A lot of people that I know, other developers included, think that this is all a bunch of crap. I explained to them what I was talking about and aside from a little pat on the shoulder or a reassuring comment, I was left to fend for myself.
Imposter Syndrome is the fear of someone working in any field that believes that they do not deserve, or have the actual qualifications to perform the job that they are doing; That they will be found out as a fraud.
It is not perceived to be a mental disorder, but it has been the topic of research for many psychologists. Though traditionally perceived as an ingrained personality trait, impostor syndrome has more recently been studied as a reaction to certain situations. Under this interpretation, it is a response experienced by many different people to situations that prompt such feelings.
Imposter Syndrome has been something that both and people that I know have suffered with occasionally throughout the years. The thoughts and feelings are generally unfounded, and I am generally able to talk myself out of it, but it is still a problem none the less. In a lot of cases, it is derived from a sense of failure, be that the inability to fix a bug or not delivering something on time to not getting the expected reaction or response from a presentation.
It really wasn’t until I had read David’s original blog post about his struggles with this that I started to look a little more introspectively at the issue. For someone who is as highly regarded in “my” field to have the same problems that I do was somehow a comfort. To know that I wasn’t alone made all the difference.
He has recently posted a follow-up to his original article outlining how he is handling it, and things he has done to cope. It turns out that a lot of what I do, he does as well.
This article is worth the read as he has some great suggestions. Good luck to you all and if you suffer from this, please know you are not alone!
Here are the original articles:
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
– Ronald Reagan