How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome as a Developer

Bryl Lim
3 min readMay 13, 2022


What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments.You believe that you aren’t good enough to do your job, despite external evidence proving otherwise.

It’s very common among developers and there was also a time that I suffered from this.

So here’s what I did to overcome it.

1. Make a habit of being uncomfortable

There are many situations where we must be uncomfortable in order to grow and learn. If you want to become stronger, you must lift weights that are heavy. If you want to improve your writing skills, you should write more often rather than sit at home all day playing video games.

If you always stay in your comfort zone and avoid situations where you might fail or be uncomfortable, then there is no way for you to grow as an individual.

Timothy Ferriss — “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

2. Adopt the Growth Mindset

Developers who believe their talents can be further improved and that they have much to learn (either through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.

When developers have a growth mindset, they feel far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater support for collaboration and innovation among other developers.

There’s always much to learn.

3. Keep track of your accomplishments

It helps evaluate your progress compared to who you were before. In your developer career, it’s sometimes harder to measure progress and the value you add to an organization (and if your current employer does not provide performance evaluations, tracking your own accomplishments is even more important).

You can have your own personal portfolio of the things you completed, worked on, or achieved and quantifying your accomplishments also helps you stand out from others who do the work you do — whether you’re using the information for a raise or promotion request, or when seeking a new job opportunity.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

As a developer, we work in a huge industry with diverse group of talented people. Hence, you will find all types of developers who are better than you as well as more paid than you for less work.

I personally know a friend who is getting paid six figures a month and that friend keeps complaining about our mutual friend who works in another company and is paid twice that a month. The biggest similarity over here is that they both are developers with the same background and the same experience.

This kind of comparison leads to self-doubt and anxiety. Sometimes it also leads to depression.

Realize what you have.

I can guarantee that comparing with others will never ever work in our favor. We will complain unnecessarily about things that we have and we will create a very negative impact around our current workplace.

Give yourself time to focus on positive aspects of your life. Gradually you will identify all the positive aspects of your life which will help you more to self-focus on your future goals.

Start working on yourself.

From my personal experience, I can say that it is hard to negate thoughts of comparison. But, we should realize the fact that comparison won’t take you anywhere. In fact, constant comparing will make things worse.

Understand the fact that you can control only your decisions in life which will lead you somewhere in your life as a developer. Working for getting that promotion or working to enhance your skills will help a lot to stop comparing and start focusing.

It will never matter what other people have the only thing matters is what you have and what you are planning to achieve by working on yourself.