Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
A while back, I had the opportunity to go on the One Percent Podcast. The podcast highlights the stories of cancer patients and caregivers. When first approached about being on I immediately felt a wave of self-doubt, inadequacy, and the feeling of being someone I wasn't. Rather quickly I was able to identify these feelings as what some call Imposter Syndrome. For me, I look at Imposter Syndrome as the overwhelming feeling of walking around and telling myself that I have no idea what I am doing. Telling myself that someone is going to come along and judge how inadequate I am. My 90's self thinks of the word poser and in my feelings of imposter syndrome the world thinks I am one.
So how did I overcome this and make the decision to be a guest on the podcast?! Well first it was identifying the feelings I was having. I heard the wonderful Jess Connolly speak on a podcast about our top three vision killers. She spoke into how these were doubt, defeat and blame. By shedding light on how I was feeling, I could quickly see that in fact, I am qualified to speak on a podcast designed for cancer patients and caregivers. That my experiences are not to be minimized and my feelings of self-doubt are preventing me from giving to others. Ultimately killing my vision to help as many as possible in their life journey. After identifying this, the next step required vulnerability. The moment I am honest with others, I am no longer hiding behind a fake smile. My vulnerability allows me to tear down the feeling of being someone I'm not because it's hard to be a fraud and vulnerable at the same time. Lastly, in order to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, it required prayer. I believe that these feelings are stirred by a force trying to pull me away from God's good works and prayer always brings me closer to Him. In a recent bible study, my eyes were opened further to the importance of specific prayer. In This I Know, Laura Dingman states: "Through prayer, we discover more of who God is. We are reminded of the places and spaces where God has shown up in the past. Prayer doesn't always change our circumstances, but it definitely changes the way we view and interact with them. It changes us." Through prayer, I was able to reconnect with my visions and the disposition of my heart. The heart God has cultivated. Nothing changed in the opportunity before me, but instead there was a change in my mindset. Shifting how I viewed myself in this opportunity. My prayers reminded me that, as scared as I was to move forward, God would be there with me. He would help me speak with confidence so the I may bring the proper glory to Him and all that He has done in my life. Suddenly, I was able to shift the feelings of being an imposter to being obedient to the calling on my heart.
It's funny how we pray for certain things, but once the opportunity to fulfill those prayers presents itself we question everything. It has taken me years of shifting my prayers from checklists to connections to reduce ignoring His answers. Before it felt like I was praying for my brothers...check, praying for my husband...check, praying for close friends...check and oh don't forget about thanking God...check. Now I sit (or walk) in my prayers. They have become more conversational and as a result more intentional. With a deeper connection and intention, I am quicker to see when God is answering them. I also am quicker to identify when He is NOT answering them. Do I stop praying if this is the case? No, I remain faithful and remind myself that my plan never looks like God's. That in time He will answer my prayers, but it may look different than I envisioned.
Instead of ignoring, let's all take more time to identify our emotions. Let's open up and become more vulnerable whether that is with family, a close friend, a therapist, or on social media (you do you). Then don't forget to pray and share those prayers! Over the years I have learned the power in numbers. Not only is there more power, but it also shines more glory on God. It shows others what He is capable of! Here is the link to God answering my prayers of bringing purpose to my struggles by speaking life into the journey of others. It took identifying my fears, becoming vulnerable and many prayers, but He wrapped me in comfort and gave me a level of confidence I struggle to find.