Being a developer is probably one of the jobs that requires not only more training and concentration, but a lot of continuous learning, even when you are already an active professional. This pressure on needing constant updates and professional growth can lead to different health issues, not as well known as physical conditions, like vision or posture problems. Mental health issues are harder to identify and to treat, and one that can be experienced not only by developers but everyone, is the imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological disorder that makes those who suffer from it doubt their own abilities. Someone with imposter syndrome will not recognize their achievements, will have a mental burnout and will eventually affect their productivity at work and increase their stress to very high levels.
People who suffer from this syndrome tend to feel like a fraud, regardless they are intelligent, skillful and have great professional qualities. Rather than celebrating their achievements, they worry because they believe that they have somehow misled people into thinking that they are good at what they do. As a result, they may live in fear that others will “notice” or that someone will “expose” them.
Imposter syndrome is actually more common than you might think. Researchers believe that more than 75% of people have suffered from this syndrome at some point in life. But that does not make it any less damaging to the confidence and professional career of those who suffer from it.
You can consider it as an alert call if you do extra hours all the time because you believe that you have to “make up” for the shortcomings you have, in order to catch up with others, and it is also probable that you feel you were just lucky even when you worked hard and prepared yourself properly, or simply feel that you are not good enough.
If you feel identified with any of these symptoms, perhaps it is time that you analyze what you feel and take the pertinent actions to deal with the impostor syndrome. Here are some tips from Daniel Apps to get over imposter syndrome and manage its symptoms.
Recognize the impostor's emotion
Symptoms of the impostor syndrome that attacks our daily lives are usually overlooked. However, now that you know the symptoms, you took the first step to overcome the problem. Do not ignore what you feel just because you are not sure why you feel it. Recognizing your emotions is the first step in changing your perspective. Make sure you identify and relate them to when and why they arose.
Be aware that you are not alone
Many successful people have built great careers even by dealing with the syndrome on a regular basis.You are not alone in this, and just like them, you can get over it. It takes patience, it takes effort and it definitely takes a different mind set.
Change your reactions
Stop telling yourself that you are not worth it, or that you are a fraud. The way we think about ourselves can take us down and affect every aspect of our lives. Human beings make mistakes, and we do not know everything. Do not attack yourself with your reactions.
Let go of your perfectionism
Many people with imposter syndrome are high achievers, who set very high standards for themselves and are committed to doing their best and being the best, but perfectionism only feeds the imposter syndrome. When you feel like a fraud, it is usually because you are comparing yourself to a “perfect” benchmark that is impossible to achieve and unrealistic.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Imposter syndrome attacks harder when you accomplish something and you feel you do not deserve it, or when others do and you do not. This last part may sound like jealousy or envy, but it is not. We all have different talents and qualities, comparing yourself with other’s progress is pointless and will only reinforce the syndrome.
Let’s normalize looking for support or professional help when it is needed. You do not have to deal with it by yourself. Sharing your thoughts and experiences with someone else will help you have better resources to beat your imposter syndrome. Sharing your problem with your boss, a coworker or friend, or even better a guide or therapist will help you more than you imagine.
Do not allow this syndrome to haunt you forever, take these tips, put them into practice and you will see how your professional growth will benefit.