I’m a firm believer in every woman being an influencer. We all influence someone. But as we reach our 50s and beyond we sometimes begin to feel less relevant, aged out. We wonder if we have anything to contribute or if anyone will pay attention even if we think we do. That’s why I believe it’s important to talk about things like impostor syndrome here at Dressed for My Day.
Impostor syndrome is simply those niggling feelings of self-doubt we sometimes get in the roles we fill. These are the insecurities that specifically call into question your credentials, capabilities and calling. They plant within you a fear that any day now someone is going to “find you out” for the fraud you really are…even though, in truth, you absolutely are the genuine article.
Impostor syndrome accuses you of not knowing what you’re doing, pretending to be something you’re not and playing at something while everyone else is the real thing. It’s more than a mind game; it’s an attack from the enemy of your soul.
Do those insecurities ever raise their taunting voices in your head? They’ve visited me at times in my roles as a technical writer, mother, pastor’s wife, Bible teacher, speaker, author and style blogger. All of these were or are roles for which I was very specifically called and, for the most part, completely qualified. But still, I felt like a fraud at times in each of them.
I recently listened to a pod cast on this topic. That got me to thinking about you. I figured if I’ve suffered from impostor syndrome and this eloquent, capable pod caster has felt its grip then maybe you have, too. So I thought I’d share a few things that have worked to help me put those self-doubts in their place so that I can move forward with a little confidence and courage instead.
- Quit falling for your feelings of inadequacy and lean into the truth instead. Go ahead and acknowledge, for instance, that you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing in your new job. But then focus on the truths: someone hired you because they believe you’re capable, it takes time to learn the ropes of any new job and you know more than you don’t know.
- Stay in your lane. Quit comparing yourself to how other people are doing what you assume to be the same job (Rarely do two people actually have the same role with the exact same parameters.). Instead, set your eyes on the goals you have set and pursue them with laser focus.
- Quit trying to be the best. Yes, you read that correctly. A dear friend of mine told me that her voice teacher used to tell her that in truth there will always be someone who can sing better than her. She would never be the best. So instead of trying to be the best, she encouraged her to simply be her best.
- Embrace your uniqueness. Even if you are doing something that others are doing, too – and most of us are – remember that you bring something unique to the table. Someone needs to receive what you offer specifically from you. You’re the person that can best communicate with them, reach them, connect with them, serve them.
- Bring your pie and pull up a chair! Sometimes we get impostor syndrome because we fear that there isn’t room for us at the table, so to speak. Or there’s not enough pie to go around. Know what I mean? Honestly, there’s not enough pie to go around…unless you bring yours and pull up a chair at the table, willing to share what you bring with others. In other words, quit dwelling on what others have and how you don’t have that, and start focusing on how you can serve other people with what you do bring.
- Finally, own up to your brilliance. Yes, you absolutely are brilliant in at least a few ways. Stop downplaying your credentials – as a mom, Sunday school teacher, employee, writer, cook, what have you – and own your achievements, know-how and education. Don’t be afraid to shine a little.
The next time the insecurities that lead to impostor syndrome start to whisper to your heart, I hope you’ll fight back instead of giving in. Someone out there needs what you have to offer. And if you shrink back, they may never get what you bring to the table.
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Blessed for My Day
The next time the enemy sneaks up on you and accuses you of being a fraud, you remind Him that you have stood at the foot of the cross and experienced Christ’s crucifixion for your sins. You are not a woman who wears a cloak of shame and guilt, and you have nothing to hide. Instead, you are living in the light of Christ’s forgiveness and redemption.
You remind that enemy that you are walking in the truth, so he has no power over you. And then, sweet gal, you speak those truths out loud. “By the blood of Christ, I have a purpose, I am significant, I am loved and I am secure.” Then you walk that truth out, letting your light reflect the Light of the world to all around you.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10