Imposter Syndrome Ruined My Life

I have a confession to make.

I suffer from Imposter Syndrome.

It’s extremely common, you might be suffering from it too.

Have you ever completed a puzzle and felt super proud…so proud you’d like to share the news with others, but you don’t because you realize that you’re not special…anyone can do a puzzle.

Or have you ever been to a paint & sip class, where you have a blast but later come home and toss your painting in the garbage because it wasn’t as good as the instructors painting or even your best friend’s painting.

Have you ever completed a big project for school or work, one that you should be super proud of, but last minute you start to feel guilt or shame & instead of feeling accomplished, you feel like a a fraud?

Have you ever started learning something new but gave up shortly after because “it wasn’t your thing” but you were secretly too critical of yourself and would rather be a quitter than a failure?

Have you ever pulled out your phone and snapped photos of a beautiful sunset in the middle of the mall parking lot and lost all sense of joy because you felt everyone was staring and judging?

Congratulations! You’ve just been diagnosed with Imposter Syndrome.

I find myself stuck in this cycle. I start or complete a project, I have fun while doing it, & super proud. I may even share it with others. If I don’t, it’s because I don’t want anyone to think I’m bragging or boasting. If I do share it, I have instant regret because I also don’t want people to think I’m bragging. I also start having doubts:

What makes this important? What makes you important? Who do you think you are sharing this, it’s not even good. How embarrassing, I wonder what people will think. You know, this is too good to be yours, you must have copied it. You’re a fraud. No one cares. You’ve put your heart and soul into this, you’re just going to be hurt when you find out it’s no good. This boasting is taking people away from God. You should just stop now before you get hurt. You don’t have time for this anyways, this isn’t your calling, it’s a time and money wasting hobby.”

Don’t even get me started on the drain I’d circle if someone shared criticism of my work. Imposter syndrome is so strong though, even if people smiled and complimented, I’d try to interpret it negatively. “They are only saying nice things, they don’t mean it”

Let me tell you guys, I used to think this was just my negative self-talk stemming from not being supported as a child, but I now see it’s so much more than that. Our weaknesses, especially when not guarded by prayer, are an open door for Satan to enter and ruin your life. His two goals for you are to destroy you and to get your eyes off God. Imposter syndrome is just another way for Satan to sneak in. He uses your struggle with self-confidence and plays you like a puppet on strings.

When I’m in a positive state-of-mind, like today, I can easily kick my imposter syndrome to the curb. I can remind myself that I am important to God. I can remind myself that while there’s always room to grow and improve, God gave me the gift of creativity. I’m not boasting if I share something I’m proud of. Even if people view it that way, I know my heart’s desires.

Here’s the biggest reason why I know that my imposter syndrome is just Satan whispering in my ear. I can tell when it’s the enemy when I read scripture, because the enemy tries to convince you of the opposite. The enemy pulls you away from the truth. The Lord says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “…Do all things for the glory of God”. All of the creative stuff I get into…baking, painting, drawing, crocheting, piano, singing, ukulele, gardening, photography, writing…it might not be my “calling” and they may just be hobbies, but it can still bring God glory.

I find it extremely ironic that I am constantly tricked into believing the lie that my hobbies are taking away from God’s glory when the only thing that is taking away from God is my negative, toxic, self-doubt.

Imposter syndrome tries to prevent you from experience God’s goodness. I’m too busy looking in the mirror and calling out my insecurities instead of praising God . We view worship as standing in church, raising our hands during a song, but it’s more than that. The Lord is the potter who molded us from clay. He painted the sky and built the Earth. Harnessing our God-given creativity is a act of worship. Art is an act of worship. Exercise is an act of worship. Going to work is an act of worship. Being a parent is an act of worship. Your every day is an act of worship.

If you’re suffering with imposter syndrome like me, pray to overcome it. Draw near to God through your daily life. Draw near to Him through your work and hobbies. Even if you’re not good at it by the world’s standards, it’s all about your heart.

Don’t let imposter syndrome take another day away from you experiencing God.

What I Read in 2020

I set out to read 12 books for myself this past year, as I always participate in Goodreads Reading Challenge. This list feels so small compared to what once was in my reading adventures, but most of the books I read now involve Chase, Pikachu, and Peter Rabbit. If I don’t enjoy a book, I don’t continue reading them. If I didn’t finish them, I don’t mark them as read, so in addition to this being a list of books I read in 2020, it’s also the list of books I enjoyed reading in 2020.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (I have to note that I’m not a romantic fiction reader and this book was a little too steamy for comfort…but the whole of the book and the series is wonderful. I haven’t enjoyed a good fiction book like this in a few years.)

Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate by Emily K. Sandoz

Covered Glory by David Phillips

Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays by Cantor Matt Axelrod

What do Jewish People Think About Jesus? by Michael L. Brown

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Headcovering Throughout History by David Phillips

The Entire Twilight Series (…yup…again…including the newest release Midnight Sun)

Master of One by Jordan Raynor

Restored To Freedom: The Road to Deliverance From the Enemy’s Finest by Nelson Schuman

Beholding & Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons

Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls by Lisa Damour

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff

Queen Meryl by Erin Carlson

The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron (this is a realllyyyy good Enneagram book)

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour

Let’s be friends on Goodreads & track the books you read (or the ones you want to read). I’m open to suggestions for 2021.