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That conference 2015 fear and self-loathing in it

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How many times do you find yourself paralyzed with fear at the thought of raising your voice and speaking your opinions out loud, whether at a conference, in a business meeting, or even just from your cubicle chair? Do you cringe at the idea of asking for help when you get stuck on a challenging problem? Many of us do, and it can be crippling. Imposter syndrome is alive and well in IT, and the fear and self-doubt that we all experience can be a major blocker to progress and success. Not just in our personal lives, but on our software teams, and ultimately in our careers. As a fellow “imposter”, I’d like to share some of my own adventures in embracing my fears, learning to ask for help, and the sometimes unexpected and very positive outcomes that followed taking the leap.

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That conference 2015 fear and self-loathing in it

  1. 1. Fear and Self-Loathing in IT Living, and Thriving with Imposter Syndrome
  2. 2. FYI: This is NOT a how-to session!
  3. 3. Who is Angela? Polaris Solutions ALM Practice Mgr since Jan ‘12 Been in the software industry since 1999 Runs the Chicago ALM User Group ALM MVP, PSM, PSD, SPC Has a *possibly* unhealthy love of Halloween Polaris Solutions- http://www.polarissolutions.com/ Chicago Visual Studio ALM User Group - http://www.chicagoalmug.org/ Twitter: @OakParkGirl, @ChicagoALM, @TeamPolaris Blog - http://www.tfswhisperer.com/
  4. 4. More about Angela Angela is not a trained psychologist Angela most definitely suffers from imposter syndrome Also, there is a non-zero chance that I am terrified that you all think I am full of crap!
  5. 5. Are YOU a “phony”?
  6. 6. Imposter Syndrome a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women. ~Wikipedia
  7. 7. Researchers believe that up to 70% of people have felt the effects of impostor syndrome at some point
  8. 8. The Test - Trigger warning! The Imposter Test: http://paulineroseclance.com/pdf/IPscoringtest.pdf “When people praise me for something I’ve accomplished, I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to their expectations of me in the future” “I’m afraid people important to me may find out that I’m not as capable as they think I am” “I rarely do a project or task as well as I’d like to do it” “I often compare my ability to those around me and think they may be more intelligent than I am” “I tend to remember the incidents in which I have not done my best more than those times I have done my best”
  9. 9. How would you score? 40 or less = respondent has few IS characteristics 41 to 60 = respondent has moderate IS experiences 61 to 80 = respondent frequently has Impostor feelings 80+ = respondent often has intense IS experiences http://paulineroseclance.com/pdf/IPscoringtest.pdf
  10. 10. IT Evangelist: 40 Graphic Designer: 74 Senior Developer: 67 Dietician: 69 Screen Printer: 73 Librarian: 71Agile coach: 74 Interior Designer: 55 IT Director: 77 ALM Consultant: 87 Industrial Plumber: 54 SAHM: 39 Lawyer: 53 Freelance Writer: 30 IT Manager: 55 IT Consultant: 55 Scenic Painter: 71SAHM: 52 Biology Teacher: 65 Network Administrator: 39 Audio Engineer: 67 Lawyer: 89 Management Consultant: 67 Sr Developer: 70 SAHM: 69Academic Coach: 57 Kindergarten Teacher: 56 Senior ALM Specialist
  11. 11. FANTASY vs. REALITY
  12. 12. REALITY CHECK Most “experts” had no freaking clue what they were doing at first… Until they DID
  13. 13. NO REALLY, I *HAVE* TO BE AN EXPERT! Being an “expert” is overrated An expert is just someone who has effed up something more than you Being a beginner is pretty amazing!
  14. 14. FEAR Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding, or freezing from traumatic events.
  15. 15. But what are we all so afraid of? Being wrong? Not having ALL of the answers? Getting Fired? Not being “perfect”? Being/looking vulnerable?
  16. 16. Perfection is the enemy of good
  17. 17. And maybe it’s not ALL bad
  18. 18. It's OK to feel like a phony sometimes. It's healthy if it moves you forward We all feel like phonies sometimes. We are all phonies. That's how we grow. We get into situations that are just a little more than we can handle, or we get in a little over our heads. Then we can handle them, and we aren't phonies, and we move on to the next challenge. ~Scott Hanselman http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ImAPhonyAreYou.aspx
  19. 19. Humility In Judaism humility is an appreciation of oneself, one's talents, skills, and virtues. It is not meekness or self-deprecating thought, but the effacing of oneself to something higher. Humility is not to think lowly of oneself, but to appreciate the self one has received. ~ Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
  20. 20. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ~ C.S. Lewis
  21. 21. Acting with humility is a RESPONSIBLE way to participate in the IT community ANY community
  22. 22. Story Time
  23. 23. Many of my posts are an admission of ignorance
  24. 24. Putting yourself out there is HARD
  25. 25. For some of us, it is absolutely terrifying to be recognized for the awesome things that we do Or are capable of
  26. 26. But what amazing opportunities do we miss out on when we let our fear of being seen as a phony drive our decisions?
  27. 27. Benefits of occasionally feeling like an imposter
  28. 28. Admitting you don’t know the answer to something lends you instant credibility. I’m serious, try it…
  29. 29. Feeling like you don’t know all the answers makes you more likely to seek out new solutions
  30. 30. Feeling like you don’t know all the answers makes you more likely to embrace new ideas
  31. 31. So what do we do now?
  32. 32. Recognize how you’re feeling Go ahead and feel it And stop beating yourself up about it
  33. 33. Remind yourself that you are NOT a phony Not working? OK, go with it… Let it encourage you to push yourself to learn Let it foster innovation and experimentation Accept the humility that it teaches you
  34. 34. Find something you’re great at then teach someone else about it
  35. 35. Nothing helps us realize just how much we have to offer like mentoring someone
  36. 36. Find someone who inspires you, get connected, then ask for help Chances are, they’ve been there too! Then focus on being the best you, it really IS enough
  37. 37. Be FEARLESS Take risks Be ok with being vulnerable Ask for help
  38. 38. Be a LEADER “A manager’s job is not to prevent risks but it is their job to make it safe to take them.” ~@dneighbors You don’t have to be a “manager” to be a leader!
  39. 39. Be an EXAMPLE Nothing makes you scrutinize how you represent yourself, accept and give praise, and react to others’ missteps like having others look to you as a model for behavior!
  40. 40. Because our children are watching
  41. 41. Embrace Failure, It Is Inevitable And absolutely CRITICAL to growing as a technologist And as a human being
  42. 42. Recognize it in others Recognize when others are feeling like imposters Create a safe environment for sharing ideas and asking questions Shut down bad behavior as soon as you see it
  43. 43. Trust yourself
  44. 44. Imposter Syndrome a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women. ~Wikipedia
  45. 45. Reading / Watching List I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough“ ~$11 Managing Humans - $18 Getting Naked ~$20 The Art of Asking ~$18 Be a Beginner Jeff Blankenburg talk from Kalamazoo X
  46. 46. Referenced Feats of Strength My Blog: http://www.tfswhisperer.com/ My Slide decks: http://www.slideshare.net/angelabinkowski TFS Webinar: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2015/03 /20/alm-webinars-and-conference-and-events.aspx TFS Radio Podcast: http://www.radiotfs.com/Show/92/EveryoneisanImpostor

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