Can community solve imposter syndrome?

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Rizel Scarlett
·Apr 19, 2022·

2 min read

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I don't believe imposter syndrome is something that can just go away. Often people ask me how to get rid of imposter syndrome, and from my experience, it continues to manifest in various ways. However, I believe there are methods to manage imposter syndrome. Two months ago, I spoke to a group of recent boot camp graduates about my tumultuous journey into tech and my struggles with imposter syndrome. I shared with them that I've dealt with imposter syndrome by accepting it: knowing it would happen, understanding where it was coming from, and finding resources via the internet to help me navigate challenging situations. Many times, those resources came in the form of community:

  • Resilient Coders, a free coding boot camp for black and brown folk
  • Hack.Diversity, a talent connector for black and brown folk
  • Code2040 Tech Trek, a free opportunity I received to tour tech companies in San Francisco back in 2017
  • G{Code} - an organization I helped build which introduces women of color and nonbinary people of color to code
  • These resources reminded me that I was not the only one of my kind.

After I gave the talk, I saw a post recapping the event from one of the attendees, which included a reflection of the talk. I thought their takeaway was so poignant and insightful that I had to share it with others. Quay Weston, a Product Designer at Paylocity, wrote,

"Imposter syndrome is easy to set in when we lean too far into this culture of individualism. You are much less likely to feel like an imposter in community where your principles and values are shared. In community, you realize that you don't have to know everything bc someone else might. You don't have to do it all bc someone else can. You don't have to have it all because things are shared. Collectivity evades that. In teams/communities, it is made clear that we are all learning and when we approach a new challenge that I don't understand alone, we can commit to solving it together. Find your community."

If you're constantly second-guessing your abilities, it might be that you need a place of belonging.

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