of how hard you try to think realistic situations as bad as possible. Things always turn around at the end and that's what life is worth living for. Remember if things don't work around the way you want then that's probably not the end.
Talk to your peers
Talking to someone makes you feel relived. So as you start getting negative thoughts always talk to your peers, be it your friends, family, girlfriends/boyfriends, your colleagues just talk to someone who you know better for a long time and you know will encourage you. If you don't find anyone to talk about your problem then no worries, goto internet and start joining groups where people are in the same field as yours. Start talking to them. Since no one knows you there they will probably respect you and encourage you. As with everyone there, at some point they all have gone through the same stage and some probably do now as well. So don't hesitate to talk.
Surround yourself with like minded positive people
let's come to a part in the previous point about joining an online group. The thing I said is since no one knows you there they probably will respect you and encourage you. But exceptions are filled in this world and no leaving it here that there are some people who will be rude and will make fun of you. Always beware of these people and don't tolerate this. inform to admins and moderators immediately and if no one is taking action then its better to leave the group. Now there will always be few people who discourage you, but don't make yourself down about this. Beside this always try to find and contact professionals in your fieeld and try to learn from them. Some probably won't reply but those who do will explain things very simply and will help you understand. I would like to quote a saying which goes like this :
"If no one is willing to go where you wanted to go, then go alone. You will find many like minded people there. "
Make good choices
Most of the times it happens as when you struck in a problem you copy-paste code from the internet without understanding what it does. Now you might thing what's the problem in that as at the end of the day it solves your problem. But in reality it creates a lot more problems thatn you expect, as the code you copied might be not for something you are developing and you need to go through it again to make changes if something breaks down. As I said at the first point , you will be the one who will be judged on how you work so try to create a good impression by outputting good quality work. You can copy-paste but understanding what is does will help you in the long run and is also benefecial to you as you can add one more things to the learned section.
Remember you are not alone
And finally always remember that your are not alone in this and everyone at some point has faced imposter syndrome disregard of the field they are working in.
So overcoming imposter syndrome is not easy but imagine how great it will feel when you can overcome all your fears and anxiety. You will feel much more liberated than you are right now. So get out there and start fighting as you got to where you are because you deserved it and there is still a long way to go. -Ayan Banerjee