Bootcamp Mastery: Positive Self-Narrative

I recently finished a coding intensive at Fullstack Academy in NYC. These articles are part of a series about how to get the most out of an immersive bootcamp experience. Check out my stories for more!

To get the most value out of your bootcamp, you have to stay positive.

We talked about the power of momentum. The sister of momentum is positive self-narrative.

In his great book, Unleash Your Inner Company, entrepreneur and VC John Chisholm boils down this core advice as, “never say anything bad about yourself.”

There will be days when you’re stuck on the same bug all day. Your app is broken. Your teammates didn’t push any code. Blah blah blah. These things happen. And it makes you feel bad.

Just remember that this is a temporary setback. You will resolve the bug. You will find another solution. Your teammates will step up to the plate again. Your app will work again.

Get rid of *any* negativity toward yourself. You don’t suck at programming. You aren’t stupid. You didn’t make a big mistake paying all this money for this crazy bootcamp thing. Everything is fine.

Anytime these thoughts bubble up in my head, I just distract myself. I wish it were as easy as having the ‘willpower’ to resist ever thinking negatively. But it happens.

So think of something else that’s interesting enough to keep your head out of negativity. Counteract negativity by reminding yourself of your strengths and positive traits. Tell yourself that you’re a good programmer and, since you are, you’re not afraid of any bug or challenge.

A good programmer (which you are, remember?), learns whatever they need to solve the problem. A good programmer keeps focused. A good programmer takes a disciplined approach to their code. A good programmer relentlessly pushes their project forward. As someone who is a good programmer, you do these things too, right?

Constantly reinforce your efforts with positive self-narrative. If you do, you’ll move right past the obstacles that bootcamp brings you.