Elf and Impostor Syndrome

Chapter 5: The Makeup Box…Insecurity

Scripture: Isaiah 48:17
Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Anecdote: One of my favorite Christmas movies is Elf®. It’s about a man who grows up as an elf. One day during toy production he is made aware of the obvious truth: he is not, in fact, an elf. He goes on a journey to New York to meet his birth father and discovers a whole new world. Eventually he gets a job working at a mall as a Christmas elf. One day his department manager walks into the room and announces, “Okay people tomorrow morning, 10 AM, Santa’s coming to town!” “SAANNNTTTAAA!!” Elf yells at the top of his lungs, so excited to meet with his beloved mentor once again.

The next day the elf is in the back room and sees Santa getting ready to make his appearance. He follows him to the front stage. And with the rest of the children filled with glee to see Santa, he jumps up and down yelling, “Santa,” and waving. “It’s me Buddy!” Santa greets him back, “Oh, hey Buddy.” Buddy walks onto the platform to speak to Santa and to his surprise it’s not the real Santa.
“Who the heck are you,” Buddy asks?
“I’m Santa Claus.”
“No you’re not.”
“Of course I am.”
Buddy is infuriated as the Santa continues to ask children who they are and what they would like for Christmas. “You sit on a throne of lies,” Buddy says before he rips the fake beard from the Santa’s face. He gasps and yells, “He’s an impostor!!”

Many of today’s women can relate to being called an impostor. Not from their peers, haters on social media or co-workers; they call themselves impostors. They have what we call impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies. It is particularly common among high-achieving women. Another demographic group that often suffers from this phenomenon is African Americans. Being the beneficiary of affirmative action may cause a person who belongs to a visible minority to doubt their own abilities and suspect that their skills were not what allowed them to be hired. Impostor syndrome has been commonly reported by graduate students and scientists beginning tenure track positions.

Women who experience the impostor phenomenon maintain a strong belief that they are not intelligent; in fact, they are convinced that they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. These women find innumerable means of negating any external evidence that contradicts their belief that they are, in reality, unintelligent.

It can be very difficult for women to overcome the impostor phenomenon because of four behaviors they inhabit: diligence and hard work (they believe that if that work at something hard enough the truth of them will remain concealed), suppression (they hold in their true ideas or opinions to support their superiors and peers), charm (the goal is to be like as much or more than they are respected for their intellectual ability) and the fourth and final behavior is seeking approval (they seek to gain the approval of their superiors but after gaining it they remained bound because they never truly believe that their superior is telling the truth of them).

Besides the fact that this behavior will run you to an early grave it’s unbiblical and a sin against God to have low self-esteem. When you are insecure you have low self-esteem. The same pride that makes you want to park your brand new luxury car in the front of the building is the same pride that will make you park your old model, used car in the back. Pride is what got Satan kicked out of heaven.

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Ezekiel 28:15

It takes both male and female to create the image and glory of God. When God made Adam he made him with Eve inside of him.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:27

Who are we to think any less of ourselves the very image of God?

Application: When you catch yourself trying effortlessly to please others or doubting your God-given talents and abilities. Rebuke it in the name of Jesus’. You are who God says you are: no more and no less. You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head but you don’t have to let it make a nest.

Prayer Prompt: Lord forgive me for the times allowed wicked imaginations to change my actions contrary to the Word of God.

Song: Jesus I Come by Elevation Wonder®

Meditation: 2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;