Introducing This I Do Know

Isn’t it one of God’s cruelest jokes, Manuele, our ability to feel imposter syndrome? When I read your post — late, obviously, because RSS feeds and I will never quite be best friends — I was struck by your openness on the matter. You feel like you don’t know shit. Samesies! I suppose most of us suffer from imposter syndrome every now and then, even the famous ones to whom we compare ourselves:

I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'

As a self-taught designer, I never walk far without experiencing imposter syndrome. And don’t even get me started on web development… I’ve been building websites since I was 11, but I never fail to find a reason to condescend to myself about it.

What if we help each other battle our imposter syndrome? I’m inspired by IndieWeb Carnival, which is growing to be a delightful way for the community to engage. I would like to introduce This I Do Know.

How it works

If you work or participate in a particular field, but you don’t feel like you have the authority to speak on anything related to it, you may be suffering from imposter syndrome. This I Do Know is a tag that may be used by anyone fighting theirs.

  1. Identify an area that activates your imposter syndrome
  2. Pick one thing you know about it, big or small
  3. Write about it as though you were engaging a peer who knows nothing on the matter
  4. Embrace the fact that, while you know this thing, you still have many questions; make sure to work these questions into your writing
  5. Publish your post
  6. Tell me about it

This is not meant as a gateway to thought leadership. I personally believe that the tech industry is rife with people who equate professional growth with thought leadership, and I think there’s something harmful and boring about it.

This is just a simple, small thing.

Maybe I’ll learn that nobody cares about this exercise as a way of reducing their imposter syndrome. Maybe I’m the only one who even experiences it. Doubt it. If you do find it helpful, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading! I'm curious to hear your thoughts, so feel free to say hello.