Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Day 17: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured or however far away.
~ Henry David Thoreau

I like Thoreau's eloquent expression of truth. We should accept ourselves for who we are - not conform to what others think we should be. We should not fear our unique personality but embrace it. We should trust our instincts and not second-guess every decision.

Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds. If we don't go along with the crowd, we risk rejection.

My high school experience validated this hypothesis.

Sophomore year was traumatic. I returned to school in September to discover I was no longer a part of my junior high friendship circle. Two of the three musketeers found acceptance in the popular crowd. I was never invited. Literally outcasted... tenth grade was a lonely year.

By junior year I found a new group of friends who accepted me. Or so I thought. We shared fun times for about fifteen months. But by senior year we all turned eighteen. In Connecticut, eighteen was the legal drinking age. While I am no teetotaller, I also don't understand the desire to drink to get drunk. That year, I stood my ground ... and I lost another group of friends.

This was about the time Delilah began to guide me. She saw my pain and she wanted to protect me from getting hurt again. She convinced me that solitude may be lonely, but it successfully prevents rejection. I retreated slowly into myself, content to keep people at a distance.

I linked the above quote with the Scripture verse below because it is time to release the past.

Yes, I was hurt. Yes, it affected me. But it did not define me.

It is time to forget what lies behind and instead strain forward to become the person God created me to be. I will not be accepted by everyone (although that still stings to admit) ... but I will be accepted by some. I will be free to not only follow my own drummer's beat but enjoy its unique rhythm. 

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize 
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

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