• G.C. Lafleur

Am I An Imposter? | 8 Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Updated: May 16, 2020

No one should have more power to make you feel something about yourself than you.

In my day job, I am a Sr. Data Engineer (make sure you say the senior), I build databases and systems for companies. My field is extremely male dominated. In all of my 8 years working in my field, I have had only two other women on my team with the same role as me. I worked hard to get where I am but sometimes I can't help think, how the heck did I get here?

The other day I had a discussion with my brother, I was telling him how sometimes I wonder why was I chosen for my role. I have never used the tools that my team uses and I come from a purely technical background. Sometimes my insecurities causes me to feel like my team looks down on me because of my limitations. My brother then asked me “Do you feel like an Imposter?” I was a bit taken back by his question, I’ve actually never heard the term before. Imposter Syndrome.

Do you feel like an Imposter?

The impostor syndrome causes you to believe you are inadequate and incompetent in something despite evidence that proves you’re skilled, awesome, and super successful. These feelings can harm your overall growth and mental state. I refuse to feel small when I know I'm worth so much more, so here are some things that I've done to help remind myself of who I am.

  1. Celebrate your achievements: Note them down, look back at them when you question your worth

  2. Tell yourself you are AWESOME: No one should have more power to make you feel something about yourself than you

  3. Everyone is a work in progress: It's OK to ask for help

  4. Teach yourself: So what! You don't know the tools, what are you doing to stay ahead of the game, are there free classes, YouTube tutorial video, or forums you can join?

  5. Showcase your skills: Reach out and help others, showcase your skills

  6. Build strong relationships: Have mentors, especially from people with different background than you. Step outside your box and speak to someone from another area

  7. Surround yourself with positivity: I have photos of my family all over my area, they keep me grounded and help keep my eye on the prize

  8. Surround yourself with inspiration: I have pictures of Grace Hopper and Katherine Johnson in my area, they are pioneers in my field. I have a list of Quotes spanning from Michelle Obama, Tupac, to Eminem, I read them everyday when I feel stressed

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