We’re all insecure. Let’s start there. We don’t need a paragraph to convince ourselves that we struggle with insecurity. If you’re reading this…well, there’s a reason. And I’m right there with you. But, I think nothing brings out insecurity quite like work. There’s something about sharing your skills with the world and getting paid for it that makes us suffer from a specific form of insecurity:
The Imposter Syndrome.
You know what I’m talking about. I’ve never met anybody that hasn’t felt this sense that “I’m not really qualified for this” or “I’m not really the right person for this” or “If they knew/found out/understood what I’m really like…” And let’s be honest: sometimes that’s true. Sometimes we’re underqualified for what we do. In fact, this leadership book I’m readingsays every time we prove ourselves to be competent, we get promoted. So we’re promoted and promoted until we’re finally INcompetent somewhere. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’m super sure nearly all of us FEEL incompetent somewhere, if not everywhere, in our lives and that is miserable.
The question is…what do we DO about it?
If I’m honest, I have no idea. I’m still working through it. But there is something that has helped. I kind of stumbled across it by accident in a conversation with my husband. As we discovered that we both suffered from The Imposter Syndrome, we spent a few minutes deciding to focus on what’ s true instead of how we felt about our work. It’s amazing how helpful it can be to simply focus on what’s true in a situation that causes us anxiety.
Out of that conversation, we discovered that there were four true things that were helpful to us, so helpful that we decided we needed to hear them more often. So we set reminders in our phones and computers. For the last few years, every day at 9:00am we both get a message with four big ideas, four things that are true for us, and I’m pretty sure they’re true for you, too.
#1- God has my back.
#2- I have what it takes.
#3- I’m an expert.
#4- I’m here to help.
I’m not saying a phrase or a set of phrases has the power to cure insecurity, but when I walk into a room and I’m sure of these things, when I’m reminded of these things, I’m able to see ME so much clearer. I don’t have to wonder if I belong, if I’m an imposter, or if others think I shouldn’t be here. When I’m sure about who God is, who I am, and why I’m here, I’m able to pay attention to what’s most important