“Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.”Henri Nouwen
Did you start this month struggling with who you are? Are you still in that position? You are not alone. It’s believed that 70 percent of the U.S. population has experienced imposter syndrome (source) with the millennial generation being especially prone to it (source). Why is this such a prevalent problem?
As we discussed this topic over the month, it was very clear just how far reaching imposter syndrome can be. Women deal with it, men deal with it, CEOs deal with it, and recent college graduates deal with it. We all want to excel and be seen as successful and contributing, yet something within ourselves constantly feeds us the lie that we are frauds and not able to be who we aspire to be.
Dr. Mollie Bond started off our discussions this month with a simple idea: you matter and the work that you do matters. There isn’t an asterisk by your work. There isn’t a job or title that automatically gets a higher grade in God’s eyes. We are all children of the King and that means that our primary goal is to serve Him every day, in everything we do. There is not a dollar amount or hours goal tacked onto that; just the instruction to honor God with our days.
Victoria Winburne, founder of OwnerCEOs, explained what she has learned is behind every self-disappointment of someone dealing with imposter syndrome: lurking expectations. In today’s highly connected world, we are constantly bombarded with images of what success looks like to others, and this has led to a warped definition of what it means to achieve. Success should be individually measured and the expectations we set for ourselves should not be influenced by what we have decided is our “made it” goal which can be based off on what others have done. “We were not designed to be perfect. We were designed to evolve.” Be ready to fail and be ready to give yourself grace. Your journey to success will be your journey, and the sooner you let go of the negative expectation that you will be as successful as someone you follow on Instagram, the sooner your imposter syndrome will start to shrink away.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Ephesians 2:10
When you wake up and check your social media and start to feel the heavy fingers of imposter syndrome cinching around your self-worth, remember this verse. God created you with a purpose He laid out well in advance of you being alive on this world. That means your success has already been defined. Your self-worth already has a source, and guess what? It has nothing to do with the things that person with whom you graduated has accomplished.
Every day that you wake up and give God your best, you have succeeded. Maybe you only got through half of your tasks for the day, and maybe you only connected with one potential client instead of the five you wanted to. But you started the day with a simple prayer to God to guide your steps and give you the opportunity to serve Him with the abilities He created you with. With each day that you begin like this, your identity will not only become apparent, it will thrive. You will feel your confidence grow, and you will find yourself giving less clout to the accolades of others.
Your identity, rooted in God’s preordained plan for you, will become a source of joy, a vehicle with which you can positively impact others, and a place of peace and contentment. Why wish for the life and achievements of others when you have the one that will bring you the most satisfaction already embedded in every fiber of who you are? You are enough, you can be enough, and you will be able to give others enough, because God loves you enough to give you a role in His ultimate plan. The Creator of the universe wants you. We can’t think of a bigger confidence boost.
We would love to have you join us for our summer session of the 4word Mentor Program! This 10-week program pairs each mentee with a hand-picked 4word mentor, a Christian woman who’s walked a path similar to yours and can help guide you down your own.
If you’ve been looking for some career guidance from a Christian perspective, sign up for the 4word Mentor Program by May 3!
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