Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
Imposter Syndrome is common in the world of software. I’ve experienced it myself over the years and have spoken to many colleagues that have felt the same way. This happened a lot early on in my career. Especially when I was faced with a problem that I wasn’t sure that I could solve. This was really felt when I knew there was another engineer that could tackle it. That led to comparing myself with that person which was unhealthy.
This led to me to figuring out one thing:
It is all about mindset.
How you look at those instances where you don’t believe you can succeed makes a huge difference. What I found to be helpful is to look at it from a different perspective. Take it as a challenge.
If you are faced with a task that requires you to use skills you don’t currently have or is something that you have never done before, accept that challenge. Take the time to learn the skills required. Reach out to the people that can help you, so you can grow.
You have to look at each of these times as an opportunity to learn and grow. Forget how you compare to other people. Instead, think about how this can benefit you. You likely have skills that those other people you are comparing yourself to do not. Everyone is different, so focus on the thing you can change… yourself.
Over time, keeping this mindset and finishing difficult tasks has helped me to overcome my personal imposter syndrome. Now, if I ever start feeling like I’m not good enough to accomplish something, I think back to other times that I have completed a task that I thought was impossible or that I lacked the skills to do which gets me back into knowing that I can always learn and figure it out.