When you say:
- “really not that great or talented at it”
- “extremely long amount of time to pick upanything new”
- “lagging I feel”
- “just not that talented at this”
- “could be better and is garbage”
I’m immediately asking myself: who’re you comparing yourself to?
People give a lot of lip service to “imposter syndrome” on forums like these, but that’s only helping with the first step of solving the problem: putting a label on it so you can recognize the problem.
Don’t get me wrong here: any developer of any experience will identify with the same feelings at times depending on who they’re working with (e.g. just moved to a faster-pace company).
How do we actually go about addressing this?
Your reality is entirely distorted by your perspective. You don’t feel in your gut what you haven’t experienced in your personal experience. If we can get to work on your environment and reframe your perspective, we can fundamentally rewire your reality.
What does that look like in my experience?
suffering from imposter syndrome is less about your abilities and more about who you compare yourself to.
People who feel like imposters usually compare up, instead of across or down.
When you’re starting out, you’re simply comparing yourself to those who’ve gone before you and accomplished in some regard. You’re chasing them so, by definition, you are far from them. Spending 100% of your time in a headspace where you are the weakest really takes it’s toll over time, a death by a thousand cuts.
Malcolm Gladwell has noted the same behavior in elite institutions where outcomes are largely dictated by one’s perceived status relative to peers. I added a link that starts at timestamp 7:05 where he notes this:
I offered to help address your biggest concern, but since this is all you’ve left me …that’s what I’ll do!
The best investment of your time would be to better distribute your time amongst peers. In theory, you should invest your time:
- 33% with mentors, teachers, & peers “above” you that inspire you
- 33% with peers that you feel shoulder-to-shoulder with
- 33% with peers & students that you feel you have knowledge to contribute
Like any retirement portfolio, since you’re emotional experiencing problems with your current allocation (in this case, time …not money). Then I encourage you to skew the balance more heavily towards the latter two.
How counter-intuitive is that?
Super counter-intuitive if you ask me!
That’s right: I’m suggesting that you should take some time off to teach those just getting started out here on freeCodeCamp!
Once you’ve had enough of an emotional break, I encourage you to do a better job this time around of surrounding yourself with peers “closer to your level” however you want to define that.
Oh and this time: make it fun! Find peers that you genuinely enjoy the journey with instead of competing against. It’s self-defeating if you hold on to a scarcity mindset about “the limited supply of jobs” in our industry. As harsh as it may be to hear, I’m immensely grateful to be in an industry that didn’t recently grind to a halt like most others.
Things may not be “like they were,” but that doesn’t mean people/employers stop buying: they just started buying differently …so be on the look out for those new opportunities!