The reality of impostor Syndrome and how to move passed it.
Through the changes I have experienced in my life over the last ten years, I have battled intensely with identity. Who am I, really? What is my place in the world?
In January of this year we started toying with the idea of selling our house and looking for a bigger place. Around March, we got serious about it after meeting with a realtor and we decided to go for it. All along the way these wildly great things were happening. I received bonuses and raises and promotions. My marriage continued flourishing. Connections were popping up everywhere. We happened to run into a builder after hours one day who also happened to be able to make what we had go as far as we wanted it to.
Fast forward a few months and this fraudulent feeling starts to set in my spirit. I had to work in the office again while the house was being built after years of working from home. I had grown in maturity and style since the last time I was in, so I was looking forward to being around others again and showing off that progress. But, now leading a team, every meeting I hosted I felt like I was hiding something. My careless past seemed to creep up on me in moments I needed it to be as far from me as the East is from the West. Subtle reminders of being a simple boy, a bad decision maker, and an under-developed leader would take my attention. This same feeling crept in about this beautiful new home I was preparing to call my own. Did I really deserve this? This recognition, this job, this house, this school, this family? Could this actually be mine? Have I done enough for all this?
Have you ever felt like the “not” part of this sentence is just a defensive afterthought? “I’m a fraud.”…”well, now hold on..” I often do. I think it’s normal. I’m happy for this fight, at least, when I come out victoriously. See, what I’m wrestling with here is this one little question, suspended gloriously and triumphantly by fear: Am I enough?
If you are asking yourself this question, could you possibly also answer it? From the needy place of looking up, desperately, is it in you alone to bring yourself up from it? My friend, it’s not in you just like it’s not in me. We can’t ask a sincere question and also provide a sincere, fruitful answer. If we look outside ourselves, though, we just might find what we need.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
*edit: I wanted to also share this great article on overcoming impostor syndrome by Kyle Eschenroeder. It gave me the skills I needed to move passed those feelings of hiding something.