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How you can use impostor syndrome to your benefit by Mike Cannon-Brookes - Lara L. Schenck

How you can use impostor syndrome to your benefit by Mike Cannon-Brookes

I started writing a year in review post, but ended up watching a talk about impostor syndrome…


The impostor vibes have been hitting me hard the past few weeks. The reasons boil down to around one-third self-applied pressure (thinking about my life trajectory), one-third work-applied pressure (assuming tech lead responsibilities late into a project), and one-third internet-applied pressure (the effects of reading Twitter while in a negative frame of mind i.e. forgetting that those who tweet are also imperfect humans). Anyway, this video made me feel better.

I really like his concluding notes at the end:

The most successful people I know don’t question themselves, but they do regularly question their ideas and their knowledge. They know when the water is way too deep, and they aren’t afraid to ask for advice. They don’t see that as a bad thing; they use that advice to improve their ideas.

It’s okay to be out of your depth sometimes, so long as you don’t become paralyzed, you don’t freeze. Instead, harness the situation and try to turn into a force for good. It’s not about conquering the feeling – its about being aware of it.

Mike Cannon-Brookes is the co-founder of Atlassian and gave this talk in 2017.