May 10, 2022
Imposter Syndrome is that feeling that you don’t belong, you’re a fraud, and you are not good enough to be where you are. Imposter syndrome can cause high levels of anxiety. Feeling ill-equipped, under-educated, or unqualified to handle situations is unsettling. Imposter syndrome tells you that, despite your achievements, you are the least qualified person in the room. If you are a follower of Jesus you probably have already been challenged to take risks. God tends to call us into situations that are beyond our own abilities because it forces us to rely on Him. Being willing to face this uncertainty is the first step in overcoming imposter syndrome. Here are 5 ways that have helped me overcome imposter syndrome.
Can you relate to any of the following types of imposter syndrome from Verywell Mind?
Unfortunately, I relate to ALL of the types of imposter syndrome. When I first saw this image I was shocked. I couldn’t believe how much I was suffering from feeling like a phony. I’m not alone. Researchers believe that almost 70% of us have suffered from imposter syndrome at one point or another. Here are a few tactics I have started to leverage in order to overcome imposter syndrome in my life.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome you are probably prone to ascribe your success to luck, being in the right place at the right time, or you were the only one available. However, more likely than not, you have gotten where you are because you did something commendable. Start speaking to yourself like you would encourage a best friend. If your best friend won a speech competition you wouldn’t say, “Wow, good job. There were probably only like four competitors.” You would celebrate them and know they accomplished something great. Treat yourself as well as you would treat a friend. Celebrate your accomplishments. I love this post by Symphony of Praise, “How you are killing yourself with your words and how you can speak life again!” We can choose to build ourselves up or tear ourselves down.
The tongue can bring death or life; Proverbs 18:21 NLT
Those of us that suffer from imposter syndrome have been sold a pack of lies that often sound like the following:
This list is endless. However, we have to confront these lies and put them in their proper place. Exchange the idea that we are undeserving with gratitude for the success we have. I love this scripture from Colossians that reminds us to do everything in the name of the Lord! It takes the focus off of us and onto God working through us.
“…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
What is the main narrative you are listening to when you start to feel inadequate? How can you reframe it? How can you thank God through the feelings caused by imposter syndrome?
While this may seem contrary, everyone has something to offer. You DO in fact, know things that other people would benefit from hearing. You may be saying, “What happens if I begin teaching or mentoring someone who is smarter than me?” I have mentored many people over the years, some were smarter, holier, and wiser than I was but there were still mutual benefits from the relationship.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV
What mentoring has done for me is help me develop a deeper sense of self-confidence. Even though I learn from my mentees I also have been able to encourage them, empower them, and see them succeed in their own lives because of my help! When you witness what you offer is valuable, it thwarts the effects of imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a fear-based mindset. When we begin thinking about ourselves too intently it heightens this fear of being an imposter. When we shift our focus to helping those around us it takes the pressure off of us to be the “expert”. We are free to pour out our time, talent, and treasure to build up our communities as a whole. We stop worrying about whether or not we are qualified, perfect, or the “right person”. We get to work solving problems, lifting up others, and launching initiatives! Guess what being that kind of person does? It typically rewards you with the respect, accolades, and acknowledgments that caused imposter syndrome to begin with.
“…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 ESV
No one loves to make mistakes but we all do it. Embrace when you make a mistake and share that with others. There is nothing more humbling or vulnerable than when we admit our mistakes. It also combats imposter syndrome like nothing else. When we admit our imperfections it kills the lies that we are perfect, exceptional, etc. If you struggle with making mistakes check out my post, “3 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Making Mistakes.“
I still struggle with imposter syndrome on occasion. However, leveraging some of these habits of speaking life, combatting the lies with gratitude, mentoring, focusing on service, and embracing our mistakes have been life-giving. I am able to move past the paralysis that imposter syndrome can cause and into helping people with the gifts God has blessed me with. I pray that if you are like me and suffer from imposter syndrome you will begin to implement some of these ideas! Overcoming imposter syndrome is a process and if you are a high-achieving person you will probably encounter it often but don’t let it stop you friend. You are made for such a time as this!