When We Feel Like Imposters to Our Own Lives

When I first started teaching, I would sometimes stand beside myself as if someone else was teaching in the classroom. Even though I had spent quite a few years at university preparing myself for this job, I didn’t feel ready to be a teacher. I was waiting for the day when a student would jump up, point his finger at me and discover who I really was: a fake, pretending to be someone else. An imposter to my own life.

Sometimes in life we might do exactly that: we stand beside ourselves and watch life happen to us.

We compare ourselves to the shiny projections others share online and wonder why we don’t seem to be so happy, well-traveled and balanced.
We long for authentic relationships and a sense of belonging, but we are scared to be vulnerable and rather hide our true selves.
We carry all these big dreams inside of us that we’re too timid to share, so we stick to the same old.
We want to have it all figured out, to know exactly who we are and what we stand for. We want to go far and grow deep, but we lack the courage to take the first step right in front of us.
We think of who we will become.
One day.

In all of this, we might overlook the most important part: We are the ones who can make it happen. In fact, we need to make it happen. No one but us can build the life we envision to have.

The life before had happened to me as childhood happens to everyone. The mark of adulthood is when we happen to life.

Jedidiah Jenkins.
To Shake the Sleeping Self.

If we want to grow and go anywhere in this life, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and the person we want to become.
We can’t escape from the seeming imposters in our lives – we need to get to know ourselves and fall in love with them. We are the only ones who will always be around. We can’t chase someone else’s dream – we need to figure out what we truly want in life. We cannot just repeat what others say – we need to craft our own words.
We can’t hope for answers to come by naturally – we need to sit in the waiting and embrace the unknown.
We can’t expect relationships to grow out of the blue – we need to give away some of our time, our thoughts, our selves to build something that lasts.

We can’t just stand by and watch life happen to us – we need to understand what kind of crucial impact we can have to this life.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People Lover. Writer.

12 thoughts on “When We Feel Like Imposters to Our Own Lives”

  1. Brilliant post, Katha. It does work in another way, too, the impostor thing…

    I see the tumours on my chest
    and think, This can’t be me.
    I was supposed to have the rest
    of life, in dignity.
    But clearly God thought otherwise
    and set a task so stern
    to compel my eyes beyond the lies
    I’d lived since I was born.
    He was not moved by what I gave
    from an income abundant,
    He’s anxious for the souls He’d save
    and Lo! my words are not redundant.
    I lived my life a grasping fool
    from which He fashioned, ere the end, a tool.

  2. I think we have all felt this in our lives. You expressed it eloquently. Blessings on your journey and I know your students will reap a great reward from your transparency and integrity. I am your neighbor on FiveMinuteFriday.

  3. I can relate to this, the masks, the pretending. I do not like that, but it’s safer, too. I so get this! Thank you for sharing and for linking up at FMF. Glad I found you!

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