Impostor Syndrome and Giving Up Control of the Narrative
I learned about something called Impostor Syndrome a few years ago. It gave me an understanding of something I intuitively knew, but couldn’t label. In short, it’s a concept describing high-achieving individuals who have a fear of being exposed as fraud.
They are worried they will be “found out” as posers or hacks. That they don’t deserve their success. These individuals are generally successful, but have trouble internalizing their accomplishments.
My Struggle with Impostor Syndrome
I grew up in a home where we depended on food stamps – actual food stamps that could not be hidden at the checkout. I got free lunches in school, always had knockoff clothes and had a paper route that was a literal lifeline. These sorts of things can really impact a young life. But I went with it and survived.
I went to college where few people knew about my background, and did as much as I could to stuff that away from others.
Then, towards the end of college, I started to gravitate toward a career in public relations. Movies like Wag the Dog were fun to enjoy. I loved watching the way pro wrestling spun the narrative of storylines. And I marveled at successful marketing campaigns of big business, always dissecting the orchestration of it all.
That sort of thing is fun, but it’s an unrealistic way of life if we allow God to work in us.
I started my career and experienced general success. And then I began questioning myself. I worried that I was not good enough. There was a fear of being exposed for being less than what I was.
And it was all unfounded.
But that didn’t make it go away.
You Cannot Always Control the Narrative
In the world of pro wrestling, they don’t always get to control the storyline. Sometimes the crowd unexpectedly turns and dictates who gets “over” or fails to react with the level of emotion to keep a storyline going.
My career didn’t go as I had laid it out. I didn’t work in PR. Some elements of it, yes, but not really. I am not (yet) a New York Times best selling author, as I had planned. God did allow me to accomplish my three main dreams in life – and that left me helpless. Seriously.
God blessed me. Then he blessed me by drastically changing me.
God controls the narrative.
A God Controlled Narrative is One that Conquers the Impostor Syndrome
My brother gave me a copy of Wild At Heart, by John Eldridge. I’d put off reading it for years despite so many people telling me it was a “must read.” So I finally gave it a go after he put it directly into my hands. As I was reading, I could not help but think of this YLU17 topic.
Eldridge offers some sound advice, when he says on page 136;
You must ask God what he thinks of you, and you must stay with the question until you have the answer. The battle will get fierce here. This is the last thing the Evil One wants you to know.
So true! The last thing the Devil wants you to know is who you are – a blessed child of God, created and adopted into God’s family. Christ gives you strength and transforms you! However, we too often forget that and need to take to telling ourselves the Gospel.
Take Out the Earbuds – You Are No Poser!
What are you telling yourself today? Are you telling yourself that you are less than what you are? Maybe you are telling yourself that you’re incompetent? Are you trying to control a narrative that’s destined for a false self?
Or, are you mindful of your place in God’s kingdom, one that has already conquered this world?Take out the earbuds & give up control. God's designed you for more! Click To Tweet
About Chad Gramling
Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.