When You Feel Like an Imposter

empowered

“Sometimes I feel like we’re just the wannabes. Like there’s this higher level of writers who have published books.”

I nod my head in agreement as I listen to my friend on the other end of the line. My eyes are wet with understanding.

Every day I put the pen to paper or hands to keyboard I fight this battle. What do I have to say? Hasn’t it been said before by someone more qualified than me?

If I listen to the voices of defeat telling me none of it matters, I will stop before I even begin. My list of qualifications will keep me from fulfilling my calling. So often, I talk to others who struggle with the same feelings of self-doubt.

If I were a real speaker or writer or musician, I would get paid.

If I were a real artist, I would have a gallery displaying my work.

If I were a real actor, I would have a more impressive portfolio.

Our lists steal the joy of doing our life’s work and tell us if we were the real deal, we would be better or more credentialed. We forget that some of the greatest achievements come from small beginnings.

We forget that our greatest qualifier is God, who takes our small offerings and turns them into something magnificent. When we are obedient, he equips us in ways we never envisioned.

Sometimes a simple step of faith can turn the unqualified into the empowered.

Do you need evidence? I did. And a few nights ago, He provided it. I had the opportunity to witness an act of bravery that I almost missed. A courageous woman threw doubt aside and simply did what needed to be done.

I took my six-year-old to see a live performance of Mary Poppins, our first play together as mom and son. We savored the singing, dancing and choreography, all which went off without a hitch.

The surprise came the next day when we arrived at church, and a friend we’d seen there asked how we enjoyed our evening. As I gushed about how impressed I was, he revealed a secret. The star role of Mary Poppins was played by a replacement. She wasn’t even in the original line-up of actors.

My mouth gaped as I recalled the stellar production and confidence of the main act. I was amazed.

The original cast member broke her ankle midway through the schedule of showings and was unable to perform. But can you imagine what would have happened if the replacement had said “no?”

I’m sure she felt unqualified. She was not an actor, but a choreographer. The play required her to sing and display abilities which were likely out of her realm of expertise.

Yet, she put aside her uncertainties and doubts and said, “Yes.” And the result was phenomenal.

The outcome was an audience full of people who didn’t know her from the original cast member, who gave a standing ovation when she floated onto the stage.

If we see ourselves as wannabes, our audience will too. But if we claim our call as bona fide, others will follow suit.

Will there be naysayers? Yes, always. But would you rather let a few negative people keep you from achieving your dreams, or go after it with everything that you have?

If you’re hiding behind a list of qualifications you think you need to claim what’s yours today, it’s time to step into the light. God did not call us to hide in the darkness until we attain credentials.

When we step out in faith, he takes our hand.

When we step out of the shadows into his radiance, I can promise you that others will take notice.

And what they say may surprise you.

 

*Linking up with Kelly Balarie & Friends and Jennifer Dukes Lee to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.

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43 thoughts on “When You Feel Like an Imposter

  1. Thank you. Recently I made an important decision, I took a step of faith. I left a church that I have attended for 11 years. I was broken, filled with guilt and shame, had been hurt by churches in the past and God led me to Crossfire. Recently, through events that God put before me, I gave my notice to my pastor, informed her I was leaving the church, the church that believed in me, who saw a talent in me that I didn’t see and asked me to be a part of the worship team, and that led to becoming a worship leader. I had the honor of serving on the board for four years. I led small groups, led children’s ministry, served in the kitchen, volunteered in the office. One of the hardest decisions I have had to make in a very long time. I sincerely believe it is God. He is asking me to go to a church that I would have never thought I would ever attend. I have no real direction, just He is asking me to be obedient, go and I will take care of the rest. I left my church family behind, with no solid direction or plan. What do I have to offer this big church where everyone is in their place, where it would seem I am not needed and I might be overlooked? God has a plan. He has asked me to step out of the boat. “Don’t listen to the naysayers” he says. Keep your eyes fixed on me. I thank you for your insight and your writing ability. You are making a difference. Thank you for your encouragement. Keep on doing what God has called you to do. I will hang in with you and we will make a difference for His kingdom.

    Betty

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    • Betty, I am praying for you as you embark on this new journey. God will lead the way. Keep seeking him and pressing into him. Thank you for sharing here today, friend.

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  2. Thanks Abby, I needed that reminder. It always amazes me how we think we might be the only one that feels or thinks a certain way. But that’s only because you haven’t heard someone admit it yet. We are all so much alike. Satan desires to hold us back by making us believe we are isolated. We are the only ones. Thank you for slapping him in the face today. Good job!

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    • Yes, he does want us to feel isolated, Christy. I’m so thankful for writing friends who are honest and real with me. It makes the road so much more joyful knowing I’m not alone. Blessings to you, friend.

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  3. Thank you for this today-exactly what I needed to hear. As a member of this big blown world, I felt the same way every time I choose to write and eventually hit “publish”. It is scary, exciting and deeply personal all at the same time. I appreciate how you empowered me today through this post to think about my writing differently. Blessings friend!

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    • I actually listened to a fairly well known writer/ blogger say that he deals with those voices of doubt every time he goes to write and he just has to push through it. It is so much more common than we often think, and I believe God uses those doubts to make us focus on him more. Thanks for visiting today, friend!

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  4. Wow, Abby, I nodded my head for the whole first part! Indeed! I feel like a rookie, wannabe, and nobody in a SEA of experts and experienced writers (and published!). I try every week to remind myself that God has made me this way for a purpose, and I need to share what He’s put on my heart — to help just one person who may need it desperately.
    Thank you for your encouragement, Abby. This one will stick with me!
    Dana

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    • Thank you so much for your encouraging words today, Dana. I agree and am constantly telling myself the same thing. If God encourages one person though what I have to say, it is worth the effort. Blessings to you, friend.

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  5. Oh, this was a good reminder to keep working where we are called, Abby. Loved this! Thank you, so much for sharing it and for remind us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t want to get caught up in the recognition trap, in fact I mentioned this in prayer one day last week. I want to just write for HIM and let His heart lead fingers and words right where they need to go.

    Thanks for writing encouragement.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  6. This is something I often battle with, Abby. The temptation to just give up because this calling to write seems like its been written on a thousand other more capable lives at the same time it is written on mine…lives with more talent, more resources, more support, more time & drive…oh, the list goes on. But God reminds me even now that His power in my life isn’t limited by what is being done in theirs. So we write and believe God for the rest, which isn’t always easy, is it? Especially when our words can feel so small. But it’s work worth doing and last time I checked, I didn’t have an understudy waiting in the wings to fulfill this call for me…and more so God isn’t letting me off the hook! 😉 Your words are simply necessary, dear one. I notice them and I love them. Hugs!!

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    • No, I certainly don’t have an understudy in the wings either, Tiffany. 😉 You are such an encouragement, dear friend, and I’m sending hugs right back at you today.

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  7. When we step out, He’s there to meet us in our faith… I picture Peter stepping out of the boat, onto rocky water… Jesus reaching out a hand and reminding him not to look at anything but Himself.
    Thank you for digging into things that have been sitting on my heart, and releasing them with God’s truth. Love you, lady! Blessings in Him for your day….

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  8. Tears.. only-every-day. WOW, thank you for this.
    “If we see ourselves as wannabes, our audience will too. But if we claim our call as bona fide, others will follow suit.” This is now sitting on my desk. #writerswrite

    Blessings friend.

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    • I am so glad it encouraged you, Jana. We writers need to love of each other with vulnerability and truth. I always remember Max Lucado’s interview on Compel when he said he still feared having no one show up at his books signings. That really hit home for me. Much love to you, friend.

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  9. Well my friend, YOU have such a way with words. This is just beautiful, and it felt like I was the friend sitting with you and working through this issue. I so appreciate your compassionate way of walking through issues like this one, and want to encourage you to please do not let the lists steal the joy of writing and blogging. You are gifted, girl! And I know you love it. 🙂 This was an important line in this piece for me: “Sometimes a simple step of faith can turn the unqualified into the empowered.” Great encouragement today…#RaRaLinkup

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    • I do love it, Angela. I would continue doing it even it were just for my eyes only. Thank you for your encouragement today, friend. I will not let those lists steal my joy and keep pressing forward.

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      • I agree with Angela! You are gifted, Abby! You keep on keeping on! You are influencing your community, and God is using you tremendously where you are now. I think He has greater plans for you in the future. You are so young! So many years ahead of you to continue growing in your craft as God expands your circle of influence! How exciting!

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      • Betsy, I do not think of myself as young but I guess I am. You made me smile today, friend, and are such an encouragement always. I am blessed to know you. I’m so thankful for you and all of the beautiful women God has placed in my life who build each other up in Him. xoxo

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    • I think all writers struggle with self-doubt in one way or another, Jenny. We just have to learn to push through it and keep going. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here today.

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  10. Yes to this: “Sometimes a simple step of faith can turn the unqualified into the empowered.” I’m definitely unqualified myself, so I’ll just follow along behind you, sister, and keep taking steps that say “Yes” to God and yes to writing. You’ve struck a chord with all of us Abby, because we’ve all felt that “I’m just a wannabe.” Where do we think every other author or writer out there got started??? Let’s keep being faithful to our community, faithful to do for the few what we would dream of doing for many.

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  11. Abby,
    Yes, I can so relate to this. It’s hard to feel like anything more than one of the minions in the blogosphere. I keep reminding myself that I write to an audience of One and I may always have my little niche in this world of bigger, better writers. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a unique voice and a perspective on God’s word that no one else has. Thanks for the encouragement to carry on! Love this…
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev xx
    ps. I think of you as one of those “better” writers 🙂 You are truly gifted!

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    • Bev, thank you for making me smile today. 🙂 I think all writers deal with this to some degree. I even heard Max Lucado say he struggles with self-doubt and I think he’s amazing. We just have to push through it and trust God. Sending big hugs your way today, friend.

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  12. Sweet Abby, your words always move me: “If we see ourselves as wannabes, our audience will too. But if we claim our call as bona fide, others will follow suit.” You are bona fide in my eyes for sure. Keep on keeping on with your beautiful encouragement in sharing God’s Word and inspiring us all! Have a great day, Kim
    http://www.kimstewartinspired.com

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  13. Very thoughtful post. I have to remind myself that developing my content is more about serving God than what medium it uses to get out into the world. (CBCE).

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  14. You have the right idea, Abby. God always equips us to do what He calls us to do and there are no two of us alike. I’m so glad you and Jaden enjoyed “Mary Poppins” together. Live productions are my favorite.

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  15. Just had a convo with my grown daughter today about being careful about not allowing fear to make you miss opportunities. Sometimes… maybe often… we have to just push through our feelings and do what needs to be done. And then of course, God never wants us to feel able within ourselves. when we feel those fears, they are just opportunities to trust more deeply and watch Him do His work through us!

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    • I agree, Karen. We do have to just push through our feelings and I think some of that doubt never goes away, simply because I’ve heard well accomplished writers say they still go through it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here today.

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  16. So often I have these types of thoughts running through my head. Self doubt is lethal to the spirit. I want to take a moment to encourage you by saying that you write beautifully. I so appreciate the truths and emotion you have shared here and through them have made me feel stronger.

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  17. Isn’t it crazy? I agree that the point the Lord wants us to see through it all is that we need to rely on Him. Any gift or calling any of us have is from Him, anyway, so what good does it do us to compare? Accept the call and run with it (in His power, of course)! 🙂

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