How are you? Happy May! We are heading toward the half mark of 2021, how are those goals coming along? Are you killing it or is it killing you?
For me, these past few months have been nothing short of amazing. I cannot even begin to recount what has happened, but trust that the testimonies will be shared soon! God has been faithful in presenting me with opportunities I did not think I could even engage in, and I know He is just getting started. I will say, these are moments I could only dream about a few years ago. They were once prayer points and dreams because I somehow did not think I was worthy of filing up those spaces or laying ownership on them. “What? You Moyo?!” Yes, Me!
Let me tell you a quick story about a season in my life.
One day in 2019, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself. I hadn’t realized that the Moyo I knew was slowly fading away and being replaced by a shadow of herself. Have you ever had a moment when you looked in the mirror and couldn’t quite identify with or recognize who was looking back at you? Just me?
I remember actually talking back to the reflection in the mirror “who are you and what have you done with Moyo?” I’ll never forget that day. I scared myself, but honestly that question was the only way I could process the image looking back at me. I had lost weight, I was not quite as vibrant as I knew myself to be, simply put, I was a shadow of me. Life slowly slipped away and all that remained was a shell. Yup, I had become a shell of myself. I continued to “live” and do life as best as I knew how to, but I could not shake the feeling of not recognizing the woman in the mirror.
You see, I was in a season of my life in which I thought I was a fraud. I thought I was faking it until I made it; both professionally and spiritually. During that season I thought, “if people really knew me and knew the level of knowledge I have, they would definitely be surprised and likely disappointed.” This…this is the definition of imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.
– Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey, Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome, Harvard Business Review
I was not very confident in my ability to be a “good” accountant or a “good” Christian. I was not sure I even knew how to be either or both. Fear, mediocrity, incompetence, inadequacy loomed around me. In fact every morning, I would welcome them on the ride of life with me in the basket of imposter syndrome because well, I did not feel like I was meeting expectations although everyone around me informed me otherwise. I just could not see it in myself.
Side Note: whoever created the metric systems for these? Where did they come from? I think we subconsciously create these metrics and place insurmountable pressure on ourselves to meet those standards. We think others create the standards and place the pressure on us; however, on the outside looking in, I recognize that the pressure is often self-inflicted. That is very unhealthy!
I lugged this basket of Imposter Syndrome around with me for years and did not realize what it was until 2019! I just always thought I was uneasy, or maybe uncomfortable but it became more apparent in a role I never thought I would have the opportunity to fill. I got a job as a Financial Reporting Manager at a renowned Laboratory, while also studying for the CPA exam (this is similar to the ICAN in Nigeria), and I believe that was what pulled the trigger. Every single day, I questioned my competence, my qualification, I questioned everything. I felt like I had gotten the job from pure luck. Crazy right? You have not heard how this thing tried to steal from me.
The doubt and insecurities loomed full force for a year, which led to my incident on that one day in 2019. The day I finally ID’ed the imposter in the mirror. She looked back at me ready to take everything that belonged to me, including my sanity. She distorted my view so badly that I began to see myself through her eyes- incompetent, stupid, a failure, inadequate, unwanted, a ticking time bomb. PHEEWW such heavy words! While I type this, all I can do is say THANK YOU JESUS. He saved me! Truly!
So anyway, that lasted throughout 2019 well into my 30th Birthday. On the morning of my birthday, I got up and worshipped. I worshipped because I was sick (literally) and tired of being in that rut of a mindset. Afterwards, I felt lighter, I felt free, and I felt at ease. I thought, “Finally it’s over.” But was it?
Enter 2020, COVID-19 hits the scene, pandemic lockdown sets in, and I am without a job because I wanted to focus on passing the CPA exam. I immediately thought “that wasn’t smart! There is no way I’m gonna get a job now. NO ONE IS HIRING!” However, as God is always God all by Himself, a job opportunity falls in my lap in the fourth quarter of 2020. “We’d love to have you!” An offer is presented and let me tell you, I almost sh** my pants. I could not believe my eyes because God went all out. Around that same time, I got ordained into Ministry and I felt HEAVY. “I’m not a typical Minister.” Would you believe the imposter came back up?
“You don’t deserve this compensation.”
“Can you even live up to the expectation?”
“Companies do not pay this much to people like you.”
“You know they’re going to be expecting you to be an expert.”
“What do you really know as a Christian?”
“Can I do this?”
“I’ll lose my freedom of not having to report to anyone.”
“Maybe I should just tell them I’m not ready.”
and on and on and on…. the list continued. For a whole week I delayed signing my job offer because I did not think I deserved it. I lost sleep over it.
Are you currently reading this post and responding to your screen like “Oh my gosh! ME TOO”? Allow me to tell you this: that is not your identity! Your identity is who GOD says you are, not who your emotional or psychological capacity claims you are!
One day in 2021, I decided it was time I confronted the imposter in the mirror.
Check out these surefire statements that God reminded me of during that encounter with the imposter, they continue to be my mantra. In fact I put a poster of some right by my mirror in case the imposter tries to rear her ugly head. Feel free to implement this as well.
God sees you this way on a daily basis.
You are a Masterpiece, a work of art. – Ephesians 2:10
You are chosen and special. – 1 Peter 2:9
You are wise. – Psalm 119:99-101
You have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:16
You are adequate. – 2 Corinthians 3:5
Go Forth! Go and manifest your true identity. THIS is who you are! When the imposter shows up, let him/her/them know that you are hip and aware of your true identity. Even Jesus had to remind the enemy of who he is.
Confidently rooting for you!,
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For your listening pleasure:
I’d like to provide an opportunity to those who are yet to meet with Jesus. If you have a deep desire to know Jesus and enter into the kingdom of God you are in great company. I did at some point in my life, and it was the greatest desire that God ever met!
I invite you to pray the sinner’s prayer: Dear Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner and I confess my sins before you. I believe that you died for my sins and rose again to give me a new life. I ask that you forgive me of my sins; cleanse me with your precious blood which you shed on the cross of Calvary. I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. Fill me up with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me. I profess that I am a new creature; old things have passed away and I have become new in You. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ name, AMEN!
If you prayed the prayer, WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM FAMILY!! You are a new creature, the old has passed and the new is here! Be sure to find a bible believing, Spirit-led church in your city and purchase a bible in a version that you understand. I use the New Living Translation, Message, Free Bible, Christian Standard Bible, or the New International Version. Enjoy the journey!