Starting in programming comes with a lot of emotions – desire, happiness and awe. When certain things happen, you are impressed and curious, all at once – What’s making this or that change? How can I make it better? The feeling is magical and strange at the same time.
Then, after a while, as you begin the tutorial journey, the emotions begin to evolve. You go from feeling awed to feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and many other weird, diverse and not-so-magical emotions. You can’t seem to grasp and do the basic parts on your own. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of happiness when you complete the course outline hoping now to start out on your own, just to find yourself back at square one.
Other times, you feel like you have some knowledge but you don’t feel confident enough to talk about what you know or try any problem because you see other peoples work and it seems out of this world. You don’t want to apply for jobs because you don’t feel like you’re qualified enough for them, you feel like an imposter among others.
The thing about programming is that you can’t know it all except you wrote the language😉. Judging yourself based on other people’s knowledge of the field will lead to feeling low, losing your sense of belonging and even feeling the need to quit because you lack confidence in your ability and feel you cannot measure up.
So here’s how you can overcome those negative feelings:
Take your tutorials, look for challenges online that relate to you and try to solve them yourself starting at an easy level, gradually weaning yourself off from the tutorial, and feeling like you’ve accomplished something with every step or level that you’ve passed.
The goal of this is to practice, practice and practice. Learning is only complete when practice has occurred. With practice comes mastery.
Keep your head high but don’t get overconfident. Embrace the spirit of learning because as you get better you might find out that there’s a niche that fits you perfectly over what you’re engrossed in right now. Don’t be shy to survey and test the fields.
Apply for that job. Rejection is not failure, it’s an opportunity to improve and try again. When you get rejected, send follow-up emails asking what you can do better next time. Take the correction and keep throwing yourself at challenges and you might just be surprised to get your offer letter in your mail.
The greats – Apple, Google, etc were not built in a day. They are all products of failure, rejection, persistence, learning and determination. This can be you too. Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you from reaching your full potential and being all you can be.