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Cover image for Honest thoughts about self-confidence

Honest thoughts about self-confidence

marsh12th profile image marsh ・3 min read

Hey

Young game dev student here. This is my first article and English is not my main language, but I'll do my best.

I recently joined the dev.to community, so I thought,
hey, let's write something,
but that didn't go very well...

Writing is hard

My first idea was to write about a custom data compressor I'm working on. It's a really cool thing and I learnt a lot about .NET libraries and memory management / operations. But the more words I put in, the more I thought to myself:

'well, to be honest, this is just an experiment for yourself and most people may already know anything you learnt'

So... What's the point?

Then I thought: okay, I'm just a student after all, maybe I can write about my experience studying Game Development in college. Because I learnt ( and I'm still learning ) a lot of things, things that can't be taught, but rather learned by working with real people in real projects. Which is a thing that I didn't appreciate this much until I started actually doing it since in high school they really emphasize on personal work over group work / integration.

But then again, as I wrote this new article, a voice kept repeating, in the back of my head:

'you know, most people here already have years of experience working on big or small projects, this is not really contributing to anything whatsoever'

so then again... what's the point, right?

And so on.

But not only writing is hard

And the real problem here is that this somehow extends to pretty much every aspect of my life. Whatever I do, no matter the field or the effort I put in, I'm always so hard on myself that I just don't think it's worth showing it to the world. Maybe sometimes I tweet something, or post it somewhere if I'm really proud of it — but inside I can't help thinking that it's not good enough.

Don't get me wrong, I do know that I'm just studying, and eventually, if I work hard enough, I'll make great things.

But I really fear that when that day comes, if it ever does, I won't have enough self confidence to share it. And what's worse, I fear that even if I share it with the world, and even if the world happens to love it, I may keep feeling like it's not good enough.

Now I'm having some flashbacks of this post about the Impostor Syndrome. I agree that it's okay to feel like a phony sometimes, but...

does it ever come to a point when you are really satisfied with your work?

Am I being too edgy? I don't know... I've been struggling with these thoughts for days, it's almost 1 am here and I don't have coffee.

And after thinking of this all over and over, I always come to the same conclusion:

'dude, chill. It's okay, just do your thing, enjoy what you're doing, and stop overthinking'

Yeah. That's my mantra. But then,
what's the point of this article?

Okay, now I'm just forcing this gag, but THE POINT is that I know there must be more people out there concerned about this, but I just haven't found any thread / blog / whatever throwing any light at it. The guys at wait but why have really good articles about similar topics, specially the ones about procrastination. But I don't know.

I hope this makes sense somehow, and if it does not, at least in the future I can come back here, read it and laugh really hard :P

Posted on Apr 12 '17 by:

Discussion

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Yeah, imposter syndrome is no joke. I don't think it ever goes away. That little voice in your head telling you that you are worthless will always be there ( I can still hear it ). But, how you deal with it is the most important thing. It's easy to compare your chapter 1 or 2 to another person's chapter 20, but it's not useful.

I read this thing once: When is a flower perfect? Each state in a flower development, from seed to full blossom is a necessary one. When is a flower perfect? It's always perfect. You are right where you need to be. But there will always be someone who needs to hear what you have to say.

 

That's what I'm learning now, to keep up despite of what my head thinks.
And I have to say, that what really made the difference for me is interacting with people, outside in the real world.

I've always been that kind of person that likes to hang out but somehow stays most of the time home.

And now that I'm forcing myself to go out and do cool stuff outside, I'm starting to feel more confident about myself and my work. I guess that's a thing.

 

I have to save that flower analogy that's pure gold right there. And you are absolutely right!

 

You're not alone! And I encourage you to write about what you've learned anyway. We're all beginners here one way or another... and not everyone's a game developer :) YOU have a unique experience we could all learn from.

The more you write, the easier it becomes.

As for imposter syndrome, it's extraordinarily real. Let me introduce you to Maureen Zappala, a previous NASA Engineer that struggled with imposter syndrome so much.. she's writing a book on it and does motivational speaking on the topic. Here's some of her blog posts:

 

Knowing that someone like a NASA Engineer struggles with this kind of problem, makes me feel.. less smalll, somehow.

Thanks, I will totally give it a read :)

 

I really don't have any right to say this because I haven't written any articles yet, but I'd say even if you write something and think to yourself "Well people will already know (most of) this already, so what's the point?", go ahead and publish it anyways. There will always be somebody who doesn't know about whatever you're writing about, and those who do know about it may learn something they didn't know, or they can offer suggestions and improvements. It can be a learning experience for everybody.

 

Yeah, the hard part is that writing a good article takes time, and the more time I spend doing something the more you start losing the focus and perspective. But now I'm learning to be less obsessive about these things and don't fear to stop writing/working on something for a while so I can keep my head cool...

 

In some ways Imposter Syndrome seems like a bit of a misnomer. Why would we call the thing that basically everyone goes through all the time a "syndrome". It's just the way things are. If anything I'm skeptical of people who don't seem to feel this way.

I thought by now I would have "overcome" these feelings, but nope. Logically I have come to realize people care about my thoughts, if only because of a humorous twist, but I still expect nobody to care and that I'll be literally figured out as a fraud every day.

So that is to say... yeah I get it.

And if you write a post about memory management, I would read the shit out of that. It's a topic that I don't really handle well and I love to see stuff like that come into my feed. I am sure many feel the same way.

 

These are really nice words, specialy coming from the creator of this website.
Thankss :)

I like to think now that this voice is the one that keeps me on the right path, the one that keeps me out of my comfort zone. I don't know if everyone feels this ways to some extend.

Wish I had more time to write about it, or even read about it.
But if I find some, I'll try to share some more thoughts on whatever I feel like writing about :)

 

Yeah no pressure, but if you do have time, there will be some people that find it valuable.

 

I really enjoyed this post, and you're definitely not alone. Keep writing! I always love this anecdote from Neil Gaiman:

neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603...

 

I must say, that getting satisfaction in what you're doing and being self-confident are completely different things. Different sets of skills are involved. You need to exercise both. :)