I'm wondering how you should go about killing imposter syndrome.

For background - I grew up poor and graduated during the beginning of the recession from college (so the idea of higher sums of money seems unfathomable to me). I've got several years (4ish) dev experience and I'm pretty decent at the job. A lot of brand new (software) devs are making 60-80k in my area, and I'm currently working a job where I make less than 50k a year. I'm at about the 13th percentile or less for my position.

How do you convince yourself you're worth more than you're currently paid? I've even gotten tentative offers where the minimum was almost a doubling of my current salary, and yet I still feel like I don't deserve it or I couldn't handle that job even though I'm more than qualified.

How can this be overcome?

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    In my experience you never truly "kill" it. All the objective evidence in the world that your accomplishments are, at the very least, "above average" doesn't make much difference. That's kind of the point of imposter syndrome. Although you can switch perspective and turn it into a motivating factor, along the lines of "I'm going to accept the compensation that's offered to me whether or not I think I deserve it, and do my best to make sure the person offering it never regrets their decision". – aroth Oct 28 '15 at 5:27
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this isn't the right place to discuss treatment of psychological issues. It may be better suited to the Cognitive Sciences site. – Lilienthal Oct 28 '15 at 11:09
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    Oh man, I know where you're coming from. My parents never made much so I grew up thinking anything over 60k a year was super wealthy. Kept me stuck in a VERY low paying programming job for WAY too long because I felt like I didn't deserve more. Even once I realized I deserved more, it was and continues to be tough to go out and get it. – Andrew Whatever Oct 28 '15 at 17:43
  • @AndrewWhatever - that's exactly my problem. 50k feels like a high salary to me. I see ranges that go into or are entirely in the 6 figure range and I'm shocked. Compared to my mother's budget of perhaps 15k per year growing up (after inflation), that's just crazy to me. – Joe Smentz Oct 29 '15 at 1:01

I grew up poor and dropped out of school, doing my uni as an adult. I now own my own business but still feel that I'm charging ridiculous sums and getting paid insane amounts. So I don't think you ever lose it although I'm comfortable with it now. My way of dealing with it was two fold, firstly I decided that even though it's an absolute ripoff I can definitely do with the money so I'll fake it. Secondly I got married and my wif has ZERO problem with my income increasing and makes that very clear.

Finally when I started having kids I decided fake or not, I'll get all I can for my family. So much for the money part.

To assuage the guilt a bit I develop and give away for free several bilingual educational resources which costs me a fair bit of effort and money. And do a bit of volunteer stuff like this answer.

Summary, don't be shy, you only live once, value yourself as if you're made of gold. It's all a matter of self-confidence, once you take the first leap it gets easier real fast.

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    This answer struck home for me. If you ever kill your impostor syndrome, that's when you need to take a step back and let your ego deflate a bit. +1 – rath Oct 28 '15 at 8:42

I think to be more objective about your situation, you first need to differentiate your basing it on who you are and what you know. Getting over your personal perceptions of who you are and whether or not you deserve to make more money can be easier said than done for most people. You may need to look into getting professional help. Personally, I've never had that problem to the degree you're experiencing. If it prevents you from taking better paying jobs, get some help.

Addressing your feelings like you're not technically qualified may be accurate. If you push yourself hard enough in your career, you will face obstacles that you don't know if you can over-come. I try to look at my prior experiences with new things and have discovered that I've been able to figure them out, so why not the next challenge? I learned one programming language, why can't I learn another? There are experiences I've had that are a benefit to my current and future employers.

The world is not fair. You will not always be around people who make decisions are the same ones who can accurately assess your talents, so you may find times when you're underpaid. Things tend to balance themselves out.

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