True Confessions: Imposter Syndrome

Last week I read a blog post from Ned Potter that really stuck with me. Take a minute and go read it if you like, it’s short. He discusses how you can think about your professional development as “advice for one year ago you.” This made me think of our work on Robot Test Kitchen and how this experience has helped me discover things that I would have never thought to attempt “one year ago.”

I’ve always been a bit of a lurker when it comes to blogging and sharing in the professional arena. I had a big old case of imposter syndrome. My thoughts went like this: “What could I possibly have to contribute? I really think I’m good at what I do, but I’m not nearly as flashy as some. The library I work at doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, so why do I need to contribute.” I realize now, that those thoughts are kind of silly. There really is no need to second guess myself like that, what I’m doing is just fine. I’ve had success, I’ve had failure. Why not put it out there?

So in light of fighting my ever-present imposter syndrome, here is what I’ve learned in the past few months since we’ve started robot test kitchen. Here is what I’d tell “before” me.

  • Just start somewhere. Try one thing. Then try two things. Then try three things. Just keep going.
  • It might feel overwhelming at times, but life is kind of like that. And you know what, that’s okay.
  • Make the time. Creativity needs time, it doesn’t just happen. You will never do anything innovative if you don’t give yourself time to play.
  • Some stuff will not work and guess what, you are probably not being graded. So no big deal.
  • Talk about success, talk about failure. It is really all about the learning process.



3 thoughts on “True Confessions: Imposter Syndrome

  1. Just wanted to say thanks! I’ve been going through all these posts at Robot Test Kitchen (especially the True Confessions) and it’s reassuring as I work on planning a teen Raspberry Pi program with very little experience. 🙂

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