Imposter Syndrome: Three Ways To Take It On

In this post, I — (Edwin Klesman), a technical creator and (web/mobile) developer — describe how I reflected on my life and career and found out common ways that helped me to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. Ways that can help you too.

The Internet has a strong tendency to hype things. Especially when those things are being discussed above average. The same goes for Imposter Syndrome.
During the last three years or so, more people in the tech industry are opening up on their insecurities:

What IS Imposter Syndrome?

Let’s look at what Imposter Syndrome actually is.
The Cambridge Dictionary states the following definition:

impostor syndromenoun
 
[ U ]UK /ɪmˈpɒs.tə ˌsɪn.drəʊm/ US /ɪmˈpɑː.stɚ ˌsɪn.droʊm/
the feeling that your achievements are not real or that you do not deserve praise or success
Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term.
Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term.

On the Internet, the term Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term. The online community has used the term for all sorts of problems:

  • Imposter Syndrome
  • performance anxiety
  • fear for negative feedback
  • personal insecurity

Despite the grouping of different issues, they all seem to have a common denominator. Feeling not fit or not good enough to do what you want to do.

Learning Through Reflection

Was I never afraid or insecure? Of course I was. Many times. I’m a human being ergo: I had lots of moments where I’ve been insecure and felt like I wasn’t going to get the job done.

But somehow I always managed to put that feeling aside and reach a new high. I somehow seemed immune.

Believe me when I say I don’t have a God Complex. And I for sure am not overconfident.

After reflecting on this, I managed to pinpoint why I always seemed to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. I realized that I had the tools and knowledge aboard. They were part of who I am as a person.

They helped me to make sure that Imposter Syndrome and insecurity would never get the best of me.
Let’s take a look at the 3 ways I managed to describe that can help you to defeat Imposter Syndrome.

After reflecting on this, I managed to pinpoint why I always seemed to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. I realized that I had the tools and knowledge aboard. They were part of who I am as a person. They helped me to make sure that Imposter Syndrome and insecurity would never get the best of me.
Let’s take a look at the 3 ways I managed to describe that can help you to defeat Imposter Syndrome.

#1 Take A Closer Look At YOU

Backdrop

As you grow older, you try to survive. Adapt. And learn. As a kid you get so much information and you consume everything. Then you start going to school. Go on into a study. Get involved in relations. Start working for yourself or at a company. Get from small tasks to big projects. Going from simple to more complex matters. Get more responsibilities. And so on.

I have always liked the opportunities that came along with a new context. Going to high school? Cool, new surroundings, a new chance to define myself. A big project that I can take part in? Cool, let me see how far I can go. As it appeared, I’m an optimistic person. And I adapt to different situations in my professional life fast. The latter was even confirmed by a personality-test later in life.

Fight Imposter Syndrome by looking at who you are.
Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Actionable Advice

Take a closer look at how you went through life:

  • How did you manage to switch between all those contexts?
  • Are you comfortable with changes in life, or do you shine when you dig yourself in on a specific situation?
  • Look at how you took the opportunities that arose and what results you managed to reach for them.
  • Are there conflicts that you managed to turn into positive outcomes?

Answering these questions will give you a clue on how versatile and resourceful you are. It’s not always product results that show you what you’re capable of.

#2 Remember your Successes

Backdrop

Bad news somehow gets glued into our memories. But the victories and successes in our lives tend to fade away.
I took some time to think about my achievements in life, and about what my role was in creating them. In my experience, tech people often are too modest about what they know, achieved and how big their part in the matter was.

For example, I turned my career from web development towards mobile development all by myself. I learned myself iOS development and released my very own app back in the day. I started a blog to write about it and used LinkedIn to showcase my experience.

It was a big victory since it enabled me to do something I was very keen on, namely building mobile solutions.

Actionable Advice

  • Think of the achievements that you had during your career
  • Include more then actual products. Think opportunities you created for yourself. ie: noticeable achievements that weren’t part of your core business.
  • Have you contributed things from your personal interest or created out-of-the-box solutions?

I urge you, keep a list in your mind. Better yet, type down a list somewhere where you can always peek at it. It will help you to remember your successes.

Remember those successes to fight off Imposter Syndrome
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

#3 Adaptation Trumps Knowledge

Backdrop

When I started out in my career I always looked up to the experts that knew straight from their head how to code stuff.They read a lot of technical books and somehow managed to remember all those syntax things. Patterns. Best practices. They seemed to know it all. 
But then came along the internet and Google became our teacher.

It took me several projects in different companies to notice that they all had similarities. I learned I could code in more than one or two languages. And I learned that I could use new tools very fast.And by gaining that knowledge,

I became more confident that I could adapt and teach me those tools. 
And that made me realise: knowing isn’t king anymore. Being able to adapt is much more valuable than having knowledge of a subject. For example, coding experts have become outdated. 
Nowadays, tech people that hack together solutions and turn them into a profitable business are taking over.
Actionable Advice

  • Are you a versatile person? Can you adapt to new standards?
  • Do you have a personal interest in the market where you (want to) operate and do you keep up-to-date?
  • Can you see besides specific tools and do you think that the end goal is more important than the means?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the given questions, remember that you are flexible enough to keep afloat. Don’t let anyone doubt you. And remind yourself that this is a new age where adaptability trumps knowledge.

You're probably more adaptable then you give yourself credit for. A good quality to fight off Imposter Syndrome
Photo by Tim Stief on Unsplash

To Conclude

You’ve read three things to consider that — at least — helped me to keep confident. Sane even. 
All the tips that I mentioned don’t cost you anything except some time to reflect on yourself. They urge you to take a look at where you’re coming from and where you are today.

It’s important to acknowledge that you most likely are strong and versatile. Just look beyond the default success factors that we tend to judge ourselves on. 
I bet you’ll see someone who has done a lot more than you would give yourself credit for at first.

Disclaimer

As you might have noticed, I am a technical person. I’m A web developer gone mobile app developer gone tech lead at a startup. I now know my goal lies in creating stuff, not coding per sé.

In my career I also had some bad times. Periods in where I wasn’t working on something / a surrounding that made me happy. Where people tried to force me in a corner. I had these times, just like anyone else.

Taking feedback that is constructive is very important. Ignoring feedback that tries to break you down equally important.

My life has been about tech, gadgets and creating stuff. Please take that into consideration while reading this post.

Your Mileage May Vary.however, I am confident that the fundamental truth of these tips can apply to everyone.

In the end it is all about putting yourself in there, and going for the stuff that makes your heart beat stronger and your mind more confident, even in a doubtful time ✌🏻

Feature Image by Corey Motta on Unsplash

In this post I — Edwin Klesman — Describe, a technical creator and (web/mobile) developer — reflected on his life and career and found out common ways that helped me to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. Ways that can help you too.

The Internet has a strong tendency to hype things. Especially when those things are being discussed above average. The same goes for Imposter Syndrome.
During the last three years or so, more people in the tech industry are opening up on their insecurities:

What IS Imposter Syndrome?

Let’s look at what Imposter Syndrome actually is.
The Cambridge Dictionary states the following definition:

impostor syndromenoun
 
[ U ]UK /ɪmˈpɒs.tə ˌsɪn.drəʊm/ US /ɪmˈpɑː.stɚ ˌsɪn.droʊm/
the feeling that your achievements are not real or that you do not deserve praise or success
Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term.
Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term.

On the Internet, the term Imposter Syndrome has become an umbrella term. The online community has used the term for all sorts of problems:

  • Imposter Syndrome
  • performance anxiety
  • fear for negative feedback
  • personal insecurity

Despite the grouping of different issues, they all seem to have a common denominator. Feeling not fit or not good enough to do what you want to do.

Learning Through Reflection

Was I never afraid or insecure? Of course I was. Many times. I’m a human being ergo: I had lots of moments where I’ve been insecure and felt like I wasn’t going to get the job done.

But somehow I always managed to put that feeling aside and reach a new high. I somehow seemed immune.

Believe me when I say I don’t have a God Complex. And I for sure am not overconfident.

After reflecting on this, I managed to pinpoint why I always seemed to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. I realized that I had the tools and knowledge aboard. They were part of who I am as a person.

They helped me to make sure that Imposter Syndrome and insecurity would never get the best of me.
Let’s take a look at the 3 ways I managed to describe that can help you to defeat Imposter Syndrome.

After reflecting on this, I managed to pinpoint why I always seemed to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay. I realized that I had the tools and knowledge aboard. They were part of who I am as a person. They helped me to make sure that Imposter Syndrome and insecurity would never get the best of me.
Let’s take a look at the 3 ways I managed to describe that can help you to defeat Imposter Syndrome.

#1 Take A Closer Look At YOU

Backdrop

As you grow older, you try to survive. Adapt. And learn. As a kid you get so much information and you consume everything. Then you start going to school. Go on into a study. Get involved in relations. Start working for yourself or at a company. Get from small tasks to big projects. Going from simple to more complex matters. Get more responsibilities. And so on.

I have always liked the opportunities that came along with a new context. Going to high school? Cool, new surroundings, a new chance to define myself. A big project that I can take part in? Cool, let me see how far I can go. As it appeared, I’m an optimistic person. And I adapt to different situations in my professional life fast. The latter was even confirmed by a personality-test later in life.

Fight Imposter Syndrome by looking at who you are.
Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Actionable Advice

Take a closer look at how you went through life:

  • How did you manage to switch between all those contexts?
  • Are you comfortable with changes in life, or do you shine when you dig yourself in on a specific situation?
  • Look at how you took the opportunities that arose and what results you managed to reach for them.
  • Are there conflicts that you managed to turn into positive outcomes?

Answering these questions will give you a clue on how versatile and resourceful you are. It’s not always product results that show you what you’re capable of.

#2 Remember your Successes

Backdrop

Bad news somehow gets glued into our memories. But the victories and successes in our lives tend to fade away.
I took some time to think about my achievements in life, and about what my role was in creating them. In my experience, tech people often are too modest about what they know, achieved and how big their part in the matter was.

For example, I turned my career from web development towards mobile development all by myself. I learned myself iOS development and released my very own app back in the day. I started a blog to write about it and used LinkedIn to showcase my experience.

It was a big victory since it enabled me to do something I was very keen on, namely building mobile solutions.

Actionable Advice

  • Think of the achievements that you had during your career
  • Include more then actual products. Think opportunities you created for yourself. ie: noticeable achievements that weren’t part of your core business.
  • Have you contributed things from your personal interest or created out-of-the-box solutions?

I urge you, keep a list in your mind. Better yet, type down a list somewhere where you can always peek at it. It will help you to remember your successes.

Remember those successes to fight off Imposter Syndrome
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

#3 Adaptation Trumps Knowledge

Backdrop

When I started out in my career I always looked up to the experts that knew straight from their head how to code stuff.They read a lot of technical books and somehow managed to remember all those syntax things. Patterns. Best practices. They seemed to know it all. 
But then came along the internet and Google became our teacher.

It took me several projects in different companies to notice that they all had similarities. I learned I could code in more than one or two languages. And I learned that I could use new tools very fast.And by gaining that knowledge,

I became more confident that I could adapt and teach me those tools. 
And that made me realise: knowing isn’t king anymore. Being able to adapt is much more valuable than having knowledge of a subject. For example, coding experts have become outdated. 
Nowadays, tech people that hack together solutions and turn them into a profitable business are taking over.
Actionable Advice

  • Are you a versatile person? Can you adapt to new standards?
  • Do you have a personal interest in the market where you (want to) operate and do you keep up-to-date?
  • Can you see besides specific tools and do you think that the end goal is more important than the means?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the given questions, remember that you are flexible enough to keep afloat. Don’t let anyone doubt you. And remind yourself that this is a new age where adaptability trumps knowledge.

You're probably more adaptable then you give yourself credit for. A good quality to fight off Imposter Syndrome
Photo by Tim Stief on Unsplash

To Conclude

You’ve read three things to consider that — at least — helped me to keep confident. Sane even. 
All the tips that I mentioned don’t cost you anything except some time to reflect on yourself. They urge you to take a look at where you’re coming from and where you are today.

It’s important to acknowledge that you most likely are strong and versatile. Just look beyond the default success factors that we tend to judge ourselves on. 
I bet you’ll see someone who has done a lot more than you would give yourself credit for at first.

Disclaimer

As you might have noticed, I am a technical person. I’m A web developer gone mobile app developer gone tech lead at a startup. I now know my goal lies in creating stuff, not coding per sé.

In my career I also had some bad times. Periods in where I wasn’t working on something / a surrounding that made me happy. Where people tried to force me in a corner. I had these times, just like anyone else.

Taking feedback that is constructive is very important. Ignoring feedback that tries to break you down equally important.

My life has been about tech, gadgets and creating stuff. Please take that into consideration while reading this post.

Your Mileage May Vary.however, I am confident that the fundamental truth of these tips can apply to everyone.

In the end it is all about putting yourself in there, and going for the stuff that makes your heart beat stronger and your mind more confident, even in a doubtful time ✌🏻

Feature Image by Corey Motta on Unsplash


Originally published at Shipharder.