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Imposter Syndrome – A Necessary Evil

Imposter Syndrome Graph

While some of you reading this article might know what the syndrome is, there are still many out there who don’t. Even I was unaware of it until a few weeks back. Ever since then, my perception has really transformed. Therefore, I think that this article might spark intrigue in a few, and debunk myths that follow.

After reading the article, you’ll definitely agree that the Imposter Syndrome is truly a developer’s best friend when managed in a healthy fashion. Read on to know more about it:

What is Imposter Syndrome?

As technically defined by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, “It is the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications“. The syndrome was first identified in 1978 by Pauline and Suzanne in their research paper.

Imposter Syndrome

Another stirring outcome of their work was that, at the time, women were uniquely affected by Impostor Syndrome. This was mainly due to the largely existent gap in opportunities between the two genders. Since then, research states both men and women experience impostor feelings. Clance published a later research, acknowledging that impostor syndrome is not limited to women.

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Why do we experience it?

There’s no single answer to that question. Some say it’s related to one’s personality traits. These include anxiety and neuroticism. Others may focus on family or behavioral causes, sometimes childhood memories.

We all suffer from the syndrome in varying magnitudes. There is always someone better than us. There’s always something that we do not know. There is always something to learn. A new tool/framework gets released every day. A new technology or programming language emerges every once in a while.

Imposter Syndrome in Data Science

Trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world is difficult at times. That is how the syndrome creeps in. You start asking yourself questions such as “Will I ever make it?”, “Will I ever be able to do it?”.

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The syndrome is even worse for beginners, who feel they are never going to make it in this field. They somehow feel that they are passing themselves as professionals, while not actually being eligible.

What must be done?

First of all, we all must embrace it as our best friend because it pushes us to become better. The feeling of not been made for this industry, that we do not know enough, pushes one to learn more. As a result, you better yourself every day. Meanwhile, it can quickly push you to burn out. Thus, a balance must be established.

Stop imposter syndrome holding you back

Secondly, whenever such questions and irrational thoughts creep into your mind, keep in mind that all developers suffer from this syndrome. There is always a developer better than you, and surely the ones not even as good as you.

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Some points to remember

Motivational Success Slide.

As a conclusion, here is a list of things to remember:

  • Everyone has the impostor syndrome
  • You can make it in the industry with hard work
  • You will never know everything, and that’s fine
  • There are always developers better than you, but there are also developers worse than you
  • Being a decent developer is enough

Always remember, you are here for a reason. In this job, your business, your life, you are worthy. You are better than you think you are. You are smarter than you think you are.

Raghav Khullar
About author

Student | Melophile | Writer | Programmer | History Fanatic
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