This talk was born, quite surprisingly, out of listening to Carrie Fisher talk about her struggle with addiction. What really resonated with me was when she talked about how she coped with her struggles by talking about them with others.
“It creates community when you talk about private things and you can find other people that have the same things. Otherwise, I don’t know - I felt very lonely with some of the issues that I had or history that I had. And when I shared about it, I found that others had it, too.” – Carrie Fisher on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, 28 November 2016
At that moment, I decided I had to talk about my struggle with Impostor Syndrome. As I reflect on my life, I’ve identified Impostor Syndrome as a central theme. Over the years I’ve been terrified to raise my hand in class, speak up in meetings, file bug reports, and — especially — contribute to open source projects. I was constantly afraid that I’d be seen as a tragically uninformed dolt not worthy of the position I’ve been put in. So, most often, I kept quiet.
Until recently, I had no idea what this feeling was and where it came from. I didn’t have a word for it until reading an article where Luke Kanies described these feelings and provided me with a name for it: Impostor Syndrome. Once I had a word for what I was feeling, I was finally able to understand it. I was able to identify ways to cope with it and learn about it and how other people handled it. This is my story of Impostor Syndrome and how I’ve coped with it and come to understand it as one of my biggest strengths; hopefully, it’ll help others do the same.