Unmasking Imposter Syndrome: 10 Tips To Boost Your Confidence!
Programming, UI/UX Designing and Imposter Syndrome
Hey folks, hope you all are doing well! Did you ever feel like you aren’t good enough, even though you really are? It's like you feel that you aren’t good enough to do a certain task or even mingle with certain people. Well, this actually happens to more people than you might think. In fact, this feeling is so common that it even has a name: Impostor Syndrome.
"You're a fraud."
"You're just trash!"
"You are not good enough."
These are the voices that constantly ring in the heads of people who have Imposter Syndrome. Sounds scary right? But trust me, it isn't! It is the belief that you’re unskilled, inferior to others, or even bad at your job despite being good at what you do. Every single person has felt impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. If you always thought that you were the only one to ever feel that way, then I have a piece of good news. You are not alone!
The reason I decided to write an article on this bad boy is that many belonging to the tech community are also its victims.
So, before discussing how to manage it, let's look at its effects first!
Effects of impostor syndrome
Impostor syndrome causes anxiety and low confidence and these two can stop you from transforming into the most successful version of yourself! It can manifest in various ways, and each person’s experience is quite unique. You might have witnessed or even personally experienced impostor syndrome in situations like:
• Not applying to jobs unless you meet each and every single requirement (even though you totally don’t have to!).
• Taking on extra work to make sure you’re actually “completing it all”.
• Doing extra tasks in order to look more capable in front of your peers.
• Not attending networking events because you’re either nervous or anxious.
• Downplaying your abilities during important conversations.
• Shrugging off compliments because you don’t believe that the person they are complimenting is you.
How to manage impostor syndrome?
In the tech community, many suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Just take a look at the picture above. I bet many of you feel the same way. Moreover, if we talk about freelancers, networking is extremely important to them too. But if they suffer from imposter syndrome, how are they gonna connect with people? I just want you all to meet new people with confidence and without letting this bad boy get in the way. Therefore, here are some pro tips to manage it:
1. Acknowledge your thoughts
Try to pinpoint what you are feeling and exactly why you’re feeling that way. This what and why combo will help you figure out what triggers your impostor syndrome. When you know your trigger, you can better manage it in the future.
2. Own your accomplishments
Everybody has their own unique perspectives and experiences. All you need to do is to think of all of the accomplishments and skills that make you different from other people. Note them down in a list. If you do so, then you will realize just how much you have to talk about when you network. You have plenty to offer so no need to feel blue, dive right into conversations with confidence!
3. Be honest with yourself
Evaluate yourself to find out all of your strengths and weaknesses. Find areas that you think create the feeling of not “being good enough”. Then work to improve them. Doing so will help you feel more confident in yourself. Everybody has areas where they can improve and there’s always more to learn. Therefore, don’t let your weaknesses hold you back!
4. Have a conversation
Hold conversations with people you trust like a mentor, friend, seasoned professional, etc about how they handle impostor syndrome.
5. Wearing something that makes you feel confident
Looking good helps you feel good.
If you’re attending an in-person networking event, put on your favorite professional attire in order to feel like the best version of yourself. Trust me, even the minor changes create a big difference!
6. Help someone else
Sharing your knowledge with others helps you feel more valuable. It could be giving advice to someone less experienced than you or just sharing your unique experience with one of your friends, colleagues, etc. If you end up thinking that you don’t have anything to offer, refer back to point # 2.
7. Fake it till you make it
You guys may have heard it before, right? But I have to say that this is some good advice! Even if you don’t feel confident in your abilities as a designer or a programmer, if you act confident for long enough, eventually it will become a habit. People are naturally drawn to confident individuals. Therefore, acting confidently will likely help you make even more connections within your workplace or community.
8. Go with a friend
If you attend networking events with someone you know, it will help you feel less overwhelmed and anxious.
9. Get to know people
Becoming more familiar with other professionals in your field will make you feel less out of place. You’ll come to realize that experienced designers or seasoned programmers aren’t as intimidating as they may seem! This will help you feel less anxious in the future when you meet others.
10. Know that you're not alone
If you’re going to a networking event or starting a group project with people you don’t know, you won’t be the only person who feels as if they don’t belong. Working with experienced professionals can be intimidating, even if you’re one yourself! Plus, even the most experienced designers or programmers were also in your shoes. Everybody started somewhere. Just know that if they can do it, so can you!
Don’t hold yourself to unreasonable standards after all networking or growing your career is all about learning and not about being perfect. Instead, work to be the best programmer or designer that you can be. Be confident in who you are and just keep growing!