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How do you deal with feelings of inadequacy? I am an electrical and computer engineer and it's hard, sometimes.
Oh, impostor syndrome. When everyone seems to underestimate your abilities and undermine your work, it’s tempting to wonder whether or not they’re the ones who are right. But here’s the thing—they’re wrong.
You’re not the only one:
Get out of your head. Go to a meetup outside your usual space. Try describing your work to a layperson, and see fresh as the impressive/awesome thing that it is. Ask for introductions to new people in your field who you can learn from or develop the skills you currently feel like you’re lacking, or to compare notes on your shared expertise. Put down the work and go for a walk.
Speak your fears aloud.
I’m a huge believer in
Define what you ARE better than.
Go to conferences, and listen for that *
* little voice—the one that says “I can do this too. I could do this better.” That’s how
Fake it ‘til you make it. Figure out what helps you project confidence and then do it. Overdress. Overprepare the presentation. Practice eliminating “maybe,” “I think,” “I’m sorry,” and “this might sound stupid, but…” from your speech. Take on projects that scare you, and don’t let your colleagues know how terrified you are (that friend network, on the other hand…this is what it’s there for). Fail, and learn from it without resorting to self-blame.
And if all else fails: