This is a guest post by Smiles & Code
A couple of months back, I had the pleasure of focusing on a topic, breaking it down and creating a list of tips as to how to work on the issue and fight back against something so many of us in the tech community face on a daily basis.
You’ve got that right, I’m talking about Impostor Syndrome.
I feel like that list is still and always will have a relevancy for tech, especially because it’s a career and field that is continuously challenging, evolving and introducing new features and languages that we as coders need to pick up and learn, in order to improve whatever it is that we may be creating at the time.
So let’s open the door to the troubling, yet extremely common struggle that is Impostor Syndrome, and look at some tips that I created which can help you fight through those ruts when they do decide to present themselves.
Tip 1#: Take Note of your Skills
Remove your focuses off of others and instead concentrate on you
With things like social media platforms and anything really that exists in the online world, it can be easy to look at others and get sucked in into the skewed version of their lives. Say I post a picture showing off my code, it looks great, the edits done nicely and it seems as though everything surrounding that photo is bright, happy and in most cases even successful, I’ve crushed it. But, what people don’t see is behind the scenes, maybe that code took a week to write up, maybe there was bugs and I had to start over, or MAYBE even in between me starting that code and the posting of that picture there were a few meltdowns because I myself didn’t believe that I could complete this project.
This is important to remember because we only put snippets of our lives online, so pulling your focus away from this and focusing on what YOU’RE doing really pushes you to measure your own successes and stops you from looking through the warped kaleidoscope that is social media. It also allows you to put this extra time into your own work, and compete with the best competition you could possibly have. Yourself, of course!
Tip 2#: Push Perfectionist Ways to the Side
and know that it’s okay to fail, because that failure leads to future success
When it comes to certain things, perfectionism is a thing that can provide some beneficial aspects. But this is far from the case when you are dealing with something like Impostor Syndrome and it is something that can cause more negativity in this case, then actual positive results or responses. When you work on pushing aside perfectionism, this removes an INSANE amount of pressure off of your shoulders. It also makes it much easier to just focus on the task and then when it’s done to the best of your ability, instead of stressing, being able to actually put it down and move onto the next thing. That’s not to say that failure isn’t okay. Failure is what teaches us things, gives us experiences to learn from and allows us to approach things with more confidence the next time, if we are to fail at something.
Tip 3#: Surround Yourself with a Good Community
particularly those who boost you up
Working in tech or even starting out in tech shouldn’t be something that is a lonely journey. What it is instead and should be is a thriving community of like minded people who are passionate and as hard working at their craft as you are and, in a lot of cases going through the same struggles as you. When immersing yourself in this community, it gives others and you the opportunity to motivate, to discuss and even to boost each other up through the struggles and create this flow of engagement that is beneficial (and really fun.) The power lies in knowing that your struggle is common and you aren’t alone, it’s actually quite the opposite.
Tip 4#: Nobody Knows What they are Doing
telling yourself this is literally one of the most positive things you can do
Look at various startups, sometimes even when they do have the various resources that they need to succeed such as say funding, they fail. Life is rocky and it’s always going to be filled with waves of ups and downs, this is something that is important to note, because sometimes when we look through that skewed lens of perception I mentioned, all we sometimes see is the simple stream of success. It’s important not to forget that everyone else is simply trying to find their way through the winding maze that is life. Sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding and other times trying new things in order to find out what works best.
Tip 5#: You Deserve to be Here
we all do ^_^
So push yourself up! Because when you happen to think otherwise, it isn’t skill, talent or any of those other things that you may come up with that holds you back, it’s actually you. Accept your skills that you’ve worked hard to earn/learn, and don’t hold yourself back because when you finally put your trust into your knowledge and push yourself to achieve your goals, that pesky Impostor Syndrome becomes a thing of the past and you gain that ability to move forward and instead can put that energy back into doing what you love.
That’s it for this article! I hope you take these tips and apply them to your life and your career, and if you have any tips you’d like to share with others, be sure to leave them in the comments down below! I’d love to hear what you guys have to say!