Turn the page on self-doubt: A techie’s guide to using journaling as a tool for confidence and growth

Especially in the last couple of years, more and more women have approached me with the question of how they can deal with imposter syndrome so I wanted to take some time to write down my current thinking on the topic.

My usual tip was to get used to it, as everyone feels inadequate at times. There will always be someone smarter than you who knows more about a specific area, and that’s ok! It doesn’t change.

These days, I have a better answer and a tip on how to help address this. Let’s dive deep and first understand why imposter syndrome is so widespread in the tech industry and why women are more affected.

Unmask Imposter Syndrome: Understand Its roots in the Tech World

You’ve studied for years or worked in the tech industry for decades, yet you still feel inadequate and like you are faking it.

You are not alone!

My career started 25 years ago. I work at a FAANG company, yet I still fight the ‘what the heck am I doing here’ syndrome! No certificate or course, or accolade helps with that.

The rapid pace of change and innovation is so fast, and we feel we need to keep up with everything! In addition to that, women are underrepresented, so it is hard to find a role model or a mentor that we can turn to for guidance.

This is where journaling comes in and can help.

The Journal Antidote: How Writing Can Challenge and Change Your Inner Critic

We all have an inner critic. The voice in our heads that says ‘told you so’ if we make a mistake, if we can’t figure out why that bug appears, and a colleague comes by and points it out on a first glance.

To stop the inner critic, I do what I would do with an angry person talking at me. I listen, and I let them rant. I ask you to spill it all out. Tell me everything! Until they are done, there is space for a reality check.

Journaling has the same effect. My tip is to write it all down!

Take some time, pen, and paper, and write. Exaggerate, be honest, and be vulnerable. No one will ever read what you write. What are you feeling? Why are you feeling this? Curse the colleague who knows it all! Be petty. The pettier, the better.

Once it is all out and your inner critic is done and left speechless, you are ready for the next step.

From Doubt to Awesomeness: Build resilience and self-belief through reflective writing

When you feel inadequate, that is a reflex. It is not a conscious choice to feel like that. If you had a choice, you would want to feel awesome.

Change the game! Go from reflex to reflection.

Once you are done and have written down what your inner critic has to say, it is time to reflect.

Take a different notebook or piece of paper and write down what you did well and what you liked. Someone said something nice to you. Write it down!

Make it a habit. Every evening, instead of doomscrolling, write down three things that went well. Do you have goals that you have achieved? Lessons that you learned? Fears that you conquered Write it all down.


With time, you will look out for these moments. You will train your mind to watch for them, so you can write it down! This reframes your thinking. Instead of feeding your inner critic, you feed your inner diva.

Your Action Items:

  1. Begin with Brutal Honesty: Start to journal about your feelings of inadequacy without self-judgement.
  2. Track Your Triumphs and Trials: Regularly document your successes and challenges to gain perspective.
  3. Use journaling for positive affirmations: Reinforce your skills and value through positive self-talk in your entries.

Let me know how you get along!

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life in tech

Last Update: December 04, 2023