You’d think now that we’re all grown up that we’d know what we were doing, right? Not so much. “Impostor syndrome” is the feeling like you’ve managed to fool everyone into thinking that you’ve got it all together, but inside you feel like a total loser. So you feel like a fake. And that’s bad.
But it gets worse. There’s also the fear that at some point, everyone will find out that you’re not all that. Deep down, many of us feel like anything we have managed to do or achieve or overcome, was somehow by luck. So now we’ve got to where we are, we don’t really deserve to be there, and we’ve hoodwinked the people around us into thinking we are better than we are.
This is because there is a difference between how others see you, and how we see ourselves.
If this is you, here’s some things to think about:
- What do I believe? For instance: I’m a fake. Everything I’ve achieved is by accident.
- What do I know to be true? For instance: I can adapt to changing circumstances. I can problem solve when I need to.
This can help us to see more starkly the negative things we think about ourselves and put them side by side with things that are real observations. One is about feelings, the other is about observation. They are both important, but the former needs to be put into perspective by the latter. Writing it down helps – it takes it out of your brain somehow. It helps you to not stew on it at 3 in the morning when you’ve woken up needing a wee and then can’t get back to sleep because you start worrying and replaying things in your mind……(may or may not be based on a real person).
Here’s the kicker though. We are Christian. We have knowledge that is objectively true.
- How do I see myself? I’m a loser.
- How does God see me? He sees me as fearfully and wonderfully made. He sees me as carrying the treasure of the gospel. He sees me as an integral part of his plans. He sees me as his.
There is no hint of arrogance to know and believe these things. He has told us himself.
It may be hard for you to believe this, but we need to write it down and know that its true, even if right now you don’t feel it.
Re-visit what you have written. Keep going back to it. Know it in your heart and in your mind. It’s not something we are trying to live up to, its something we already are. And the pressure is off because we aren’t this because of something we did or can do – it’s because of what he did.
We are not fakes or frauds. We are as God made us. He shapes us and grows us and we are these cracked and broken jars or clay so he can use us for his purposes.
And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing and there is nothing fake about it.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10