Impostor Syndrome

Introduction: 31 Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

 

Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it
with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.
~ John Assaraf

Recently I wrote an article for Modern Creative Life entitled Delilah.

Delilah is the name I gave my inner critic – that harsh voice that repeatedly tells me I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough… well, you get the idea.

Delilah has been a faithful companion since high school, although I have a feeling she’s been with me longer than that. She just maintained a lower profile.

Our relationship began when my junior high friends rejected me when we entered high school. I was hurt, confused and alone. Delilah came to my rescue. She taught me to be cautious and reserved when entering new relationships. She did not want to see me hurt again. And I was grateful for her guidance.

But over time Delilah’s sweet voice of concern became harsh and critical. She no longer needed to protect me from friendships – I built strong defensive walls on my own. So instead she sought to keep me humble. 

Don’t be over-confident she warned.
Don’t think too much of yourself she chastised.

And I willingly listened. I accepted her lies as truth, and my self-esteem evaporated.

Impostor Syndrome: the inability of an individual to internalize his or her accomplishments, despite evidence of competence. It is accompanied by a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. Proof of success is often dismissed as pure luck or some other outside factor.

For decades, I thought humility was downplaying (or rejecting) any potential accomplishments. Instead, I’m learning true humility is self-acceptance – learning to use God-given strengths to become the person I’m meant to be.
 
This month I am on a quest to combat Impostor Syndrome with positive affirmations. Each day I will share a bit of my struggle and then counter Delilah’s verbal attacks with one popular quote as well as one scripture verse. 
 

Delilah has been with me for decades. I do not expect her to give up easily. But I do believe these daily affirmations will be appropriate baby steps toward healing.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
~ Romans 12:3


Below is the list of daily quotes (and links) to the daily affirmations:

Day 1: Perfectionism is Debilitating
Anne Lamott: Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.
James 3:17: The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Day 2: Perfectionism Tells Us We Are Not Worthy
Brene Brown: Perfectionism is a twenty-two ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that is really preventing us from taking flight.
Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Day 3: Perfectionism Offers NO Benefit
Julia Cameron: Perfectionism is not the quest for the best. It is the pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us nothing we do is good enough.
Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Day 4: We Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Have Value
J. K. Rowling: Perfection is not necessary to make a real and lasting difference in other people’s lives.
Ecclesiastes 3:13: That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in their toil – this is the gift of God.

Day 5: Comfort Zones are Prisons in Disguise
Danielle LaPorte: Fear can show up as a perfectionist.
2 Timothy 1:7: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Day 6: If I fear what others think, I cease to exist
Rick Warren: If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection.
Psalm 118:6: The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Day 7: Love others AS yourself – not instead of yourself
Jack Kornfield: If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete
Matthew 22:37-39: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.

Day 8: Don’t let the quest of humility lead to a constant feeling of inferiority
Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Luke 6:37: Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven.

Day 9: Constant repetition of truth is needed to transform the mind
Oprah Winfrey: I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.”
Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Jesus Christ.

Day 10: Learn to accept yourself for that is what we are called to do
Arthur Ashe: Start where you are – Use what you have – Do what you can
Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartedly as for the Lord and not for men.

Day 11: Nature is content to simply be … we should be as accepting of ourselves
Albert Einstein: If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Day 12: True humility is accepting who God created you to be
Zen Shin: A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.
Galatians 6:4: Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.

Day 13: We all must start somewhere. Give up perfectionism and enjoy the process
Jon Acuff: Don’t compare your beginnings with someone else’s middles
Psalm 37:7: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way.

Day 14: Comparison is the thief of joy. We ARE good enough
Eleanor Roosevelt: Comparison is the thief of joy
John 15:12: This is my commandment: Love others as I have loved you.


Day 15: Seek self-improvement, not the approval of others
Matty Mullins: The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.
1 Corinthians 9:24, 26-27: Do you not know that in a race, all runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control.

Day 16: Learning to accept rather than reject the compliments of others
Denis Waitley: It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.
Proverbs 27:2: Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth.

Day 17: Fear of rejection prevents from becoming our authentic selves
Henry David Thoreau: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or however far away.
Philippians 3:13-14: But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Day 18: Focus on the process, not the result
Christopher Reeve: Either we let self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy prevent us from realizing our potential, or embrace the fact that when we turn our attention away from ourselves, our potential is limitless.
Hebrews 2:1b: … let us run with endurance the race set before us.

Day 19: Finding daily purpose helps overcome feelings of unworthiness
Pablo Picasso: The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away.
Proverbs 16:3: Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.


Day 20: Don’t cling so much to structure that you miss unexpected opportunities
Dwight Eisenhower: Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Day 21: Overcome fear of failure by daring to dream (again)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery: A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Psalm 143:8: Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Day 22: Contained within harsh criticism is usually a nugget of truth. Focus on that
Benjamin Franklin: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Proverbs 16:9: The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Day 23: Don’t allow fear of the unknown rob you of life’s exciting adventure
Martin Luther King, Jr: You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Psalm 37:23: The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his own way.

Day 24: Strive for excellence not perfection. They are not synonyms
Michael J. Fox: I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.
Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit; but in humility count others more significant than yourself.

Day 25: Lasting Joy is found when we are content with being ourselves
Helen Keller: Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.
Philippians 4:11-12: … I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Day 26: Dreams and gratitude can coexist
Walt Disney: A dream is a wish your heart makes.
Psalm 20:4: May he grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.

Day 27: When friendship gives way to betrayal, it is time to sever the relationship
William Shakespeare: Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
Galatians 6:9: Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Day 28: Don’t use age as an excuse… follow your dreams
C. S. Lewis: You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.
Jeremiah 1:6-8: Then I said, “Ah, Lord God. Behold I do not know how to speak. For I am only a youth. But the Lord said to me, “Do not say to me, ‘I am only a youth’; For to all to whom I send you, you shall go. Whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you declares the Lord.”

Day 29: Courage is trusting God to help you become yourself
John Wayne: Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.
2 Corinthians 12:9: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.

Day 30: Don’t think more highly of yourself does not mean consider yourself insignificant
e.e. cummings: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
Romans 12:3: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Day 31: Continue to dwell on God’s truth in order to banish Delilah’s lies
Joseph Campbell: The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
Matthew 23:12 (MSG): But if you are content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.


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2 Comments

  • Rebecca Jones

    I have been reading about the Jezebel spirit, I wrote about a post about it, and eve one about Delilah, funny how the devils uses old spiritual influences to keep us from seeing what God sees in us. I'm doing Angels this year, your neighbor from 31 Days.

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