Do you ever feel like a fraud, and you’re worried someone will find you out? Like a fake, and you’re afraid other people will see right through you and know you’re full of flaws? If these sentiments sound familiar, you may be dealing with imposter syndrome.
“Seventy percent of folks struggle with imposter syndrome at some point in their lives,” says psychologist and life coach Dr. Barbara Lowe on the “Dr. Barbara’s Whole Life” podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. Despite her own Ph.D. and other professional credentials, she had a recurring nightmare that her doctorate was meaningless because she missed a particular high school math class.
The child of an alcoholic who also has abuse in her background, Lowe knows other trauma victims can have similar struggles. “People who had parents who were either abusive … had really high expectations but who were also critical, judgmental—these folks can have a lot of perfectionism and a lot of imposter syndrome,” she says. And the results can be devastating.
“Imposter syndrome feels terrible. It can lead to a lot of anxiety symptoms including procrastination … some obsessive-compulsive behaviors … overcompensating, workaholism, depression … it can lead to addictive behaviors as well,” Lowe explains.
But when she looks at Scripture, she finds hope. “Most of the time, God uses imposters, misfits and outcasts to be the next big up-and-coming thing, the one that the spotlight is on, the one who transforms a nation, the one who transforms a city, the one who really brings revival.”
Learn more about imposter syndrome, the many imposters in the Bible and how, as Lowe says, “being an imposter is actually a really good thing” in this podcast episode.