This article was originally posted at lindaojo.com
In this short article, I will expose the fraud that is your imposter syndrome by asking you a few questions. Let's dive in!
Firstly you should know that imposter syndrome is a product of your mind. Being more successful will not make it go away.
Who is an imposter
An imposter is a person who pretends to be somebody else, often through means of disguise. It is safe to assume that in the case of a developer, it's someone who claims to have skills and experiences that they don't possess. Is that what you are doing? I hope not.
What exactly are you "pretending" to be?
If you think you are an imposter, that means you believe you are pretending to be something you are not. My question to you is what exactly are you "pretending" to be?
For instance, are you pretending to be a junior, mid or senior developer?
What are your expectations?
Now you know what you are pretending to be. Ask yourself if you meet the requirements to be such a person.
Example, if you think you are a junior developer pretending to be a senior developer, then ask yourself:
What skills of a senior developer am I lacking?
What kind of skills should a senior developer have?
Once you have answered the questions above, You need to check if your answers are accurate and realistic.
Are your expectations realistic?
What are real world expectations of your current job title?
Do you think the expectations you set for yourself are realistic? If yes then work towards meeting those expectations to boost your confidence.
If you think the expectations are unrealistic, then, you are expecting too much of yourself and can ease up a bit.
Setting unrealistic expectations is very common amongst new developers. For instance, expecting yourself to remember the syntax for every programming language is impractical. It's alright to google even the simplest syntax.
Are you "deceiving" a lot of people?
If you think you are an imposter but some how no one has been able to find out cause you complete your tasks and build great products then you should remind yourself more often of your achievements and give yourself a bit of credit.
Appreciate your work
Internalize the kindness you show to others.
It is very easy to downplay our wins and exaggerate the wins of those around us, because we witness our trials and errors, not theirs.
I hope answering some of the questions above helps you realise you are probably not an imposter.