Posted on Mar 19th, 2020 by Ellie
Confidence is something I have always struggled with. When I found myself on a Coding bootcamp and then suddenly in my first tech role, I found it overwhelming and struggled to cope.
I think my real low point was when the woman trying to find me a job on the bootcamp found me sobbing hysterically in a toilet cubicle (yep, it was THAT bad!).
This cool lady dragged me outside for a coffee and a pep talk and we ended up becoming friends. I managed to complete the course and am now in a Tech role where I feel happier and much more at ease in.
But you don’t always have a sassy, female role model to pull you up by the bootstraps (and out of the toilet cubicle) when you’re feeling low…
So here is how I, for the most part, overcame my insecurities and changed my mindset from a fixed one (“I can’t do this - I’m an idiot! Why am I here??") to a growth one (“I can’t do this… yet”).
Like anything, it takes time, patience, practice - and not beating yourself up. You will feel like you’re rubbish at it to begin with because you’re new to it and because it’s bloody hard! And that’s fine, normal even.
Anyone you get a job with, will (if they’re worth your time) understand that. If you end up in a company that doesn’t support you and make you feel at ease in your learning then that's on them, not you.
What IS on you is how hard you work and your perseverance. The 10,000 hour rule states that if you work hard, keep at it, and put in 10,000 hours of practice, you can become an expert in the skill you've chosen to learn. In case you were wondering, that equates to about 20 hours a week for 10 years! Of course as with any rule, there are some exceptions e.g. if you are really tall you might have a “natural” advantage at playing basketball etc. However, coding is an excellent example of a skill that if anyone puts enough time in, anyone has the ability to become competent in it.
This is what I realised as I progressed on my journey through tech… I might not “naturally” be good at it (terrible at Maths, failed French!). But the more I practiced, the better I got! It sounds obvious, but if I had quit in those early, toilet crying days, I would never have found this out. Only by sticking at it over time, can you see how much you grow. So if you’re crying in a toilet cubicle, or thinking it’s too hard for you. Don’t give up! If I can do it, then so can you.
Here is a link to the founder of the ‘Growth Mindset’, a video that really helped me change my mind about getting better at things I felt were impossible for me to do: