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T-SQL Tuesday #122 – Imposter syndrome

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T-SQL Tuesday #122 - Imposter syndrome

My T-SQL contribution for this month discusses imposter syndrome.

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Jon Shaulis. Jon invites us all to write about when we have seen, experienced or overcome imposter syndrome.

You can read more about the invite in detail by clicking on the T-SQL Tuesday logo above.

Experience

In reality, I have experienced imposter syndrome a fair few times over the years. I think it’s only natural for a lot of people to experience it.

However, I also think that at times people do not recognise it until afterwards. I’ll admit, I’ve only recognised it myself at times when looking back in the past.

For example, when I’ve started attending important meetings for the first time.

In the past I have sat there in these meetings and wondered what exactly I am doing there. People are talking about different things I have never been involved in before.

I’ve also experienced it a few times before I go to speak at events as well. A few times I have been rehearsing for a session and wondered what I am doing.

More recently, I experienced it when I made my first ever video for the community last year as part of the Azure Advent Calendar.

Because I would catch myself thinking that there were others more experienced at making videos who would criticise it. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I put so much effort into it.

You can watch the video for yourself here. If you want to see how much effort I put into it, you can read the post about recording it in detail here.

In fact, it’s not just professionally I’ve experienced it. I’ve also experienced it when I have started trying new things as well.

For instance, when I started cycling with a former cycling club back in the UK. Because the rest of the cyclist were a lot faster and more experienced than me.

Advice

In fact, a friend of mine Adrian Hills tweeted a really good piece of advice just last week. Which you can read below.

Adrian is completely right here. One of the reasons I’ve worked so hard outside of working hours in the past is so that I can overcome imposter syndrome.

Whenever I feel imposter syndrome I remind myself about my previous experience dealing with companies in the top ten of the Fortune 500 list. In addition, all the other things I have achieved over the years.

However, that reasonably humble boast was just to give you an example. In reality, plenty of others have done the same or achieved more.

Final point

Which brings me to my final point for this post. Experiencing imposter syndrome can be good, because it humbles us.

Without it we risk becoming over confident. Which can easily be seen by others and can lead to mistakes.

When you find yourself experiencing it, make sure you take Adrian’s advice above. In reality, there will always be others who have done more or say they have done more.

However, instead of comparing yourself to others look at what you have achieved.

Published inT-SQL Tuesday

2 Comments

  1. You make great points there Kevin. I wonder if we would all become over confident if we didn’t experience imposter syndrome? I’ve definitely seen some folks who were much more confident than they should have been, and a little humble pie may have helped them down the line.

    That is great advice from Adrian Hills. I’m going to need to list all the tech skills and accomplishments I’ve made the next time I start feeling that imposter syndrome creep up on me.

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