You’re an imposter. A phony. A fake. You only got your job because of luck. You only got that award because you fooled people into thinking you’re good at what you do. But, really? You’re not fooling anyone. They all know you’re not as smart as they are. They all know you know nothing. And if they don’t know yet, they’ll find out soon enough.
Have you ever heard a voice like this in your head, sowing seeds of self-doubt? The voice doesn’t discriminate—it whispers during times of success and times of failure. It has no respect for degrees, accomplishments or words of encouragement. It meticulously catalogues all the negative words ever uttered about you (both real and imagined). The voice knows just when to tear at your confidence.
I heard the voice when I won a teaching award in college. I heard it when I landed my first teaching job. And I heard it again when I was asked to return to my alma mater to teach a college course.
You’re a fraud, the voice said, and your success is a fluke.
There’s a term for this feeling. It’s called imposter syndrome. Mostly everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. If you feel like a fraud, you are not alone.
When that voice inside your head tells you that you’re a fake, you can turn to the Bible to remember that your identity can be rooted in God. When your identity is in God, you can find your confidence in God, too. To remember where your worth comes from, take a moment right now to settle your heart, focus your mind and read through these verses with me:
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (GNTD)
We say this because we have confidence in God through Christ. There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God;it is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant, which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (GNTD)
We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies.
Psalm 121:1-3 (GNTD)
I look to the mountains;
where will my help come from?
My help will come from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let you fall;
your protector is always awake.
Romans 8:15-17 (GNTD)
For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!”God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.
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