The way I started my career was unorthodox, a combination of a bit of college and the vast majority I was self-taught. While working in the construction field for 12 years, I did freelance work as a software developer in my spare time. Shortly after that, I became a co-founder in a small startup that combined my skills in the construction industry and software development. I was very confident and successful (with the help of a friend) in developing the product we were trying to launch, but unfortunately, as the majority of startups, we ran out of runway before getting enough traction. I found myself at a crossroads, asking myself whether I should go back to working in construction full-time or get a job as a software developer.
I chose the latter, and for a while, I struggled with impostor syndrome. Looking back, I don’t think that I should have, because I had enough experience to be competent in the workplace as a developer. Whether the way I felt was rational or not, I still felt somewhat incompetent.
Showing up to work every day for a while was daunting. The uncertainty, whether I was going to be able to step up to the plate, was always looming. The internal struggle was constantly there, and hiding it from colleagues was draining. Appearing confident was taking its toll over time. The primary source of motivation was the fact that I was doing something I loved. I worked hard to get there and earn the opportunity to do it.
Change Your Perception
I kept working hard, stayed humble, and coachable. After a while, I realized that I was competent and capable enough to complete tasks efficiently. I worked hard, always putting a significant emphasis on learning and I still do to this day. The only thing I had to change was my perception of the whole situation. I ended up understanding that I was doing everything I should be doing to do well as a developer. I was too hard of a critic on myself. I started seeing the circumstance as some type of friction I had to overcome. The Universe’s friction is how I came to understand it after reading a few self-help books. The position I had found myself in was something that I will always have to work against one way or another. Focusing on being grateful for the opportunity and continually remembering that I’m allowed to do something I love every day started diminishing the impact that insecurity had on me.
It’s the Universe’s friction. Don’t give up.
I come from a technical background, so naturally, I looked for a logical solution for the way I felt. Trying to learn a new skill or skills seemed like a reasonable way of solving my problem. It turned out, the solution that worked for me was trying to digest the situation more spiritually. The root of the problem was the fact that there was a significant change in my life. I was in a new environment, new job, and new co-workers. Behind the scenes, this big change comes bundled up with a significant dose of uncertainty in your life. Every change in your life will come bundled up this way. Whenever you are trying to get ahead in life, expect this friction to be there, and stay your course.