Dealing with Impostor syndrome during the learning period.
I started my professional web development journey 6 months ago and during this period I have faced many challenges. Facing technical and coding challenges are not easy to deal with. But for me, the most difficult part is to deal with non-technical challenges. During my learning period, two issues bothered me the most. These are:
- Impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome is a problem that gives me the most headache. Sometimes it makes me feel that I am not good enough and whatever I am doing is entirely worthless. When I deal with coding partners who are smarter than me, I feel like quitting. When I see other people writing better code than me or they can solve coding challenges with ease, I feel like quitting. When I can’t understand certain aspects of programming languages or I can’t install something properly, I get this feeling that I am an imposter. Everyday I deal with some kind of failure and I feel like I am not good enough. I won’t be able to compete with these extraordinary people who are working within this industry. In my case, Insecurity and imposter syndrome ultimately turns into depression. I lose focus and I can’t concentrate on learning for days. Every day I used to wonder how can I get rid of this feeling? What is the answer to my problem?
One day I had the chance to work with an experienced developer. We were doing a pair coding session and I was quite worried. I was thinking that he will see through me and point out that I am just pretending. I am not a real developer and I should just focus on something else. While doing the project, I discovered the answer to my problem. During the initial setup, the experienced developer was struggling with a file and he was getting frustrated. He was trying different approaches to import a simple file but the file was not importing. After 1 hour of trying we were able to fix the problem. I witnessed great joy and relief in his face. The answer to imposter syndrome is to not give up. From that day, If I get frustrated with something I just tell myself that this is not my day. The next day, I start by telling myself that this is my day and I will do whatever is needed to fix my problem. To me, trying relentlessly until a solution is found is an effective way to get rid of impostor syndrome.
Another way that I deal with this syndrome is that I accept the fact that my peers can be better developers than me. They might have a different way of thinking which allows them to come up with quick solutions. It doesn't make me less of a developer. I just have to try more. I try to learn from them rather than feeling jealous. Besides, It is always good to have smart people around and it makes life easier.
Impatience is another issue that hampers my learning progress. Sometimes I get impatient and I try to jump into another topic before finishing the thing I am currently doing. It is not a good practice and has a huge negative impact on the learning process. Whenever I feel impatient, I try to build a side project with the technology that I am currently learning. It gives me confidence, takes away my impatience, and restore my focus.
Whatever, I have shared so far is not an expert opinion or an ultimate solution. People are dealing with these issues for decades. There are no definite or magical solutions to these problems. I tried to share my own experiences with the problems and the solutions that worked for me. Hopefully, this article will provide a good perspective to my fellow learners who are dealing with similar issues.