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Imposter Syndrome: Three Steps to Kick Doubt to the Curb

Imposter syndrome plagues many young adults. We can be haunted by questions, like Am I doing enough? Do I deserve this? Am I on the right path? By having confidence in the Lord and his promises, we can leave our self-doubt behind.

Imposter syndrome is a phrase that we hear more and more often among young people. It is characterized by persistent feelings of inadequacy despite success and can be found in all aspects of life—from professional careers to social and family relationships and even to spiritual progression. With such prevalence, is there a way to overcome imposter syndrome? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, in his Ensign article “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” outlines three steps to overcome imposter syndrome and to achieve the purposes we set out for.

“You can hang on, whatever the assault and affliction, because you have paid the price for real conviction.” —Jeffrey R. Holland

Photo by Jmanuelito1313

  1. Seek with real intent. Regardless of what you are pursuing, Elder Holland teaches that direction won’t come “unless you want it urgently, faithfully, humbly.” Have a question, and then in faith take it to God. Learn to ask him with real intent. He will take your desires and make them enough.
  2. Do not fear. Turning back from our progress because we are afraid is never the best choice, no matter what doubts we may encounter. Elder Holland teaches, “Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine.”
  3. God will provide. No matter what area in your life you are seeking righteous achievement in, God will be by your side. “If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, He will provide the way for you to accomplish it.”

As children of God, we have no need to give into the doubts of imposter syndrome. Elder Holland promises: “You can hang on, whatever the assault and affliction, because you have paid the price for real conviction.” Don’t let go of that eternal truth.

For more about how we can keep our doubts at bay and continue to move forward in confidence, read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s full talk “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence.”

Source: Ensign

—Emma Saavedra, Latter-day Saint Insights


To read about how imposter syndrome affects university students, check out “Imposter Syndrome is more common than you think; Study finds best way to cope with it” by Paul Swenson.

To learn about finding more confidence in revelation, read “Do You Find Yourself Doubting Answers to Your Prayers?by Chelsea Jamison.

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One Comment

  1. I love that final quote. I feel like one of the best ways to deal with this problem is to recognize all that you have accomplished and push forward, even if it’s scary.

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