Anxiety, Encouragement, Mental Health

Do you have imposter syndrome?

it may be more common than you think

This past week I attended a writer’s conference. Going into it, I was looking forward to learning more about improving my writing, serving my readers, and growing more into the gifts that God’s given me. But shadowing all that was the anxious feelings of not being good enough to even attend. I was certain I would be surrounded by people who had it all figured out and who were so much further along in their writing careers. I was intimidated and battled thoughts of imposter syndrome.

don't compare yourself to others
when we measure and compare, we miss the point

Are you familiar with Imposter SyndromeThe persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved.

These feelings of imposter syndrome come about when we look around and compare ourselves to others. Paul wrote a little bit about it in his letter to the Corinthians.

“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

The people Paul was referring to weren’t feeling inferior. In fact, they were comparing themselves to Paul and thinking they were so much better! But, Paul could easily trip over the thought that other preachers were coming in and doing the job of shepherding and leading better than him. Instead, he chose to not compare himself to other humans and instead turn his eyes toward Christ.

And we can do the same.

If you are finding that you are stuck in harmful patterns of comparison to others, take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Don’t let Satan steal your joy.”

What areas of life have you allowed Satan to steal your joy and celebration, thinking that you are not worthy of such things?

You have been created for a purpose, and if you are living for God’s glory and point others to Him in the process then you have every reason to celebrate and be joy-filled. Friend, compare upward towards Jesus instead of outward towards others. And don’t let Satan steal your joy.

Father,  I don’t want to compare myself to others. It’s a fruitless act that only leaves me feeling inadequate or proud. Give me a vision to see my circumstances through Your eyes and that the only comparisons I make are against Your word and Your plan for me.

Does the definition of imposter syndrome resonate with you? 

I’ve created a quick guide (below!) to help you move past those intrusive thoughts.

quiet imposter syndrome
with intention, Nichole

12 thoughts on “Do you have imposter syndrome?”

  1. I love the scripture you used to remind us about the importance of comparing upward! Love your paraphrase, too! 💕

  2. Nichole, first of all, it was so good to meet you in person, friend! Secondly, wondering how you felt once you were there and after the fact? Did the anxiety settle? In my experience, anxiety can come with anticipation, but the reality lets me know all is okay and I’m usually good. Wondering how that was for you? Honestly I was looking around at times wondering how I would have felt coming alone? Having my best friends (sisters) by my side made it easier. BUT, I think I would have made a few more connections and possibly grown in different ways had I been on my ow.n. My thoughts as I looked around the auditorium was just how brave each woman was. I’d love to connect more collaboratively with you and/or at future conferences!

    1. Theresa, once I was there and felt the Spirit moving, I felt a whole lot better! There were still times of doubt thinking that everyone else was so much more put together and farther alone, but I worked hard to squelch those feelings quickly! I would love to collaborate more (and hopefully see you again in person)!

      1. So good. Thank you for bringing hope and encouragement to others that feel this. You’re right, it is more common than we may imagine.

  3. I didn’t know that there was Scripture addressing the problem of imposter syndrome! What a gem you found. And thanks for sharing your insight!

  4. ‘You have been created for a purpose, and if you are living for God’s glory and point others to Him in the process then you have every reason to celebrate and be joy-filled.’ Amen!

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