We’ve worked so hard our professional lives to climb our corporate ladders, achieve our personal goals, and be everything we think we’re supposed to be…and yet too often we’re faced with this nagging thought in the back of our heads that we’re not who everyone thinks we are. We abide by the adage, “Fake it ’til you make it.” Except you know what? We’ve made it! That nagging feeling? That’s called Imposter Syndrome, and it is definitely NOT what God wants for us!
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is this terrible feeling that you don’t belong where you are and everyone is going to find out. It’s this feeling that you’re wearing a mask and someone is going to reveal the real you, the incompetent you, the ignorant you at any time–and then you’ll be humiliated and asked to leave.
Except no one ever will. You worked for this, and it’s time fo you to realize that God designed you for this. You know why you feel like this? Because you care, and you aren’t trusting in God or your own abilities. For years we’ve been told to downplay who we are and how good we are. So when it’s time to be that good or to be our true selves…we think we aren’t good enough.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
Yet God reminds us in Psalm 139:14 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We’re his design. He made us for this. That promotion you got? You worked your way up to it and earned it. That new job? You have the experienced, rocked the interview and deserved it. That role you were offered? You nailed the audition. The book offer that came in? Yeah, you wrote that awesome book and deserve that publishing contract! God gave you these skills. You used your skills. From there you kept moving up and now you reap the benefits.
How Do We Overcome Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is like a weed that can grow and strangle all the good things we’ve worked so hard to achieve. That little nagging doubt you have in the back of your head? It gets louder. Suddenly you’re doubting if you can do anything. After all, you’re not sure you can do this one thing, or that you belong in that board room, on that stage, on that book cover–so why do you think you can do any of these other things?
It’s important that we work to squash that little monster early. Squash in like the nasty, annoying bug that it is. Do not allow it to infest your psychological or emotional house! Here are some ways you can work to overcome imposter syndrome:
- Go back over your qualifications. Remind yourself of how much you know and your knowledge base by going back over your degrees, experience, and all the knowledge you’ve built over the years that make you more than competent for the job.
- Be real about things. Sometimes we feel incompetent because we built up this weird world in our heads. Take a step back and bring yourself back into reality. Get control over your negative thoughts.
- Check your goals. You may have set some pretty lofty goals and then quickly regretted it. Don’t worry. God has this. After all, He created the SMART goals concept. The other thing he has is confidence in you. So go through the lofty goal, break it down into smaller goals and take it on. You’ve got this!
- Ask for help. Who said we can’t ask for help ever? No one. We can always ask for help. We don’t have to have every answer all the time. It’s okay to say “I don’t know,” as long as it’s followed with, “Let me find out that answer.” It is part of all of our jobs to find out the answers, not to always have all the answers.
- Dump perfection. Perfection is the enemy of progress. Yes, you want to have attention to detail. Of course you want to do a good job. However, getting so caught up in the details due to fear or feelings of inadequacy will just keep setting you back. Give yourself some room for “good enough to go.”
- Have faith. While others rely on themselves, we have a little extra boost. We know that God would not have allowed us to get this far if we could not do it. You know the saying, “God only gives you as much as you can handle.” Well, He gave you this position, so you must be able to handle it. Who are we to argue with God, right? Right?
The key here is to take your time, pray and breathe. We all go through imposter syndrome from time to time. It’s not easy to take on new things, and sometimes our lives get intimidating. Just keep moving forward and looking up. We can do this!