Have you ever found yourself in a group of faithful Catholics feeling like you can speak up for fear of sounding like you don’t know what you’re talking about? Or maybe you’ve been in a Catholic Facebook group and have a question but are afraid to ask it in case it’s something you should definitely already know all about, being a Catholic and all.
Whether you’re a Catholic convert or a cradle Catholic, if you’ve ever felt like this, you’ve faced the dreaded imposter syndrome.
Now, I’ve heard that term thrown around a lot, especially as an entrepreneur. But until recently, I’d never considered that it could be happening to me when it came to sharing my Catholic faith. You see, I’m a cradle Catholic, meaning I’ve basically been Catholic since I was born. I attended 13 years of Catholic school as well as mass weekly since… well, longer than I can remember. Beyond that, I absolutely love diving into books on theology, reading stories of others’ conversions to Catholicism, and learning more about the faith.
But when I get in groups of other faithful Catholics, whether it’s online or in-person, I suddenly feel like I don’t “know” enough about the faith, or I’m not qualified to talk about specific topics in the faith.
When I got the opportunity to write for Catholic 365, this feeling of not being good enough intensified and almost caused me to decline the opportunity. I have constantly felt that despite my knowledge and love of our faith, I was not qualified to talk or write about it. Until recently, I actually thought I just wasn’t a good enough Catholic.
Then, I realized what was happening- spiritual attack!
Could Your Imposter Syndrome Actually Be Spiritual Attack?
Obviously, the devil wants me (and you) to think that I’m not good enough to keep me quiet, to silence any evangelization opportunities I have by planting these seeds of doubt. And while I can’t say recognizing it has completely erased my feelings of imposter syndrome, I can say that recognizing the problem is the first step to being able to combat it.
So now, anytime I feel those feelings of inadequacy in my ability to talk about our beautiful faith, I stop and say a little prayer to the Holy Spirit to help me say to others what God wants me to say and for others to hear from me exactly what they need to hear.
I hope that if you’ve landed on this article today, reading it has helped you realize that what you’re experiencing is likely imposter syndrome and you don’t have to give in to it.
How to Combat Catholic Imposter Syndrome
So now that you know what's going on, what should you do about it?
Say a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit to take these feelings away and to guide you in your conversations. (If the answer isn't to start by praying, are you even really reading a Catholic article? Just kidding... but seriously!) If you’re looking for a more “formal” prayer, try the Prayer for Communicators to get you started.
And then, be sure to tune into your feelings when situations arise that make you feel like you're not a good enough Catholic. When you start to hear yourself think those thoughts, recognize what is happening so you can speak some truth to yourself instead!
Bible Verses To Help Relieve Imposter Syndrome
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us, rather, our qualification comes from God... (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company of scoffers. Rather, the law of the Lord is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; its leaves never wither; whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 121:1-3)
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
"Ah, Lord God!" I said, "I do not know how to speak. I am too young!" But the Lord answered me, Do noy say, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you... See, I place my words in your mouth!" (Jeremiah 1:6-9)
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will. (Romans 8:26-27)
Please know that no matter where you are on your journey with Catholicism, you are enough and God can work through you no matter if you feel “good enough” or not. Don’t let that stop you from speaking up to share His good news!