I'm Just Here For The T-Shirt

Coping with Impostor Syndrome

Shawn Oden | codefumonkey@gmail.com | @CodeFuMonkey | codefumonkey.com

ITB2021
ITB2021

Who Am I?

Future Airline Pilot

Shawn Oden

Imposter

Private Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Instrument Rating
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Instrument Rating)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)

ITB2021

??????????

Future Airline Pilot

Shawn Oden

Who Am I?

function sayHi(whoami){
  return "Hello," & whoami & "!" ;
}

writeoutput( sayHi("World") );

Private Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Instrument Rating
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Instrument Rating)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)

ITB2021

Programmer

Future Airline Pilot

Shawn Oden

Who Am I?

CompTIA Security+
        MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
        MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration
        MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development
        Adobe ColdFusion Specialist
            (Plus CFMX certs from Macromedia & Adobe)
    Currently hold a U.S. DoD Security Clearance

function sayHi(whoami){
  return "Hello," & whoami & "!" ;
}

writeoutput( sayHi("World") );

Private Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Instrument Rating
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Single Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Instrument Rating)
Commercial Pilot (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)
Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Multi-Engine, Land)

ITB2021

Who Am I?

function sayHi(whoami){
  return "Hello," & whoami & "!" ;
}

writeoutput( sayHi("World") );

CompTIA Security+
        MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
        MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration
        MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development
        Adobe ColdFusion Specialist
            (Plus CFMX certs from Macromedia & Adobe)
    Currently hold a U.S. DoD Security Clearance

Shawn Oden

Programmer

Impostor

What Are We Going To Talk About?

ITB2021
The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

-  Steve Furtick - Pastor

What Are We Going To Talk About?

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

What Does Impostor Syndrome Look Like?

Why Is It A Bad Thing?

How Can We Stop It?

ITB2021
When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They'd come to my house, knocking on the door, "Excuse me, we meant to
give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep."

- Jody Foster- Actor

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What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a chronic feeling of fraudulence, self-doubt, and inadequacy.
I've fooled everyone into thinking I know what I'm doing.
I'm lucky I've made it to where I am.
If I work extra hard, I can stay under the radar.
The sooner I start a project, the sooner people will see I can't do it. So I procrastinate.
I don't like working with other people because I don't want them to find out I don't really know what I'm doing.
Everyone around me is so much smarter than I am.
- (Bravata et al., 2020; Ruple, 2020; Armstrong & Shulman, 2019; Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991).

At least I haven't been caught yet.

...despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, many (people) who experience the imposter phenomenon persist in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.

– Pauline Rose Clance & Suzanne Imes

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What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Q: Do you suffer from Impostor Syndrome?

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Dunning-Kruger Effect

"

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Impostor Syndrome

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Dunning-Kruger vs Impostor Syndrome

What Are We Going To Talk About?

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

What Does Impostor Syndrome Look Like?

Why Is It A Bad Thing?

How Can We Stop It?

ITB2021
You think, "Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? 
And I don't know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?"

- Meryl Streep - Actor

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What Does IT Look Like?

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What Does IT Look Like?

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What Does IT Look Like?

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The Types Of Impostors

  • The Perfectionist
    • Focused on HOW THINGS ARE DONE
  • The Expert
    • Focused on HOW MUCH THEY KNOW
  • The Soloist / Rugged Individualist
    • Focused on WHO COMPLETES A TASK
  • The Natural Genius
    • Focused on HOW EASY A TASK IS
  • The Super Person
    • Focused on HOW MANY ROLES THEY CAN JUGGLE
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The Perfectionist

  • Focused on HOW THINGS ARE DONE
  • Even tiny flaws are a BIG FAIL
  • Want 100% perfection in their work
  • May not like to delegate because only they can do it right
  • Often over-prepare
    • Sets up a vicious cycle where eventual fail is crushing
  • Sometimes procrastinate
    • Want to know EXACTLY how to do a job before they start

How can we fix it?

  • Some things don't deserve 100% effort
  • "Good enough" is good enough
  • It's OK to fail
  • It's OK that you will ship code with bugs
    • Fix it later
  • Your desire for perfection may slow down others on your team
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The Expert

  • Focused on HOW  MUCH THEY KNOW
  • May not be an actual expert, but feel like they SHOULD be
    • If only they were SMARTER
  • Want to know EVERYTHING before taking a risk
  • Always want to LEARN and KNOW MORE
    • Certifications!
  • Similar to a Perfectionist
  • Never feel QUALIFIED enough

How can we fix it?

  • Nobody knows everything
  • Learn your limits
    • They don't make you "weaker"
    • Respect those limits
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help when needed
  • There is always more to learn
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The Soloist

  • Focused on WHO COMPLETES THE TASK
  • Reluctant to ask for help
    • If they knew what they were doing, they shouldn't need help
    • Can lead to taking longer to complete a task
  • Others can't figure out how "clueless" they are if not around​
  • Probably did well during COVID quarentines and WFH

How can we fix it?

  • Learn to recognize and evaluate the resources available to you
  • Asking for help is not a bad thing
  • Your work doesn't have to be earth-shattering to be useful
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The Natural Genius

  • Focused on HOW EASY THE TASK IS
  • If a task isn't easy, then they just aren't smart enough
    • "A real programmer wouldn't have this much trouble."
  • Feel like they should already know how to do it
  • Struggle == Failure
  • Often just give up if it's too hard

How can we fix it?

  • Realize that some things require effort
  • It may take time to be a success
  • You aren't expected to immediately know everything
  • Struggle <> Failure
  • Also, Try 1 < Try 2 < Try N
  • Practice, practice, practice
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The Super Person

  • Focused on HOW MANY ROLES THEY CAN JUGGLE
  • Feel like they should be able to do it on their own
  • To be useful to a task, they have to be able to do it all & do it well
  • Often felt by working mothers
  • Very susceptible to burnout
  • Pretty much an extreme version of the other 4 types
  • Probably most affected by COVID quarantines
    • ​Nobody to put a check on their overwork

How can we fix it?

  • Slow down.
  • It's OK to say "No"
  • Learn to delegate
  • Don't take on extra work
  • Learn to respect your limits
  • Realize that this behavior can send a bad message to the people who look up to you, like junior co-workers or even your kids
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The Types Of Impostors

  • The Perfectionist
    • IT'S ALMOST JUST RIGHT
  • The Expert
    • IF I WAS ONLY SMARTER
  • The Soloist
    • I SHOULDN'T NEED HELP
  • The Natural Genius
    • THIS SHOULD BE EASIER
  • The Super Person
    • I CAN DO ALL THIS

WHICH ONE AM I?

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Demographics of Impostors

Under-represented groups, like women and minorities, tend to feel Impostor Syndrome more intensely.

Everyone can experience Impostor Syndrome.

Broader research has shown it affects men just as often. Anyone is susceptible to Impostor Syndrome.

STORY TIME

Roughly 70% of people have experienced Impostor Syndrome.

Felt most often by intelligent, capable people in a difficult career field or people in new positions.

What Are We Going To Talk About?

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

What Does Impostor Syndrome Look Like?

Why Is It A Bad Thing?

How Can We Stop It?

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I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody 
and they’re going to find me out.”".

- Dr. Maya Angelou - Author

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Why Is Impostor Syndrome Bad?

...organizations also pay a price when bright people play small, procrastinate, become workaholics or engage in other protecting mechanisms "imposters" use to cope with the anxiety of waiting for the other shoe to drop..
  • Burnout
  • Physical Impacts of the Stress
  • Procrastination
  • Low Self Worth
  • Eventual Disgruntlement
  • Missed Opportunities
- Dr. Valerie Young, EdD

  • Inadequate Job Performance
  • Missed Work
  • Loss of a Good Employee
  • Impression on Other Employees
  • Missing Out On a Good Employee

FOR THE EMPLOYEE

FOR THE EMPLOYER

STORY TIME

What Are We Going To Talk About?

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

What Does Impostor Syndrome Look Like?

Why Is It A Bad Thing?

How Can We Stop It?

ITB2021
I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school and I just have to pick myself up and tell myself that I'm a superstar every morning so that I can get through this day and
   be for my fans what they need for me to be.

-  Lady Gaga - Musician

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What Can I do To Fight ImpostorISM?

  • First and Foremost, Recognize the Problem

    • Try to see yourself as others see you.

  • Be Around Other People

    • See people in your field but outside your circle.

    • Attend Conferences and Meetups.

  • Talk About It

    • Find someone you trust and talk to them.

  • Own Your Achievements

    • Take a good, honest look at the things you've done.

  • Evaluate Your Strengths & Limitations

    • What are you good at? What do you need help with?

    • Who around you can help?

  • Nobody Knows Everything

    • "I don't know" is OK.

    • Just-In-Time Learning: Learn what you need to use.

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What Can I do To Fight Impostorism?

STORY TIME

  • Nobody Is Perfect All The Time

    • Don't expect to always be 110%.

  • Recognize When You Need A Break

    • Don't overwork yourself.

  • Stop Comparing Yourself To Other People

    • Everyone has different skills.

  • Speaking

    • Get more comfortable in your own skin.

  • Meet Your Heroes

    • You might find out that they're people, too.

    • And you might even make some new friends.

  • Reframe Your Views

    • Take an honest and open measure of yourself.

  • You Are Not Alone

    • There are other people out there who understand you. 

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You're In Good Company

Tom Hanks, Sheryl Sandberg, Lady Gaga, Maisie Williams,
Barbara Corcoran‍‍‍, Tina Fey, Agatha Christie, Lupita Nyong'o,
Emma Watson, Arianna Huffington, Robert Pattinson, Charlize Theron,

Serena Williams, Seth Godin, Kate Winslet, Renée Zellweger,

Amy Poehler, Amy Adams, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Lopez

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama, David Bowie, Maya Angelou .....

Natalie Portman:

"When I got to Harvard just after the release of Star Wars: Episode 1, I feared people would assume I had gotten in just for being famous, and not worthy of the intellectual rigor here."

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You're In Good Company

Neil Gaiman - Author

Some years ago, I was lucky enough [to be] invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things. And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.
 

On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I

doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”

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You're In Good Company

Neil Stephensen, Neil Armstrong and Neil Gaiman

 

I just went where I was sent.

- Neil Armstrong  

Feeling fraudulent is a sign you are being challenged. And when we're challenged that's when we make breakthroughs.

– Farah Storr, Editor (Elle Magazine - UK) & Author

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Actual Frauds Don't Have Impostor Syndrome

Just Remember:

Nobody can tell you to stop being an Impostor.

You have to convince yourself.

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YOU GOT THIS

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TAKE YOUR STEP

Where Can I Find More Info?

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Thank You

Shawn Oden | codefumonkey@gmail.com | @CodeFuMonkey | codefumonkey.com

ITB2021

 

“The only way to stop feeling like an impostor,

is to stop thinking like an impostor.”

- Dr. Valerie Young   

 

I'm Just Here For The T-Shirt (ITB2022) - FLAT

By Shawn Oden

I'm Just Here For The T-Shirt (ITB2022) - FLAT

I've been a professional geek for over 20 years, but I still feel like I'm out of my zone. Technology moves so fast. There are so many things to know. Everyone is so much smarter than me. I don't know what I'm doing, and it's just a matter of time before someone finds me out. Or something like that. Imposter Syndrome is a problem. But it can be dealt with.

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