How To Fight Impostor Syndrome

Hey, I want to talk with you about a real condition that can hit not just testers, but anyone in IT.

Actually, anyone, anywhere can get it. It’s not just limited to IT.

What Is Impostor Syndrome? 

The Wikipedia says:

Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

Everyone else is smarter than me. I’m not pulling my weight. Am I even contributing anything? I’m such a failure. There’s so much I don’t know!

If any of those ideas have popped into your head then congratulations! You have this syndrome.

Unless you are by far the uncontested best at what you’re doing, chances are good that you’ve experienced something on the spectrum.

How To Fight It? 

I think the best way I’ve found is to collaborate with others.

More often than not, I’ve found that people who feel this way about themselves are actually kind of squirreled off by themselves, not being as productive as they want to.

If you feel this way, the fix for that is to NOT to be off by yourself. Get in there and pair.

Hey, guess what–pairing does two things.

One, I believe that two people working together are actually more than twice as effective. Seems around about 2.35x effective.

Two, if both of you can’t figure something out, then you’re both stupid, right? 🙂

All kidding aside, it’s much better to know that someone else can get stymied by the same problem.

Anyway, just wanted to fire this post off, because I had a touch of this earlier this week, and pairing was the quickest way to get out of it.

Keep moving, keep shooting and don’t get pinned down.

– Fritz


One thought on “How To Fight Impostor Syndrome

  1. Or maybe, you really ARE incompetent…

    Or maybe your job is so specialized, that you only get to use about 5% of your REAL talent (like, say, while working as a “performance engineer” making measurements of the speed of software written by SOMEONE ELSE and making charts from the spreadsheets)…

    Or maybe corporate America sees it as its job to make you FEEL incompetent, so you don’t say to yourself, “I can do SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS!”, and you take a job with better pay and benefits or where they let you DO MORE of what you CAN DO…

    Could be lots of different things…


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