Impostor Syndrome,  Uncategorized

Day 10: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

Start where you are
Use what you have
Do what you can
~ Arthur Ashe
I always enjoyed watching Arthur Ashe play tennis, but I didn’t realize he was such a philosopher.

Start where you are. In other words… everyone must start somewhere. And usually, that is at the beginning. We must learn the basics. We must practice the drills. Be diligent and slowly improve over time.

The problem with perfectionists is we do not give ourselves grace. We may be beginners, but we compare our novice efforts to the professional’s excellence. We fall short. We become discouraged. And we quit.

Use what you have. As a beginner, we don’t need to purchase all the extras. All we need are the basics. In sports, it’s easy to convince ourselves that a poor performance is due to substandard shoes or mediocre equipment. And of course, the marketing industry confirms this lie. But really, we simply need to start.

I enjoy photography. But when I compare my pictures to those the professionals choose to share on social media, I always fall short. It is easy to fall prey to equipment envy. If only I had a better camera – faster lens, etc. The truth, however, is the equipment matters far less than the practice.

Do what you can. Perfectionists convince ourselves if we can’t make a big difference, we can make no difference at all. But that mindset contradicts the principle that every little bit helps.

The fairly recent advent of “Go Fund Me” campaigns illustrates this axiom. Tens of thousands of dollars are needed but rarely do the funds come from one major donor. Typically the goal is reached by everyone giving what they can: ten dollars – twenty dollars – five dollars. Every donation helps reach the goal.

I would summarize the wise words of Mr. Ashe as: accept yourself.

Recognize your strengths and seek to develop them.

Recognize your weaknesses and give yourself grace.

Do what you are called to do for the One who called you to do it.

Whatever you do, work heartedly
as for the Lord and not for men.
Colossians 3:23 (ESV)

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