Updated: Apr 28
A few months ago I completed my masters degree. This was a huge accomplishment for me and something that took many attempts of trying and failing. For many years I felt ashamed at my attempts and it seemed as if the whole world knew I was never going to #getittogether and master my degree. What makes everything sting a little more, is that in my career, I encourage and support college graduate students. Oh, the irony. So, for years, I felt like a fraud. And if I'm being really honest with myself (and with you) that feeling goes much further than completing my masters degree.
I recall writing my first devotional book and feeling like a fraud, like I wasn't a real writer or that no one would want to read what I wrote. So much so, that I didn't even make my first 2 devotionals available, other than to a small group of people.
I recall feeling like a fraud when I landed a job in a ministry setting and it felt like everyone else was so much stronger in their faith than I was.
I recall feeling like a fraud when I started a magazine and people began to ask me for help with their writing.
I think you get the point. I wasn't believing what the Lord placed inside of me and I wasn't believing what was being revealed in and through my life. I believe this is what folks these day call imposter syndrome. Can you relate? I think we've all been there once or twice.
A college students fears she will fail her exams.
A new career causes one to feel she is in over her head.
A new wife fears she will not measure up.
A new mom fears she will fail as a parent.
We carry the weight of so many expectations, meanwhile there are others who are looking at us and thinking "how is she doing that?!" or "I wish I could be more like her!"
In moments of feeling like an imposter, I try to remember the 25-year old who hasn't learned life the way I have; perhaps she looks up to me the way I look up to others. I try to remember the perspective, gifts, and abilities I carry that the world is in need of. And mostly, I try to remember, that God doesn't make mistakes and He made me with a plan and a purpose.
We will all likely have an imposter moment from time to time. Rather than chasing that moment away or feeling guilty for having it, simply remind yourself of who God created you to be; sometimes we all need that reminder. And in case you don't have the strength or courage to do that yourself, let me be the one to remind you:
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are redeemed.
You are chosen.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
You were created with a plan and a purpose.
You were made for such a time as this.
You are a conqueror and you will do amazing things with Chris who strengthens you!
One final thought, I like to look at things in a logical way when I'm feeling discouraged or fearful. So for anyone feeling a little imposter-like tonight, my thought would go something like this:
"I may be an imposter today. I might not know enough or have enough experience. But if I keep trying, if I keep pressing in, if I keep getting better, then one day, I will no longer be an imposter. One day, I will be an expert."
Now go and become an expert.