I was sitting in a coffee shop with my partner, who is a successful entrepreneur and business owner. She had just finished telling me about her latest project, which involved building the brand of an up-and-coming NHL player. It was an exciting time in both their careers—but then she looked at me curiously and said: “So why don’t you tell me about your work? What have you been doing lately?”

I tried to smile casually and deflect the question by saying something like, “Oh, nothing much,” or maybe even making up some BS about having just launched a product line for women over 40 because I’m really into crossword puzzles these days. But she wasn’t having any of it; she pressed harder until I finally admitted that I didn’t know what to say. How could I explain that my success paled next to hers? How could I admit that my accomplishments were all too often diminished by self-doubt? And why did no one ever want to hear about how hard we’ve worked or how many sleepless nights we’ve spent working out problems or simply trying to make sense of the world around us? Why couldn’t anyone see past our humility—or lack thereof—and realize that there is more going on here than meets the eye?

Some of us were raised to be humble and modest, which translates into questioning our abilities.

If you’re an engineer or architect who has ever found yourself asking, “How did I get here?” or wondering if the person sitting next to you is more qualified than you are, it’s likely that you have imposter syndrome.

This phenomenon has been around for a while—it was first identified by psychologists in the 1970s and they’ve since done studies showing that women and minorities are most susceptible. If you haven’t heard of it before, consider yourself lucky: some of us were raised to be humble and modest (I certainly wasn’t), which translates into questioning our abilities at every turn. The result? A self-perpetuating cycle where we focus on all the ways we might not measure up rather than embracing our strengths.

You might not have a Harvard degree (I certainly don’t).

It’s possible to learn and grow without a degree. If you feel like it’s important to have a formal education, look for opportunities outside of the classroom. There are many ways to earn the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in tech (and beyond).

In fact, I became a developer without ever going to college. I learned software engineering by taking online courses, reading books and blog posts on my own time, participating in hackathons and meetups—basically anything that could help me get better at my job.

You worry that people are going to find out you’re a fraud.

You worry that people are going to find out you’re a fraud.

If you’ve been feeling like an imposter, this is your brain telling you that you’re not good enough. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to ease those feelings and make sure they don’t keep holding back your career:

  • Work on having a positive mindset. Remember that no one starts at the top of their field—everyone has had to work hard to get where they are today, including yourself! If someone has more years of experience than you, remember that just means they already have more knowledge about what it takes to succeed in the industry (and something for which everyone deserves credit). To help with these thoughts, try using affirmations by repeating positive statements about yourself aloud or writing them down in an “I am _____” format every day for 30 days straight; after two weeks of doing this consistently each morning before work or at night before bedtime (or both), then try breaking up into shorter increments throughout the day if needed until it becomes second nature again over time. * Be open about your skills and accomplishments.* Confidence comes from knowing what makes us great professionals—if someone else has done something better than me recently (even though I’ve done it many times before), then let me know! It’s okay if I don’t know everything there is out there yet; instead focus on what makes us unique so we can continue working together towards success since no one person knows everything under sky’s blue dome.* Get help if necessary.* If these tips aren’t helping much right now due largely due stressors outside work such as family members being ill/having financial issues etc., then consider seeking professional counseling services through nearby clinics/hospitals/community centers near home so we don’t end up getting overwhelmed later

You give little weight to your accomplishments.

You might not have a Harvard degree, or a PhD, or even been at your job for very long. You might not feel like you’ve made it yet.

You’re probably still trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing and how to do it better.

You’ve ever found yourself asking, “How did I get here?”

The moment you start asking yourself, “How did I get here?” is a sign that you’re not sure how to get from where you are to where the person in your head thinks they want to be. It’s normal and it can be productive when we let these feelings guide us toward growth.

It’s important to note that there are two different ways of thinking about “imposter syndrome.” The first is that it refers specifically to people who feel like they don’t deserve their success or accolades. This is a common feeling among new programmers, especially those who were taught programming at an early age (or even taught themselves). It’s not necessarily a bad thing—it simply means that your mind hasn’t had time yet to make sense of everything around you, much less its place within it all. As such, this category might not apply very well if someone has been coding for many years now but still feels like an imposter!

You don’t want to give up free time for networking events or conferences, because you don’t think you’ll fit in or add value.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of networking:

  • Do your research. Before you attend a networking event, learn as much as you can about the people who will be there and what they do. If possible, look at their LinkedIn profiles and see if they have published any articles on the topic or given presentations at conferences.
  • Be prepared to share your story in a succinct way. People want to know why you’re there and how they can help; make sure that when someone asks what brought them to this particular event, or what they do professionally (or even just “how long have you been doing this?”), that they get an answer quickly and clearly so that everyone else doesn’t have to wait around while everyone figures out who everyone is!
  • Focus on quality over quantity when meeting new people; spend time talking with those who interest you most rather than trying meet every single person in attendance—if anything goes wrong during the conference (e.g., your presentation doesn’t go well), it’s better if those close friends were there instead of random strangers who weren’t invested in what happened anyway.”

You blame yourself when things go wrong, even when it is beyond your control.

One of the most common imposter syndrome symptoms is a feeling of not being good enough, or of being a fraud. You blame yourself when things go wrong, even when it is beyond your control.

But what if something does go wrong? What should you do in this situation? It’s easy to take the blame for everything that happens and believe that every little thing you do affects everybody else around you. But if someone doesn’t like the way your code works, that’s on them—not on you. If there are bugs in an app that crashes their phone, that isn’t on you either—it’s just bad luck (though perhaps some users might be able to help).

You can’t accept compliments without giving credit to someone else.

If you want to overcome imposter syndrome, you must learn how to accept compliments. With practice, however, it can become easier.

When someone gives you a compliment, try not to deflect it with a joke or say “I was just lucky.” Instead, take a few moments to reflect on what they said and think about how their words might be true. This can help you see yourself in an objective light instead of being blinded by your own self-doubt.

If possible, also take this opportunity to give credit where credit is due: if someone says something nice about your work or achievements, mention the people who helped along the way (such as mentors or friends). When giving credit for others’ contributions feels uncomfortable at first (and maybe even after), remind yourself that doing so will not diminish your own accomplishments—in fact, it may do quite the opposite!

Your partner has more confidence than you do.

When it comes to your partner, you should never compare yourself to them. Everyone is unique and has their own strengths and weaknesses. Your partner might have more confidence than you do in some areas, but that does not mean that they are better at everything than you are. If anything, this can be a great opportunity to learn from each other by discussing where each of your areas of strength lie so that the two of you can complement each other’s various talents.

Other people have cried wolf so much that you’re afraid no one will believe you if you say your work is worthy.

> Other people have cried wolf so much that you’re afraid no one will believe you if you say your work is worthy.

> You are not alone in this. Many people dealing with imposter syndrome have noticed that it’s common for other tech workers to do the same thing: talk about their projects as less than they really are while they’re working on them, then wait until they’ve hit a milestone or received some validation before going public with their success stories and telling everyone how great they are at what they do. Sometimes this is done out of insecurity, but it can also be just ignorance—the person doesn’t realize that bragging is part of being a professional. Either way, though, it ends up making us all look bad and eroding trust between people in our field who should be able to rely on each other for support and encouragement when things get tough instead of turning into competition over who can bring home the most bacon for themselves (which usually means it’s men).

> You are not a fraud or a bad person or doomed to fail because of your self-doubt! If anything else were true about any one person based on their perceived lack of confidence would be incredibly unfair—and yet somehow this myth persists even now among many who claim otherwise? Why?

Self Impostor Disorder And Depression. Man With Panic And Phobia

These thoughts are common, but they don’t mean you really are a fraud!

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling, and you are not the only one who has these thoughts. Whether it’s a fear that others will discover their incompetence or a nagging doubt that they’re not as good as everybody thinks, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt. But if you’re willing to acknowledge your feelings and work through them, you can learn to deal with them and move past them.


The good news is that you don’t have to be a fraud. Imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon, and it’s not just for people in tech. If you deal with imposter syndrome, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you—it just means that your self-esteem needs some work! Here are some tips for starting on the road toward feeling confident about yourself:

Start by acknowledging how hard this journey can be. You probably won’t feel like an “imposter” forever; if anything, it will just get easier over time as you build up more confidence and experience.

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