18 May - Imposter Syndrome

I was in discussion with my business mentor today and she was reminding me that it's important to value what I carry and see the benefit and worth of my experiences, skills, gifts, knowledge, and calling. She cautioned that if we don't, it's very easy to undervalue ourselves, second guess decisions, and suffer from what is known as imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is very common and especially apparent in high achievers, It involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite education, experience, and, accomplishments. Imposter syndrome is so common that in a recent review, it was suggested that up to 82% of people report having thoughts along the lines of, "What am I doing here?" "I don't belong" "I'm a total fraud, and sooner or later, everyone will find out." These beliefs and feelings can affect anyone regardless of profession, education, age, or sex. Even when others praise you for your accomplishments, imposter syndrome sufferers will write it off as timing and good luck and believe they haven't earned any success on their merit and fear others will realise this soon too. If you feel like a fraud and are struggling with the pressure of keeping up appearances, poor self-worth, and lack of self-belief, it's important to acknowledge your feelings and bring them into the light. Some keys to help combat imposter syndrome are:

1. Build connection - You don't need to or are expected to achieve everything alone. Allow others into your world. We are better together. 2. Make a list of your gifts - God-given talents, experience, and strengths. Writing these things down allows you to validate your strengths and encourages you to keep growing.

3. Share your imposter feelings – Share with a trusted friend, coach, or mentor and gain some needed clarification, encouragement, and perspective.

4. Avoid comparisons - Everyone has unique abilities, and it's important to remember that no one excels in every task they attempt, so you don't have to either.

Plus, it's okay to take time to learn something new, even when someone else might grasp it faster than you. Instead of allowing others' success to highlight your flaws or where you feel you have a weakness, consider how you can develop the abilities you have that interest you and build upon your gifts and talents until they become your unique skill set. Success doesn't require perfection but finding out what God has called you to do and become and doing that with all your heart and strength. Run your own race and seek to run it well. You hard a masterpiece and God has a unique plan just for you. ( 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13-18) 5. Challenge your doubts - Ask yourself if any facts support these feelings, or is it my negative self-talk or past that's causing me to feel unworthy and a fraud? "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) God says you are created to do exploits and that you are forgiven, loved, and blessed. He is faithful and will complete the work he has started in you and perfect all that concerns you. (Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6) Imposter syndrome hinges on our feelings and negative thoughts. It's all about ME, rather than how we can share and impart what we carry into others' lives. When we take our eyes off ourselves and focus instead on what we can do to help others, imposter syndrome's power is broken. It's no longer about us but about those God has brought into our lives to help and bless with our knowledge, unique gifts, experience, wisdom and skill set. I encourage you to seek Jesus and take hold of what He says in his Word about you today. Thank Him for all the gifts, experiences and success you have achieved over your life and determine every day to ask Him to show you where you can step out, make a difference and impact someone else's life. You were born because God saw that the world needed one of you. Prayer: Lord, thank you for the unique skills, gifting and experience I have to share. Please help me to see myself as you do, and thank you for the opportunities to grow, achieve and make a difference as I use my gifts and skills today. In Jesus name when.

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