Impostor Syndrome (quarantine doesn't stop it)
Promoting a book is weird. What a foreign concept to tell people, “Hey, I wrote a thing, and I think it’s good, and you should spend money on it!” Even less comfortable is the idea of saying, “So this book isn’t out yet, but I had some people tell me it’s pretty good. Would you mind helping me tell people they should spend money on it?”
Don’t know about you, but my most paralyzing anxiety about publishing isn’t the idea of the book being bad or people not liking me. What scares me the most is the idea that I could be misleading someone. Making them think a book or a blog post or an Instagram story is worth their time and it…not being. Maybe that’s because of how harshly I judged Peter Jackson for the Hobbit movies before I knew the whole story of why that happened the way it did, but I digress.
Point is, these kinds of doubts—the question of if I’m good enough or if my work is worthy and WHAT THE HECK HAVE I DONE WITH THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF MY LIFE—is commonly known as Impostor Syndrome. The idea that someone somewhere made a mistake and I really shouldn’t be where I am doing what I’m doing—that’s not true at all.
And I’m too deeply in the thick of things to say that is definitively what I am suffering from, as all of my doubts currently seem reasonable and well-founded, but I’m choosing to write this as though speaking to someone else, someone who certainly is doing what they should be doing but feeling like crap about it.
So, person who is definitely not me but may be me so let’s just go with it:
If you have a passion or a calling, something you know you were born to do, Impostor Syndrome doesn’t have any validity. No matter how talented you are or how necessary your product, if this craft is what you were created for, it’s what you should be doing.
A book may not be as good or appeal to as wide an audience as another. But following a path you know you’re supposed to take, no matter how many perceived flops or failures happen along the way, that is your purpose. And you’re doing it right. Because the only way you could fail at your purpose is to not act in it at all.
And for those of you who believe in a God who commissions and anoints, you have a duty to 1) plan, move, and create with excellence and 2) shine your light for everyone to see it—even if that looks like “self promotion.”
The truth is, you’re not promoting yourself. You’re promoting something God called out of you for a purpose. And even if a billion people think it’s garbage and that you have no purpose doing what you’re doing, there will be—because God doesn’t call us to do anything without purpose—at least one person who needs to be blessed by your calling as much as you need to have one. That person could even be you, and that’s okay.
And when you question that commission, your gifts, and the reason you were put on this planet, remember that the doubts and the “Did God really say?” has been around since **literally** the beginning of time. You can learn from the mistakes of the past and, instead of taking that fruit, believing the lies, and giving up, you can stand in the proverbial garden. You can go before the throne of your Father, Creator, Commissioner, Friend and ask, “Did you really say?”
There, you can be reminded that you’re not the impostor here. There’s only one of those. And he can stuff that apple right up his—
Have a good day, everyone.