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Tag: encouragement

You Aren’t An Impostor

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.

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Rejoicing Always, Praying Without Ceasing, Being Thankful in Everything

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office in my home. My children are home from school because we had an ice storm last night and school was closed. It is dry and warm in our house and I have bread rising in the kitchen. My husband has a good job.

It’s easy to read that verse today. Rejoice ALWAYS. Pray WITHOUT CEASING. IN EVERYTHING give thanks.

But the fact is, there are times in life when this verse is impossible to comprehend. Some of you are reading this now thinking, “No way.”

I understand. I’ve been there.

My dear friend’s parents lost their entire town to a terrible fire this week. Flooding has killed dozens and destroyed communities in Italy. School shootings, house of worship shootings, bar shootings are becoming normal words. We’ve been at war for 17 years.

I don’t think this passage is intended to admonish those who don’t always rejoice, who don’t always pray, and who aren’t thankful in everything. In fact, Solomon, the man whom 1 Kings tells us that God gave him “wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore”, who was “wiser than all men”, (1 Kings 4:29-30) tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there’s a time to hate, a time to mourn, a time to weep, a time to break down — that there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

I think this passage of verses in the letter to the church in Thessalonica is intended to encourage us, to give us the smallest glimpse into what life will be like in our perfected bodies. It’s something to which we’re to strive to achieve and to know that one day we won’t even have to try.

When things are dim and scary, when life is hard and feels impossible, I say these verses out loud. The Bible tells us that the word of God is our weapon – our sword – to use to battle the enemies of God (Ephesians 6:7). Speaking the words out loud even in the midst of grief, pain, and fear, reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit that dwells inside of me. That no weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:7), and that I am not alone (Deuteronomy 31:6).

It gives my heart and mind peace to know that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me to draw upon and then find that I can start rejoicing, despite the circumstances. That I can pray through good times and bad, and keep a constant line of communication open. That I can be thankful in all circumstances because I know the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Be encouraged during this time of Thanksgiving. As you ponder that which you can easily give thanks, remember that even if your time is to weep, or your time is to mourn, you can draw upon that same power.

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