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Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome?

January 31, 2020

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 You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
commuter pants // black ribbed t-shirt // v-neck cashmere (similar) // blazer // hoodie dickey // cashmere scarf // gloves // shoulder bag // wedge sneakers // earrings // sunglasses

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.

Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome

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.

Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
  • 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.
Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
  • 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.
scarf and gloves
  • 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.
wedge sneakers
  • 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.
shoulder bag
  • 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.
Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
  • 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.
Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
commuter pants // black ribbed t-shirt // v-neck cashmere (similar) // blazer // hoodie dickey // cashmere scarf // gloves // shoulder bag // wedge sneakers // earrings // sunglasses

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

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xoxo, Kay
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28 thoughts on “Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome?

  1. Today’s post was a real blessing (they all are) but I really needed to hear these words. I get frustrated that at 70 years old I still struggle with these feelings of inadequacy. Thanks for reminding us of whose we are and encouraging us to be our best! Blessings to you!

    1. I think we’ll be struggling with feelings of inadequacy until we get to heaven! Ha! But I think the key is learning to speak truth back to them so that the doubts are short-lived and don’t get in the way of what we’re meant to accomplish and be. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. Thank you so much for this reminder to make sure that our thoughts are filled with God’s truth and not the lies we sometimes tell ourselves!

  3. What a timely word! I’ve been dealing with this very feeling and praying for help with it. In fact, I’ve been listening to the voice of self-doubt so long it’s become my new normal. Thanks for you insight on this. It really helps put things in perspective.

    1. Hi Cindy. I’m glad the Lord used my words to do to meet a need and answer a prayer. Take courage! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post.

  4. Thank you, Kay! I suffer from the struggle when it comes to being a step grandparent and step mother in law because I never birthed children. Now living three hours away and having the children next to us adopt us as grandparents, has helped me so much. The kids don’t care that we are not blood relatives. They love us as unconditionally as humans can. When it comes to taking care of Larry as we walk down the CANCER path and all of the challenges, health issues, protecting him, etc., etc., associated with it, I feel pretty dang qualified. By the way, I love your outfit, especially the commuter pants. I’d love to find them at a good market down price. I understand what you are going thru this week. This March will be one year that we’ve been without our sweet Java, and I could still sit down and cry my eyes out. I miss him so very much! One more thing, I learned so much from your post yesterday and am going to add it to a board on Pinterest. God bless you!

    1. Ah yes, I can see how the role of step parent could come with some impostor syndrome. Thanks for sharing. I bet a lot of other readers can relate to that struggle. Thanks so much for your sweet comments.

  5. God knew that I needed to hear those words today and what I blessing you shared them on your post today. I continue to remember you in my prayers regarding Benji. Our pets are family.

  6. Thank you Kay. The truths you speak in this post are like a healing balm to my soul and my confidence. I am who God says I am, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! You bring glory to God and are a blessing to me! ??❤️??

  7. Love that you provided actionable ideas for how to respond to Imposture Syndrome. The last few years of my career – in a new role — I felt this way often. Thanks for a great reminder that the answer always lies at the foot of the cross.

    Hope you are adjusting to life without your sweet pup. Their absence changes so many tiny pieces of day-to-day life. . .but I always took that as a reminder of their invisible presence.

    Blessings to you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Betsy. I think so many young people these days are stumped by the attack of Impostor Syndrome when they start a new job. It’s scary to be hired to do a job and then to be overwhelmed with inadequacies. And yes, the answers to all those frustrations are in Christ. Thanks for reading!

  8. What a blessing you are to me, Kay! Your words pierced my soul today and I did a little weeping right here at my desk at work 😉
    I have definitely felt the imposter syndrome many times. I feel convicted (in a good way) and ready to push forward! thank you sincerely.

    1. You bet! That’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? When we just be our authentic self we don’t have to feel like a fraud at all. Blessings!

  9. First of all, I love the message you put out today. Most inspiring!
    Secondly, I adore your tonal outfit today. Shades of gray, charcoal and black are an excellent way to dress and flatter just about everyone.
    Well done Kay!

  10. Thanks Kay. The message was very timely and a great blessing!
    I really like the gray and black outfit. Oftentimes, these colors can seem dark and funeral- like. The touches of gray in the scarf and the sweater soften the entire ensemble. Such a great looking outfit, a classic!

  11. Thank you so much for todays post. I am in my 50’s and feel this same way. I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I am a licensed daycare daycare provider, wife, mom and grandma and i don’t feel as organized, patient or productive as others. You’re words really helped me. Thanks again. I am also so sorry for the sadness you’re experiencing from the loss of your dog.

  12. Really great post, Kay! I think we all feel this way sometimes, and it’s so nice to hear that others are in the same boat! Love that jacket!!!