Imposter Pitfall Number One


I am seeing that I need to guard against comparing myself to . . . well . . . anyone. Because when I do, I end up feeling inferior, and that is not what my mind and emotions need to be concerned with at all. I know on some level that I am unique. I am an individual. I am specifically created by God for a purpose and with my own identity. That should be enough for me. But I have identity issues.

The idea of Identity is an interesting one—much larger and more important than I have previously considered it to be. I am beginning to think that it is not only the remedy for any “impostor” stirrings, it is the answer for all of mankind—for any suffering or situation.

I became acutely aware of “identity” as a topic during my doctoral research. And then I came across a unique translation of the New Testament that focuses on it titled The Mirror Bible. I dug around in my boxes of saved treasures and found a list that someone created of verses that state who we are in Christ. For most believers—including me, up to a point—it is just that: a list, something to strive for, to look forward to, and hope to experience someday. Most of us feel the distance that separates us from what we think about ourselves and what God says about us. The list seems “nice” and mostly unattainable.

From reading what the translator of The Mirror Bible writes, I have begun to experience twinges of seeing something I haven’t seen before and don’t yet see clearly: the truth about our identity and the remedy for impostor issues. I understand that as I ponder and write . . . and write and ponder what I have written . . . and then ponder it all again, that I need to handle the material carefully, with trust that He will help me. I may end up contacting the author of The Mirror Bible, who lives in South Africa. Even as I write this, I am wondering if I am that brave. But I must be because during my time researching for the doctoral dissertation, I was brave enough to contact the experts in the two fields I was working in: Dr. Robert Nash (scholarly personal narrative) and Dr. Pauline Rose Clance (author of the seminal work on the impostor phenomenon).

Once I complete the dissertation in 2009 and then published the book from it titled The Impostor Affect: A Closer Look by a Classic Case, I turned my head and my heart toward the next project titled The Fourth Voice: Exploring Identity Theft of Another Kind, which is taking shape in my reservoir of ideas and words and feelings and research, where my Close Companion lives. I am trusting Him to order them aright and lead me in the expression of all that He has in mind to bring to the world through my work.

While I write to my “ideal reader” out there (as suggested in all the books on writing), I have the larger audience in my mind—like a poster from a distant land. I can see up close and gaze at the far away as I write.