Maddie was given a huge compliment by her boss, but within minutes she doubted he was sincere. Her first thought was to work harder and continue to prove herself. Do you ever feel like Maddie? Despite your accomplishments and efforts, you worry you might be a fraud. Or do you feel that you don’t fit in or belong? Maybe you think you don’t measure up to those around you. If so, you might be struggling with “imposter syndrome.”

At the root of imposter syndrome is feeling tremendous insecurity and anxiety. Despite high performing, you feel like a phony. You constantly question if you can really do the job and worry you will be outed. This may have developed through incredible pressure to achieve and not fail. Or from being part of an underrepresented group. It may also have developed from parents who gave mixed messages concerning worth and love.

However it came to be, imposter syndrome is like a noose around your neck. It suffocates your calling. There is a difference between doing more, doing better, or trying to be perfect and excellent in all you do to glorify God. Apart from Christ, it’s all just striving. We don’t need to pursue acceptance. We are accepted. So, push for excellence, but don’t be anxious and insecure.

When you do your work, it’s good to be humble, but feeling like an imposter is not really about humility. It is failing to recognize the gifts and talents God has given you and doubting His path for you. When you walk in your calling. He will equip you to do the job.

I am not saying you should be all about your accomplishments, but you don’t want to undermine the opportunities given you by allowing your thoughts to create doubt and uncertainty. You are not going to be “found out” by God or anyone else. You don’t have to “fake it until you make it!” Simply, work on achieving your full potential, not to please others, but to please God.

When you feel overwhelmed, pray for wisdom and discernment, creative ideas, and solutions. It’s not all about you, but about partnering with Christ in you. Imposter syndrome keeps us focused on our inadequacies and shame. Christ keeps us fixed on Him, the One who took away our shame.

If you are experiencing imposter syndrome, take the opportunity to start accepting and embracing your capabilities. Be confident in the Lord who has equipped you to do the things he puts in your hand. Don’t be derailed by imposter syndrome—it’s not healthy thinking and will prevent you from being the person God needs you to uniquely be. And don’t allow fear to stop you from giving your best for His glory.