“A psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”
Ever feel like you’re a fake? Like what you’re doing, saying, or working on is entirely beyond the realm of your knowledge and capacity? Ever feel like you stole someone else’s idea?
Welcome to the imposter syndrome.
I hadn’t heard of this until reading Austin Kleon’s awesome short book, Steal Like an Artist. This whole book is a charge toward 10 (maybe unexpected) keys to being creative.
The problem is that Kleon–and, I suspect, many psychologists–treat the imposter syndrome as a mental hindrance, a psychological setback. Don’t worry, everyone has this! Nobody that’s truly creative can be fully confident in their abilities, because nobody knows where they got their ideas! Just keep doing your thing!
This explanation, at least for me, just doesn’t cut it. I write this post simultaneously to our church‘s new sermon series through Ephesians studying the issue of identity–who are you, really? What rock do you stand on to portray yourself to the world?
I am a victim of the imposter syndrome with a selfish twist. I am cowardly, timid, and afraid to stand by my ideas and decisions in fear that they will say something negative about me. But this is not a cognitive hurdle, it’s an identity crisis!
Good thing that those who follow Jesus wear the armor of God. Jesus was a sinless man, and I inherited his exact identity by faith. I am not flying solo in the world contingent on my success; I am protected and free in the eyes of God, and I can create without condition.
You don’t have to feel like an imposter. You can know who you are.