Continuing the Conversation: The Journey of Identity


In my first newsletter, I shared a little bit about my own experience of imposter syndrome, and how that relates to our sense of identity as writers or creatives. It’s a challenging topic to address, because while normal, it’s not right. If we’re secure in our true identity as children of God, everything else falls into place. (And yes, that requires a level of holiness I have not yet attained.)

A few of my long-time mentors replied with some wisdom I’d like to share with you.

YOU are the expert on YOU. So, whenever you feel inadequate in interviews about yourself or a topic you’ve studied or worked in, it’s usually unwarranted because you know way more than anyone else in the room. Always true when it comes to your own book! And I think it’s applicable to individuals. You are the expert on you. No one knows you better. No one can do you better. That’s usually what people want to see and hear anyway. Authenticity — even in inadequacy/imperfection — goes a long way. And I think for many of us, that realization — while it can be helped along — comes with maturity.

Carolyn

I love that reminder of the role of authenticity, which to my mind has a close relationship with true humility — knowing and owning both our gifts and our imperfections! Authenticity is a rallying cry for our younger generations, who crave that look behind the curtain at the real person behind the book, the social media account, the YouTube video. As a result, authenticity is also one of your greatest gifts as a creative, because it’s what allows people to discover and connect with you as a person beyond just your products.

This reminder from a dear (and incredibly holy) friend also hit home for me:

I’ve known all along that it’s not me who writes, I’ve never been confident in my ability as a writer and knew that Our Lord was at the helm and I was to listen and follow. So I guess my doubts were “Am I listening well enough to string this set of thoughts into something for others to read?”

My skill has come from experience, though still VERY flawed; my accomplishments have only come through the successes of others.

Margaret

And there’s the true antidote to imposter syndrome: it’s not about me. Nothing is, really. It’s all about our incredible, loving God and His will for me and for those around me.