Impostor syndrome is the name given to the feelings when a person doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. No matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, people with imposter syndrome still can be filled with incredible self-doubt.
I suffer from this on an extreme. It just is how my brain works. I’m not sure what triggers it — maybe it’s a subconscious reminder of a series of bad decisions through my teen and young adult years or maybe it’s just how I’m wired — but the entire time I’m writing, teaching, speaking, or just interacting with people in my day-to-day life, in the back of my mind I’m waiting for someone to expose me as a fraud. To claim and make sure everyone knows and understands that I don’t have the right to my authority, to my words, to my talents.
I could let it cripple me. It would be very easy for me to give in to the fear and just stop succeeding.
Here is an interesting fact: Successful women are more highly susceptible to it. I think that’s fascinating.
The thing is, it’s normal. Isn’t that crazy? It’s normal and it’s common and it’s okay to think those thoughts as long as you don’t let those thoughts drive you or impede you.
If you happen to suffer from imposter syndrome, too, let me tell you how I mentally fight it back so that I CAN teach, and I CAN write, and I CAN speak and know that I CAN do those things well, with grace and strength to inspire and to educate.
I remind myself of some truths:
You are God’s creation. He gifted you with talents and skills for this very moment. Every step you’ve made to reach this point, He’s affirmed over and over again.
You are a loving wife of an adored husband who would give you the moon if you requested it.
You are a good mother with great kids who thrive.
You are a good friend to AMAZING friends who step up when you need them because they know you’ll have their backs, too. And even when it’s hard, it’s okay to ask for their help.
You have words to offer the world that encourage and inspire and energize. Words God gave you and to hold them back would be a detriment to His kingdom plan.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome, let me encourage you to fight it off – even if you have to do it daily (like me). Write down encouraging truths about yourself and repeat them out loud if you need to. Sometimes, I need to.