#faithbites #faithjourney syndrome
Do you ever have the feeling of Deja Vu? When you feel you’ve done something but didn’t. I was about to write about imposter syndrome and had the sneaking suspicion that I wrote about it before. And guess what? I did last year: http://roberts-lieb.com/faithbites/2018/07/10/july-10-am-i-an-imposter/
You may ask why am I writing about it again? The truth is, this feeling doesn’t go away. It’s the nagging feeling that you aren’t an expert enough to give advice. You aren’t “cool” enough to be in a specific conversation. It even goes as far as thinking you shouldn’t be invited to a dinner and people are just pitying you with an invite.
Tonight, having dinner with colleagues, and giving advice to friends and family before hand, I felt like that. Who am I to be invited to a nice dinner? Who am I to be giving advice on a situation I’ve never been in. The hardest part of this, is it has nothing to do with the actions of those around you. True imposter syndrome is when you feel you aren’t good enough, in spite of everyone saying other wise. I know I am knowledgeable and loved, but that feeling is present more than i would like.
The word imposter has a negative connotation to it. It’s as if you are a fraud and trying to pull one over on someone. As we see in both of our verses, we should be imitators of Christ. We can’t be Christ as we all fall short of his glory, but we can imitate his works, his behaviors, and his love.
Imagine if we were able to cast aside all doubts of being an imposter, but looked at life as we were imitating and learning from those more knowledgeable. I’m not saying to do surgery if you aren’t a surgeon or anything like that, but by being both a continual teacher and a student, we can grow.
Part of this is being honest with yourself and knowing when your short comings are as well as knowing your strengths. Then, through Christ, having the strength to believe in yourself. This is hard.
When doubt creeps in, it’s very difficult to push it aside. As Stuart Smiley used to say: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me”.
When you start to feel like an imposter, think about what is going on. Was there a specific incident that made you feel that way. Think about it, pray about it, and see if that is sin playing tricks on you or if it was real. Another tactic, if you have a good relationship with someone, ask them to give you honest feedback. This will take time to build up the trust in them to tell you. You also need to be ready for it. Most times, they will say it’s all in your head, now they should say it nicer, but you never know. A final tactic, is if you feel like that, see what you can do to improve your skill in that area. Be it a work skill, a soft skill, or anything. Practice, get feedback, and practice more.
Lord, often times we feel that we aren’t good enough or we are just pretending. Help us to remember the gifts, skills, and abilities you gave us. Give us the fortitude to seek out those who will give us an honest observation from the outside. Then let us be open to hearing that feedback and make changes where we need to. In many cases, it is just doubt and sin that is trying to take us away from enjoying the bounty you provide. Remind us that we are good enough for you and you will never leave us. In your name, Amen.