I never used to have imposter syndrome. I felt confident in what I knew and didn’t know. About three years ago, a series of events really made me question my abilities. Throw in some burnout and depression and I am still left feeling uneasy and unsure of myself.
Those feelings have spilled into other things: I don’t write much about web development anymore. I stopped doing conference talks. I haven’t made any significant progress on personal sites or apps.
I took on some hobbies outside of web development. I bought an espresso machine and learned how to make delicious coffee. I bought a couple cameras and have been practicing my photography and editing. I even contemplated getting into video work.
Maybe I should open a coffee shop? Or create a magazine? Maybe a video series?
Every time I get to the point of execution on anything, I start to freeze up. I hit a wall every time I want to put myself out there. (I’ve written and rewritten this post a few times.)
I decided to apply for a full-time gig again, after spending the last couple years freelancing.
I’ve been nervous going through the interview process. I haven’t had to do a coding exercise on the fly in about 7 years. In the past, I’ve been relaxed—even cocky. Now, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. Thankfully, I finished within the allotted time, my heart beating quickly from the stress.
Then came a take-home exercise to build in React. I understood some of the concepts of React but I had never actually used React to build a project. It was a fun exercise and I enjoyed the challenge. At one point, I hit a wall, thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish it. I thought I’d have to rewrite the whole thing. A last-minute epiphany allowed me to get everything working.
Maybe I do know what I’m doing. At the same time, maybe I’ve learned some humility, too.