I have Impostor syndrome

As I write this blog, I am preparing for a talk I am doing in San Francisco next weekend at ChocolateyFest (WinOps). While creating the PowerPoint for my presentation, part of me is excited and thinks “man this is going to be cool” and the other part is telling me that I am a fraud. It feels sort of like the ying and yang in my head. Confidence versus insecurity. I have these feelings because I have a trendy condition called “impostor syndrome”.

This issue seems to be common among a lot of people, as I have seen numerous tweets and comments about people admitting they had this on social media. Usually, it is people who have gotten over their impostor syndrome, at least to a certain degree. It is pretty easy to admit to something that is no longer an issue for you. Well, this is still very much an issue for me. I would say that I have made improvement but I would certainly not classify myself as someone who is gotten completely past it.

I have had impostor syndrome for a long time. As long as I can remember. Whether it is playing little league baseball or writing an article on PowerShell, I from time to time have those feels of inadequacy. The feeling that I do not belong doing whatever activity I am doing. That I am not good enough. That I do not measure up compared to my peers. This feeling is not always in the front of my head. It comes and goes. Although if rears its ugly influence more regularly than I would like. At least regular enough that I felt this would be something I should post about. I am constantly comparing myself to others that do the same thing I do. Other engineers, bloggers, speakers, even Fathers. As much as I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, it is just what I do.

With that said, there are certainly times that I feel very confident in my experience and knowledge. I will sometimes read an article that I wrote and think to myself that I did a good job. Or perhaps write a PowerShell module that seems pretty darn nifty and I give myself a pat on the back. Thankfully, these positive experiences work to offset my negative thoughts and feelings. While at PowerShell Summit last year, I met so many cool people. Also, so many smart people.

There were many times that I just felt that my knowledge and experience was inadequate compared to others that I met. One example was when Mathias Jessen (IISResetme) did a lightning demo. It blew me away. I thought to myself “this dude is so far and above what I know”. I even tweeted about it and ironically, he commented a Venn diagram that made me feel a bit better. The diagram basically illustrated that people know different things and some of the same things. Makes sense to me. Actually, it makes me feel better about how I view my knowledge compared to peers. I would like to note that I still think he is way smarter than I am.  Anyway, in the current world of social media people tend to showcase their best self. I certainly do that as well, but I also think it is beneficial to show your flaws. I have impostor syndrome and I am not afraid to admit that.

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