I had two separate conversations with VERY talented and capable friends in the same week. Both of them were struggling to overcome imposter syndrome. Both of them were experienced, knowledgeable, and ready to start earning good money in their field… But both of them were struggling with feeling like an imposter.
And I won’t lie, I’ve experienced that feeling occasionally myself, especially in the world of online businesses. Many of our jobs as small business owners and online marketers didn’t even exist 10-15 years ago. There is no college degree for how to be a successful blogger.
One of the things that I tried to emphasize to both my friends was this:
There are people far less talented and far less experienced than you making good money doing what you want to do.
Now please hear me. I do not believe that anyone with a nice camera should go out and market themselves as a photographer. Just like I don’t think anyone who passed high school English class should become a copywriter. I am not saying that you should just start charging dollars because you feel like it without having the necessary skill set and track record to back it up. But what I am saying is this:
As long as you let impostor syndrome have a voice, you’ll never achieve all that God has for you and thoroughly enjoy doing it.
First, let’s identify imposter syndrome:
because it can be a sneaky little booger sometimes.
Imposter syndrome can sound like any number of these thoughts:
- I’m not good enough to______ (charge money, raise my prices, start doing _____)
- God, how could you use me to ______(whatever He’s asking you to do)
- I’ll never be as good as _____
The funny/not funny thing about impostor syndrome is that it’s nothing new. (After all, “nothing new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9, right).
It’s been called “feelings of inferiority, false humility, and sometimes it’s really just doubt and unbelief in God’s faithfulness if we’re honest. ” Case in point: Zechariah. But for the sake of speaking the language that we’re speaking today and connecting to people with the words going through their head, I’ll mostly use the term “imposter syndrome.”
5 Shifts to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
in Your Life and Business
1. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome All Starts with Your Identity
- If you are a Christian, God sees you just like He sees Jesus. You have all the same rights, authority, and blessings because you are In Him.
- One of the best things you can do for your confidence and success in life is to get rooted in the “In Him/ In Christ” Scriptures. Go over them again and again. Speak them out loud over your life.
Grab this free download with a little more instruction on how to use scriptural affirmations and the In Him/Who am I scriptures I’m talking about.
2. Recognize and appreciate your gifts and the Gift Giver
- One of the hang-ups I see many people struggling with is being shy or almost apologetic about their gifts. And while I absolutely believe that we need to be full of love and grace in everything we do, being apologetic about a God-given gift is almost an insult to the gift giver.
- When you realize that everything good you have and everything good that you ARE is a GIFT from your Good Good Father, it makes it easy to offer your gifts boldly and with joy because you know it’s glorifying to God.
3. Understand that playing small serves no one regardless of whether you feel like an impostor
- How many people can you help if you never offer your gifts? Answer: No one. Not a single person. How many people can you help if you boldly and lovingly offer your gifts? Answer: hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions. We’ll only know how many on the other side of eternity.
- God is a god of multiplication, and He’s so so good. Scripture shows us that we “get credit” for the people we impact for the Kingdom and the people they impact and the people they impact. It’s not only mind-blowing that He is so generous with His rewards, but it’s motivational (to say the least) to hit a trot and start doing what we’re called to do! (For more on this check out John Bevere’s teaching/book/course – Driven by Eternity)
4. Remind yourself that someone’s breakthrough is on the other side of you overcoming imposter syndrome
- I want you to sit for a second and think about the people who have impacted your life, either spiritually, professionally, or just in life in general. Even think of some specific moments. Now, I want you to imagine some of the fear or intimidation they had to overcome to get to the place where they spoke into your life.
- My Pastor, who recently went home to be with Jesus, was, in many ways, was just a regular cowboy. In many ways, I think he would have been pretty content to live hours from town just taking care of cattle all day. When I first started attending his church, he would try to make small talk and say hello, get to know me a bit. And I’ve gotta be honest- it looked visibly painful for him, lol. Talking with people and public speaking was definitely not the most comfortable thing for him. I’m fairly certain that there were SEVERAL “impostor syndrome” type thoughts that he had to overcome and push through to step into his calling to Pastor. But when I think about how different my life would be without his determination to push through those imposter syndrome lies, I cannot help but tear up (and I’m not much of a crier). My life, family, and children’s lives are forever changed because someone chose to be brave.
5. Don’t expect perfection. Expect growth
- Listen, I get it. Nobody likes to suck at anything, especially if it’s something in the public eye. But the truth of the matter is, every expert was once a beginner who just decided to take action.
- You can study and plan and prepare all you want, but in the end, it’s action, it’s the DOING that helps you get good.
- One of the lies of perfectionism is that your offer/knowledge/business has to be perfect before it can help anyone, which is not true. Your imperfect efforts will benefit far more people than waiting on the sidelines ever will.
Jon Acuff says it kinda like this “your unpublished work helps no one”. The longer you and I let imposter syndrome or feelings of inadequacy get in our way, the longer we leave other people waiting for help. When you feel yourself start to question your abilities, whether or not you should serve your people with what you’re great at, go back over this list. Figure out where those feelings are coming from (hint, it’s not God) and deal with them.