“I am somebody cause God don't make no junk” - Ethel Waters
The impostor syndrome is a term that was established in 1978 by clinical psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. It referred to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as "fraud". Everyone goes through this at some point. For some, it paralyzes them and keeps them from ever achieving their goals or objectives.
I was one of the people that was guilty of the imposter syndrome. I graduated with over 500 other people from high school. I had a non descript academic career and was never nominated for any class superlatives. As I a matter of fact, I would have been nominated as the most likely not to receive a superlative. I will admit that these feelings of inadequacy still rear its ugly head from time to time. As I am typing these words, I think who am I to be blogging and formulating plans for a podcast and a newsletter? When I'm standing in front of the men gathered at our monthly event as a speaker, I wonder how did I get here? Won't they know that I wasn't the most popular kid in high school and was ignored a majority of the time? When I feel that way, I remember a few things: I am the child of the most high God, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I have been made in God's likeness. Who am I not to be doing what he has called me to do? God has prepared me for these moments before I was born. It is said "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13). Remembering these things get me back on track and will do the same for you.
In closing, I want to you reflect on these words from Marianne Williamson : Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.