Impostor Syndrome – An Achievement-related Task

Hey guys, so this is my first post on my platform, now you can comment and like. This post is for everyone and I’ve been planning on talking about this for a while now. You might be wondering what Impostor syndrome is at the moment but I bet there is a 95% chance you’ve experienced this in your life. Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve the credits you’re getting? Or that you’re a scam and you don’t deserve to be where you are and then you have this fear.

Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.Despite external evidence of their competence.

From research and reading, an article on this narrowed down the impostor cycle with an example that I could relate to. An achievement-related task , an exercise that was assigned through work or school. It said, once one has received an assignment, feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and worry immediately follow and The cycle accounts for two possible reactions that stem from these feelings. One will respond either by over-preparation or by procrastination.

My biggest story where I had to deal with impostor syndrome was when I had to write my final project in the university. It was titled, “Design and Implementation of an Integrated Employee Time Tracker and Payroll Optimizing System”. I had not really gone far in JavaScript programming at that time (In my own sense) and we had to put together a software that complements the thesis submitted to the department and defend it. The project inspiration was gotten from the payroll system that was used when I worked at Target coporation in the United States. I thought introducing it to the Nigerian system will bring great relief and my partner bought the idea.

I really thought about how to get the software done. I thought we should hire someone or look it up on Github, I went as far as going to ask on stackoverflow and I almost got kicked off. I had never done something that big and people were expecting me to. I was okay with front-end but I needed back-end for the project and my partner knew just front-end and was really good at writing. I ended up procrastinating till I traveled to the states again in June.

I sat in the library that afternoon sourcing for materials about the topic then I decided to sketch a design. That was the first step, I went searching on various platforms for inspirations and things that might make the Project look beautiful(at least). I had the home page down, it was a simple Login page with a time animation that I found on the web and edited. Then I decided to create everything on the UI (User Interface). It looked a little bulky because I was using pure CSS3 for my styling (I just like doing it from the scratch). I went ahead to create a Login system for Admin by creating an array of Admins and looping through cross-referencing their Usernames and passwords with the Input. A back-end developer will laugh at this point but it was the most resourceful thing to do. I had to read and learn the documentation of the Moment.js JavaScript library.

I went through the whole process of overwriting and rewriting till it was working almost perfectly and had a very fancy UI/UX, things were flying around and people liked it when they saw it but I wasn’t very impressed. I felt I didn’t deserve anything and when my partner asked to see, I felt reluctant. She asked for a few adjustments which I felt lazy to make because I thought, “what’s the point”. We finally concluded and submitted the project, people were impressed but I didn’t feel it till someone asked me Oscar did you do that? And I replied yes.

I had all the sleepless nights, fixing errors and making research, trying out colors and reading documentations. Yes, I did that. Yes, I actually did that and why don’t I feel satisfied? After I answered that question I knew this was a great problem and we all face this as developers and human beings.

It is common among perfectionists and experts. “Perfectionists” set extremely high expectations for themselves, and even if they meet 99% of their goals, they’re going to feel like failures. Any small mistake will make them question their own competence. Experts feel the need to know every piece of information before they start a project and constantly look for new certifications or training to improve their skills. They won’t apply for a job if they don’t meet all the criteria in the posting, and they might be hesitant to ask a question in class or speak up in a meeting at work because they’re afraid of looking stupid if they don’t already know the answer.

You can read up on why people deal with this and how to deal with it. Just click here. In my own opinion it all boils down to self-worth. From the above paragraph I could tell I fall under the expert category and believe me it just takes a step and yourself to move past this feeling, you need to give yourself more credit even for the little ones that seem like nothing.

I read that this occurs more in women than men. What do you think?

Thanks, let’s do this some other time 🙂

Always remember, you did it!!!!!!

You can contact me professionally via My Portfolio

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3 thoughts on “Impostor Syndrome – An Achievement-related Task

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  1. I remember the first time I encountered this Imposter syndrome, didn’t know it was called that at the time. The Numerical methods assignment. The self doubt the flooded me anytime I decided to work on it, felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. But after explaining it and running the program for a friend who was astonished that I could be able to that, I learnt not to listen to the whispers of self doubt.

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  2. I remember what happened while I was doing my internship in a tech company in Enugu. I never and still don’t believe i was really qualified to become an intern there after all the rigorous recruitment exercise. And it ended up affecting my performance. I literally didn’t do well and I now know the cause of all these.
    Thank you very much for the enlightenment ✌️

    Like

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