Empowerment coach, Peggy Bodde has some tools to overcome a feeling of inadequacy, firstly by recognising it as a spiritual battle. 


Source: Andriy Popov / Alamy Stock Photo

I was a corporate leader for decades and now mentor women through my foundation, Sacred Work. Based on my personal experience and what I hear from others, Christian women are more prone to imposter syndrome. Not only are we going against broad cultural norms by filling positions formerly held by men, but we may also be going against norms established in our faith communities.

Psychology Today explains; “People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. They feel they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.” 

One of the biggest challenges around imposter syndrome is that it’s years in the making. 

One of the biggest challenges around imposter syndrome is that it’s years in the making. We either grew up in an environment that caused this behaviour to grow, or we worked in an environment that fostered it, or both.

I don’t believe any of us can completely eliminate imposter syndrome from our behaviour on this side of heaven, but we can actively and confidently work toward the goal of overcoming it. This is the approach I’ve taken to ready myself for battle:

We know the enemy can’t defeat us, but he can distract us.

Recognise that the battle against imposter syndrome is spiritual. We know the enemy can’t defeat us, but he can distract us. God is more powerful than the devil, but the devil is real. Scripture tells us that our battle is against the powers and principalities of darkness, and it helps to recognize this because spiritual armour needs to be our first stop in the battle. Know that it’s OK to pray for yourself and specifically—your insecurities and how you feel—and ask others to pray. God cares about your feelings, and he knows it’s hard to be human.

Invite the Holy Spirit into the process. Ask him to increase your awareness, so you know when imposter syndrome is happening and where its roots are. He is our guide and advocate, and he will help you overcome.

Remember that God is holy, but he is also practical. Yes, we have the Trinity on our side. We have God’s word, and the power of prayer, but God also gives us down-to-earth, practical tools we can use to grow our confidence and overcome imposter syndrome. God is in the grand, but he’s also in the simple. Don’t overlook the practical because you think you need to wait for something grander.

Realise that overcoming imposter syndrome requires work. Behaviours that have become engrained over many years can’t be dismantled overnight. Developing new ways of thinking and acting is hard work.

Now that you’ve established a firm foundation for change, here are a few practical tools you can begin using today:

1. Write a list of Bible verses affirming who God says you are and keep it where you can see it daily. One of my favourites is Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” It reminds me I’m loved and victorious!

2. Keep a file of your professional achievements, including awards, promotion letters, complimentary emails, and accomplishments from performance reviews. When doubts about your competence creep in, read through the file.

3. Talk to a trusted friend. Women who know you and care about you are priceless resources. Friends can speak the truth against your insecurities and help you regain a right perspective.

Our identity and callings are secure in Jesus and he provides us with the resources we need to overcome. We can lean into that truth when imposter syndrome threatens an appearance. Take courage, dear one! Start with small steps and keep going.