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Posted on • Originally published at pragmaticpenguin.com on

Coding with low self esteem

Coding with low self esteem

Is it possible? yes.

Is it easy? No.

From a younger age I've loved the idea of websites. Designing them, building them, updating them. I finally made the dive to try to make them in my later teens.

At that time life hadn't shown most of it ugly hand to me. At that point it was hard work to focus on wanting to learn code, but it was only limited by my own producitivity and passion.

But life isnt that simple.

Life throws challenges at you.

Pains. Loss.

Self esteems drop, or naturally weren't that high to begin with, so only going down from zero is a dark drop.

It's tough enough in life to face stresses from work, finances, and more.

But what if the thing you have the most passion/skill in, is one of the areas you struggle with self esteem the most?

What do you do?

I don't always know what to do. I'd be lying if I didn't say finally going to therapy almost a year and a half ago now wasn't the best thing I've done for myself in many years.

But your therapist isn't always around. He has taught me some valuable tools along the way and still is a great asset. He also got me a recommendation to a great psychiatrist which got me on Lexapro to help with the intensity of my anxiety and major depressive episodes, but there is no "fix all" pill.

I still struggle with self worth the most. Feeling like I give any value to work, my relationships, my life. But I try to recognize best I can when those feelings aren't backed by any proof. When I only recognize the negative and dismiss or discount the positive. That is where I am now.

You can code with mental illnesses that make you want to give up, that make you feel worthless, that make you feel stupid...etc. You just have to choose to get up every day (that you can) and pursue it best you can.

That's been the hardest lesson I still struggle with. That doing your best...is enough. Even if you don't do this or that like someone on Twitter, or don't meet the unreasonably high expectations you or someone else set for you, it doesn't make you a failure. Your best is enough. Your best is great. Your best makes a difference.

Even typing that feels like a lie sometimes. But I keep trying my best to take that feeling, and work with it daily. That is my struggle and path. To be happy with my best. To not feel like a failure.

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This is an auto post over from my personal site. Just wanted to share that quick bit and ask the question.

How do you manage it?

What's your tips?

Discussion (1)

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Andrew

Thanks for writing the article, Andrew. I've been trying this coding stuff for years but haven't gotten serious since last August. I'm in a real funk as I look for the next step. "I suck at this", has been a regular part of my internal narrative. Everyone says that it is normal to feel this way about coding but sometimes the bad emotions can completely blot out the sun. It was in one of these dark moments that I found what you had written and it made me feel like someone else out there really understood. I don't have a lot of tips or suggestions for how to make it better. Looking around for other people that also suffer and hearing their perspective is what is working for me right now. Thanks again.