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How To Silence The Imposter Syndrome (4 Simple Ways)

Imposter Syndrome is one of the biggest problems that many professionals face today. If you’re not familiar with the term, let me explain what it means. The act of feeling like you are an unqualified fraud or having no idea how to complete a task even though you have the right skills due to lack of experience.

Although this problem is widespread among freshers, mostly starting their career, it can affect everyone regardless of their profession and seniority level. This phenomenon happens so often in programming since most people learn on their own with online or offline tutorials and feel like they don’t deserve anything they achieved due to lacking theoretical knowledge. So why should we care about stopping this issue?

Imposter syndrome brings many adverse effects to the table, like feeling unconfident in your abilities or having no motivation to continue learning. You might feel like you’re not improving anymore and feel like quitting since it doesn’t seem like you’re making any progress, defeating the whole purpose of learning.

And worst of all, imposter syndrome can affect your performance at work if you let it go on autopilot, leading to frustration for both yourself and your teammates since they now have to help you with simple tasks (which now seems like rocket science).

So what now? Do we just let the Impostor Syndrome kill us slowly or do something about it? As with most problems, I believe that the answer is yes? Of course, the first step of solving any problem is to recognize it, but this isn’t always easy since the Impostor Syndrome doesn’t look like a monster or something.

Most of us don’t even realize we suffer from this problem and continue damaging our self-esteem day by day. And by the time you will notice it, your life would have been wholly destroyed alongside your motivation to improve and learn new things. That’s why I decided to write this article to help those who don’t know what they can do to solve their Impostor syndrome problems and become better at their career with more confidence and self-esteem.

But before we take a trip together through 4 simple ways that can help us stop feeling like imposters, let’s get to know the common traits of people suffering from this problem.

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How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome And Silence The Oppressive Player

If you’re currently suffering from the Impostor Syndrome or have already had it in your past actions, here are some common signs you might be showing so far:

1) You feel like everybody is better than you

No matter how good you are at what you do, the Impostor Syndrome will make sure to remind you about all of your failures and shortcomings daily, especially if someone managed to solve something faster or better than you.

You might think that they didn’t do anything impressive since it seemed like an easy task for them. That’s because the Impostor Syndrome doesn’t care about your feelings; it just wants to make your life miserable by showing other people’s skills and reminding yourself about how little progress you’ve made since day 1 in this profession.

2) You don’t want to ask questions in fear of looking stupid

It is the next step that comes right after you recognize that you’re indeed suffering from Impostor Syndrome and try to avoid it as much as possible. As I’ve already mentioned before, having logical doubts about solving a specific task is entirely normal. Still, when it starts affecting your daily tasks and even stops you from learning new things, then it becomes an issue.

3) You don’t stay on top of new technologies because you already feel like an imposter.

It is one of the saddest parts of having Impostor Syndrome. Of course, you don’t want to take on new tasks or learn anything new unless fundamental. However, even then, you might still feel like you lack something, especially if someone else seems to have better knowledge about the topic than you do.

4) You don’t want to share your knowledge.

Sometimes you might be sure that there is nothing to fear about, but the Impostor Syndrome will make sure it brings you back down no matter what. Fear of sharing your knowledge and experience with other people is one of the main reasons we all suffer from this problem; since we think everyone knows more than us and we’re afraid they’ll laugh at our little thoughts and ideas.

That’s why we never put effort into contributing to open-source projects or conferences and either start avoiding any mention of our work on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, the truth behind this problem is that even if someone does laugh at something you shared online or during a presentation, it doesn’t mean that you’re an impostor or that what you did was a bad thing.

Now that we know what Impostor Syndrome is let’s look at the best way to deal with it.

#1) Try taking on new tasks more often

The impostor syndrome will always make us stay in our comfort zone and only do the things which are not difficult for us, but this doesn’t mean you should stop doing that altogether.

On the contrary, no matter how advanced you are at your job, try to learn something new or prepare yourself for changes in Projects. Of course, it doesn’t have to be anything significant since even minor alterations will contribute enough for someone who has Impostor Syndrome.

Since starting new projects is one of the most effective ways to fight off feelings of being an imposter, try doing that regularly. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable about new tasks and won’t be afraid of anyone thinking you’re not good enough for them.

#2) Don’t keep your knowledge to yourself

One of the biggest mistakes most professionals tend to make: is assuming that other people are already aware of their thoughts or ideas, so they don’t bother explaining them or sharing any valuable information with someone else.

If you have any doubts about something, ask yourself whether it’s better to stay silent until the next meeting where this subject will come up again just because you didn’t say anything before? Or would it be better if everyone at the table knew what your thoughts were on how to solve that problem since they could help move things forward even faster?

Sometimes you might have the urge to keep your knowledge to yourself since you don’t want to come off as being arrogant, but more often than not, it’s better, to be honest about everything.

#3) Don’t compare yourself with other people

Comparing ourselves with others is one of the biggest mistakes we can make if we have Impostor Syndrome. No matter what you do, even if you’re the best at it while someone else is just starting, this doesn’t mean they are any less of an expert.

That’s why before comparing yourself with anyone else, think to yourself whether the person you’re comparing yourself to knows things about their job that you don’t. Or even worse, whether they know something at all. If the answer is no, then you have nothing to be afraid of, and everything’s going to be okay.

The only time you might want to compare yourself with someone else in a different field is when your work doesn’t require the same knowledge as theirs does. In that case, finding things out on your own will help you become a better version of yourself since there’s no pressure.

#4) If you’re feeling like an impostor, try asking for help

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is avoiding asking for help when we need it most because we don’t want to be incompetent or smart enough. Sometimes there’s no need to do that, especially since most people in IT are very understanding and helpful, which means they would never laugh at your questions or problems even if you ask something dumb.

So even though asking someone where to find things might sound trivial, ask away since it will save you a lot of time and effort down the road, and isn’t it worth trying to get that extra help when you need it?

Impostor Syndrome is a severe problem for most people who work in IT, and even though it’s harder to fight off than most types of anxiety, there are still ways we can learn to deal with Impostor Syndrome. After all, the only way to stop the impostor syndrome from hurting us is by facing it head-on and not letting ourselves be defeated by our minds.

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully, this article will help you build up some courage needed to fight off feelings of being an impostor. After all, having Impostor Syndrome doesn’t make you weak or someone unworthy of success, so don’t let your mind talk you in circles again!

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