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Battling my imposter syndrome with projects

jennakoslowski profile image JennaKoslowski ・2 min read

I recently finished my first personal project in a while. Between my cross-country move, job searches and Corona I haven't been coding as much as I should be. Because of this my imposter syndrome increased so much and I knew I needed to combat that before it got out of control.

My first step was to take a deep look at what I know are gaps in my knowledge or things that I haven't gotten down as solid as I'd like. Some of those things are CSS pre-processors, APIs and SVG.

I then created an advice generator to get more comfortable with all of those. I learned a lot and I was so proud of how it turned out... and then I decided to post it on social media and I realized something.

My third step is something I'm trying to do more often which is post about what I'm doing and learning. That way you get more confident talking about coding and getting more comfortable with the verbiage and having people see your work.

Instagram and Twitter I post things without feeling too much pressure. I've posted problems I've had and bits and pieces along the way, whether they look good or not. It's all about the process. It's more transparent and informal.

However. I also know the importance of posting on LinkedIn and instantly my brain went in a million directions:

  • What if no one likes it.
  • It's not even that good.
  • The design is mediocre/ trash.
  • It's such a small project but still took me forever.
  • It's a small project.
  • It's nothing special.

Basically it boiled down to the fact that I'm not a designer mixed with imposter syndrome.

My roommate made me post it anyway and there hasn't been any interaction within the 30+ people who've seen it. But the world hasn't ended. No one's commented saying it's trash.

For me, the best way to combat my imposter syndrome is to not just code more but to post about it more. I'll create a project that mixes things I already know with things that make me want to tear my hair out in hopes of getting better.

While just one (unsuccessful) LinkedIn post isn't the cure I feel it's a huge step. I've never shared my code work there before despite the fact I want to make the switch to a front-end job.

TL;DR:

  1. Figure out what you're not confident about
  2. Utilize those things in a project
  3. Share the process and/or finished project
  4. Talk about programming and code

How do you battle imposter syndrome?

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jennakoslowski profile

JennaKoslowski

@jennakoslowski

Self-taught dev. Lover of reading and the gym.

Discussion

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Well done! Hitting "publish" (or the equivalent buttony thing) takes guts.

In terms of imposter syndrome, I keep a few big things in mind:

1) Noone knows everything.
2) There will always be someone who knows more than (or something different from) me.
3) I've built things that work. Period. Maybe they weren't the most elegant each and every time, but I get better with each project.

I definitely DO need to be more intentional about identifying the specific weaknesses and forcing myself to incorporate them in a project (and share my progress). You're right: it makes a world of difference.

 

I love seeing what other people create and sometimes I know it feeds into the imposter syndrome but I definitely agree with your third point. It's functional. I'm getting slightly better at the styling each time. Someday I'll get there but there's always someone who you'll think is better because they spend time on different areas and you'll have things that you're better at than them because that's where you spend your time.

 

The fact that StackOverflow exists and that many developers admit to "googling" when they are stuck on a problem. Confirms that at some point everyone has imposter syndrome. Every day we learn something new from each other nobody knows everything except google 🤣

 

So true!! You just get better at Googling things 🤣