Healthy spirituality and writing doesn’t require particular accomplishments or milestones in order to be accepted. While the fear of failing or being exposed as an imposter can drive us to do excellent work, we won’t find the peace of God or develop a healthy relationship with our work over the long term with that driving us. .
Christian spirituality teaches us that we are already loved by God, whether or not we are exposed as imposters. In fact, John focused his ministry on repentance because exposing our failures is the only path to freedom. We have to face our worst fears of being imposters and surrender ourselves to the generous, forgiving love of God.
The following article on the imposter syndrome offers some helpful tools for identifying imposter syndrome and ways to manage it.
Studies show impostor syndrome is related to anxiety and intense fear of failure. So you race to keep up the facade… but when you work hard to make sure you’re not found out, it only reinforces the impostor belief.
You fooled them again. But next time you might not be so lucky.
But now not only are you feeling bad and overworking but you’re also alone. You can’t tell anyone your “secret.” You feel like you can’t ask for help because you’ll look incompetent.
In the end, it’s exhausting. Working hard, afraid of being “found out” and not being able to turn to anyone is enormously stressful. Eventually you may see self-sabotage as the only way out.
Focusing on improvement means you know you’re not perfect but you know you can get better. With that attitude, you can. And if you fail, hey, you learned something.
But focusing exclusively on performance goals means anything less than perfect is death. That’s incredibly stressful and pushes you to do things that are extreme, unhealthy and maybe unethical.
Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz says “good enough” is the secret to happiness and neuroscience studies agree.
Instead of doing everything to keep up this illusion that you’re perfect, accept that you’re not. Don’t build self-confidence, build self-compassion. Forgive yourself when you screw up. Research shows increasing self-compassion has all the benefits of self-esteem — but without the downsides.
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