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Vaibhav Dwivedi
Vaibhav Dwivedi

Posted on • Originally published at thevediwho.me

The Power of Not Knowing

As I completed my study on psychology, I found various, interesting insights about knowing and not knowing things. There are things, that we know. There are things, that we don't know. Then there are things, we know that we don't know. Do you understand? If you don't, read the previous lines again, slowly.

There are a lot of things that we know, we have learnt from books, from people, from the experiences we have lived. But there are also, a huge amount of information that we don't know. For example, I found this tweet once on my timeline and I have never stared at an image for more than 30 seconds unless there is something. This image explains the gist.


Courtesy of this tweet



Because we don't know a lot of things, We feel anxious in certain situations or scenarios. Looking at competitors in a competition, seeing a friend's Resume/CV, it all makes us uncomfortable. No, I am talking about the concept of "jealousy". It is when we see that they know X,Y,Z skills which we don't know/have. (Even though you know A,B,C skills!)

This phenomena is common in IT industry. And we all know, what it's called.

The Imposter Syndrome

Let's discuss for a minute, what it is defined as.

It is psychological pattern in which one doubts one's accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

I will be honest. I have found that my nature makes me competitive, sometimes. I used to think that I need to learn everything in order to become a web developer. I learnt HTML/CSS/JS numerous times to get my concepts, crystal clear. I learnt Wordpress properly because few years back, it was very popular (It still is, maybe). I mastered PWA development because it seemed like there the wave was shifting. Even after doing all this, I still consider myself unfit for jobs, after seeing the minimum requirements in job posting sites. And then, I find that people are still making good money by just creating simple websites using templates. 🤷

Now, I take the competitive nature positively as motivation to do things. But it used to affect me as well. ‍

There are a lot of well-written articles on the web regarding how to deal with imposter syndrome and from what all I have read and personal experience, I find the following points, actually effective:-

How to deal with Imposter Syndrome

  1. By looking back at what I have made. Everyone builds something. It could be a painting, a great dish or a webapp (even the todo one). This helps remind my brain that I am capable of things and If I can do this, I can do much more. I have the potential.
  2. By taking inspiration. This could be one of the best ways to deal with it as well. Inspire and use what others have built from.
  3. By realizing that you have your own life. You can either stress about it or do something about it. Remember, Life's a marathon and not a race.

Do you have something you would add here? Let me know about it.

Always remember, You are responsible for yourself and your knowledge. It depends on you if you can take Imposter Syndrome as a problem or as a great strength because in the latter, You can say you are much more aware about yourself.

And this is what the power of not knowing is.

Stay safe and take care.

-VD

Discussion (19)

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190245 profile image
Dave

You'd probably be surprised about the number of times co-workers etc have come to me with concerns and my reply has been:

"This is just imposter syndrome. You're fine, here, lets look through the history of your achievements so you can remember some of the positives."

Couple of days later, some of them open up with "I never knew Imposter Syndrome was a 'thing' - thanks!" and later still, I've had some come to me with "Hey, sorry, I'm feeling it again & don't know what to do."... "First, stop apologising, second, sit here & look through the Sprint Reviews with me again..."

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thevediwho profile image
Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

I can understand and feel what you are going through. It happens to the best of us.

But you are doing a great job helping them out. That's very generous of you!

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190245 profile image
Dave

All just part & parcel of being a Senior - in my view.

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guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov • Edited

I'd also add that knowledge can be a kind of a curse. Once you learn how to build X, you might get set in your ways. You might start expecting your colleagues to follow the same way. You might not appreciate the multitude of other ways to build X. This discourages creativity and fun (obviously, not at expense of readability or performance), and, instead, encourages a dogmatic vision.

Suppose you've perfected your knowledge and understanding how to build technological systems. Now what? Now, realize that you only know a small portion of the picture, a small cross section of this multi-dimensional space. Be open and accepting of viewing the cross-section at different angles, and continue learning from others as much as they learn from you. Best teachers are forever students.

Knowledge increases your confidence. However, it may lead to inflated ego, which can often present itself in subtle or not so subtle ways. Beware of that, and make sure to stay humble, no matter how much you've achieved.

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

"Best teachers are forever students."

What a great statement. And you are right! We need to be welcoming of different perspectives of people. It is NOT necessary that the way we see things, is the same as how others see it.

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Hoshi Holiday

Thank you so much for talking about this! It is hard to not feel like you MUST know EVERYTHING all the time, and seeking to do just that, only because you truly want you want to prove you are truly 100% a developer. It's a personal struggle, and I thank you for addressing it.

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

I can understand and I hope this would help you. You are welcome :)

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Alberto Pérez de Rada Fiol

Very interesting read, thanks for sharing!

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

Glad you liked it :)

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Adrian Perea

Wow, so that's what imposter syndrome. I never knew I had till I read this. I thought I just didn't like myself. Thanks!

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

Don't be hard on yourself. You are good as you are :)

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Matheus de Campos

Muito boa a leitura!

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

Gracias!

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Menelaos Kotoglou

Such an inspiring article!

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

I am glad you found it inspiring :)

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Jan Küster

What about things we don't know that we know them 🤔

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

Such as?

:)

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Milan Rusimov

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is a very useful article. Good luck with your work and achievements 💪 🙂

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Vaibhav Dwivedi Author

I am happy you liked it. Thank you and have a nice day.