Imposter Syndrome: the internalized fear that I am a fraud – that my accomplishments, gifts, talents don’t equal competence. That I am not enough; I don’t belong. I shouldn’t step into this promotion, accept this opportunity, or receive the recognition that God is bringing.
In Exodus 3:11, we see Moses grappling with a version of Imposter Syndrome when he protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
Many women experience imposter syndrome, but don’t quite realize why. Is it due to women’s socialization? Is it something from our family of origin? Culture of origin? Is it connected to low-self esteem or a false humility? Is it an attack from the enemy, trying to keep God’s daughters from living with purpose?
It’s important to know where imposter syndrome comes from—so that we can acknowledge and counteract it. But it’s also worth noting that women are all-too-quick to devalue our own voices and downplay our own giftedness. And when we are stuck in our own Imposter Syndromes, we can grow jealous of the accomplishments of other women—because we can’t see all that God is doing in our lives.
Daughters of God, we have to shed the skin of imposter syndrome and replace it with confidence in Christ. We have to learn to celebrate, with open hearts, what God is doing in and through all his daughters, our sisters.
Yes, there are painful seasons where God asks us to wait because he is developing character in us. There are difficult times where God says, “I want you to stay in this hard anonymous space, because this is where I will be most glorified through you.”
Still, there are other seasons when God invites you into a new opportunity. And when that invitation comes, you might be tempted to say, like Moses, “Who am I?” But rest assured, God isn’t surprised by or afraid of your imposter syndrome—God just wants you to say, “Yes!”
At the end of the day, when God calls us into something, it’s not about our glory; it’s about his. It’s not about building our kingdoms; it’s about building his. It’s not about filling our stadiums; it’s about feeding his sheep. It’s not about our name in lights; it’s about allowing the light of the world to shine through us.
Therefore, we don’t have to live under imposter syndrome—because God loves to partner with his daughters in mighty, miraculous ways—for the name and renown of Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 15:24-27, Paul writes about the chain reaction caused by the resurrection of Jesus. He says, “After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, ‘God has put all things under his authority.’”
Paul is saying that even the very worst thing Satan can throw at us—death—has been defeated in Jesus. The good news of the gospel is that we have a Savior who faced our greatest enemies—like a lion, like a giant slayer, like a champion—he was not an imposter—and he claimed the victory.
This means, woman of God, that anything you battle, anything that seeks to hurt or destroy you—anything that causes you to feel like I don’t belong here, I am a fraud, I am an imposter—you can face that thing with your head held high because Jesus won. Jesus is winning. Jesus will win. And somehow, uniquely, we have the privilege of sharing in that victory.
Everything we face, we face in the power of the resurrection and the hope of Jesus’ triumphant return. We fight our battles from a place of victory, not defeat.
Today, if the enemy is trying to make you feel like an imposter, remind yourself of this truth:
My doing comes from Jesus’ being. My being, from his doing. Therefore, there is no imposter syndrome in Christ.
Aubrey Sampson is the author of Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul and The Louder Song. She and her husband Kevin, with their three young sons, planted Renewal Church in the Chicagoland area, where Aubrey serves on the preaching team. Aubrey is part of the Propel Cohort at Wheaton College and travels around the country speaking and preaching. Find and follow Aubrey on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website.