Confidence Through Self-Talk

2 min read

Confidence Through Self-Talk


This first assignment was a bear.

All during my time working on it, I began to feel small and worthless as a programmer. But let’s back up a bit.

I had three weeks to do it. The pressure to produce this fantastically awesome running program was full on in my mind. See where this is going?

I was literally, close to the deadline, laying on the couch, frozen in fear. I literally couldn’t put my feet on the floor. Anxiety was crippling. I just could not sit at my desk and finish it.

By this time, I was angry. Angry that I had let it get to this point. Having mini-meltdowns on Twitter about being a slacker and my code being shit. It made me angry that I was having this meltdown and pitying myself because I knew I was better than that.

Self-Talk and Lifting Yourself Up

I remembered my mentor, Karen BigRigg telling me how good my code was. I told myself she had no reason to lie to me, she wasn’t going to get anything out of it. She saw something in me and decided to take me under her wing.

That counts for something. I let myself know that I wasn’t a shitty programmer– that I was new and I was constantly learning. There’s a whole breadth of knowledge out there about programming and no one person is going to know it all. There are master programmers and those with innate talent. There is no sense comparing myself to these people as we all have different skillsets.

Almost Finished It

I almost finished the project on time. I couldn’t get it running or compiling right and when it did compile it didn’t run the way it was supposed to.

I turned it in any way. It is probably not going to be a passing grade as a late project gets –15 off automatically. But I did a damn good job. I created a Class, used methods, all when I was just supposed to put nested loops in main. It made me crazy to do that as there was so much to this first assignment. Considering I was thinking about throwing in the towel and just learning web dev on my own instead of going the CS route, I think I did okay.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Confidence Through Self-Talk by Tiffany White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • I have had issues with self-doubt and feeling less than the “ideal programmer” in my mind.

    Ultimately, I decided that feeling this way was holding me back so I work to ignore it and push through.

    Sounds like you are on the right track. Good work getting the assignment done; keep it going. You’ve got this.

    • twhite6878

      Definitely. I have another assignment and it is harder but I have more confidence now. I’m also paying more attention in class. It’s hard when you have your laptop to not get distracted. But this is important.

      Another thing is I just don’t dig Java. It is verbose. I like OOP and all but couldn’t we learn Ruby if we were going to do that? LOL. We’re preparing for the corporate and Google world, I suppose.

      • I am not a big Java fan. I agree it gets overly verbose and complex. It will teach you stuff about OOP that you will be able to use in other languages though.

        The JVM is cool. There are some fun languages there, including jRuby and the langauge I am currently learning, Clojure