Why downplaying your skills is a shield against failure

For years, I've called myself a "junior developer for life." What started as a humble acknowledgment of always having something to learn has become something else entirely. Through (almost) daily writing, I've noticed a deeper reason behind this label.

The real reason behind the label #

Calling myself a junior developer has been a subconscious shield. It protects me from the risk of failure. If I undersell myself, I don't have to worry about not meeting high expectations. It's a safe space where I can always claim I'm still learning and never quite there yet.

Initially, I thought this mindset was rooted in humility and a genuine curiosity to keep learning. But as I explored my thoughts through writing, I realized it was more about avoiding the pressure of higher standards. By keeping the bar low, I shield myself from the fear of not matching it.

Writing has helped me see this pattern. It's not just about being humble; it's about a fear of vulnerability (Hello, BrenĂ© Brown đŸ‘‹). Admitting I have twenty years of experience and calling myself a senior or staff engineer means I'm accountable to that title. It means facing the possibility of falling short.

Embracing my true self #

Now, I see the need to shed this protective label. It's time to embrace my experience and the skills I've honed over two decades. It's time to take pride in my journey and be willing to stand up to the expectations that come with it.

Have you faced similar mental blockers? Tell me about it on Twitter, I'm always eager to learn how others discover and tackle their mental demons.