Impostor Syndrome and Faith
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The Author

While at UT-Austin, Kraft focused on the impact of technology on a society and experienced it while working at the University Catholic Center serving UT. Now, as a husband and father of three daughters, he strives to keep his family balanced between the newest technology and time-tested traditions. Development Director ACNM Follow me on Twitter @kraft or Google+ and read more from me at brandonkraft.com

Do you feel like an impostor?

Generally, impostor syndrome describes the feeling we get when we feel like we’re way under-qualified to be in a group, that everyone around us are the smart or talented or gifted ones. It’s that feeling that tells us to be quiet, don’t say anything stupid, or else everyone will realize that you really don’t belong. You feel like an impostor. You got lucky somehow or walked into the wrong room and no one noticed yet. It’s that feeling that you’re just waiting until they discover that they made a mistake by inviting you, hiring you, or however you entered the group.

The concept was originally defined looking at high-achieving women in the workplace and their fear of not being as intelligent as people thought. What about in our faith lives? I feel like an impostor all of the time. “I’m not as holy as people seem to think I am. Everyone here is so great at being close to God. Just wait until they find out I don’t feel so close.” “All of these guys in the group are amazing, I don’t fit into this men’s group at all.” “These moms are incredibly put together. Maybe one day I’ll be figured out enough to be in their world.”

That feeling holds us back. I don’t know if I would attribute this to the Enemy or anything like that, but it is definitely a tool used to help us stay away from God. It is easy to listen that voice in our heads and allow it to decide for us that we aren’t good enough to join this group at church, or we’re not good enough to share our experience at a retreat, or we’re not holy enough to sign up for something like adoration.

Do you honestly try your best at being a follower of Christ? Do you really want to do better the next time when you fall short? Then, you’re not an impostor. You are a child of God, made in the likeness of God, set on this Earth to give Him glory and praise His name. Through your baptism, we are made co-heirs with Christ to the Kingdom made for us from the beginning of time.

In other words, don’t feel like an impostor. Those amazing guys in the men’s group will benefit from you bringing your awesome into the fold. Those moms and dads aren’t as put-together as they might look like (from this father of three girls four years old and younger, trust me on this. No parent is ever really that put-together) and don’t eliminate yourself from the group. We’re in this crazy journey of life together. We’re a pilgrim people—the fall of Adam caused all of us to fall and together, we find our salvation in Christ. The only way we can advance is by not being afraid that we don’t belong and start belonging.

Featured Image Photocredit: flickr/dapuglet

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2 Comments
  • DanC

    What an intriguing idea: the Imposter Syndrome in your faith life. This is one of the best ACNM posts I’ve read because it’s something I’ve never thought about before.

  • Mark

    Very well put….great post.

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