Friday, April 16, 2021

Stop, Imposter!

I have no business writing this. I’m not even a real writer.  In fact, I often hear those words, “Stop, imposter!” While I’ve authored two books and dozens of blog posts, I still don’t consider myself to be a real writer.  I’m not as talented as most writers, I’ve never had a New York Times Bestseller, I don’t always have the greatest ability to put my stories on paper, and I even struggle with things like grammar at times.  Apparently, I’m not a real writer.

At least that’s what the enemy convinces me of every time I sit down to write.  I’ve also noticed that the more my writing involves stories of faith, the stronger the voice against me, “Stop, imposter!” 


We All Feel Like Imposters

Imposter Syndrome is a real thing, and we all suffer from it to some degree.  I’ve been a triathlete for the past seven years, and as such, I’ve completed the Ironman distance triathlon multiple times, and I’ve run a dozen marathons.  Yet I often look at myself and think that I’m a phony.  I’m not as fast as other runners, so I must not be a real runner.  I’m not a great swimmer, so I must not be a real triathlete.  

Ironically, when I hear new runners claiming that they’re not “real runners,” I’m very quick to remind them, “You run, so you’re a real runner.”  I’ve even done the same thing with other writers.  They somehow feel unqualified to write because they’ve not yet authored a New York Times Bestseller.  Yet I give them the same advice, “You write, therefore you are a real writer.”

Imposter Syndrome

In a May 2015 article, Scientific American said, “Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” It often strikes smart, successful people, especially after a noteworthy accomplishment.

Unfortunately, most of us have these thoughts at times, whether in our family, our profession, our hobbies, or even our faith.  We always seem to feel like everyone else has it all together and knows exactly what they’re doing while we’re trying our very best just to keep up.  Evidence suggests otherwise.

God Also Says Otherwise

The term Imposter Syndrome may not have been around 2,000 years ago, but in the Bible, God seems to address the idea of being confident in who you are quite a bit.  He continually reminds us that we are good enough and that we have what it takes, which is exactly the opposite of what Satan tries to say.

The apostle Paul was perhaps the greatest evangelist of all time.  Yet if one person could be considered an imposter, it would have been Paul.  For the first part of his life, Paul was a religious leader committed to persecuting Christians.  He would routinely order them to be beaten or killed.  When he had an encounter with Jesus, everything changed. Paul then wrote much of the New Testament in the Bible, and he spent his entire life spreading the Gospel of Jesus across the Mediterranean rim.  He very easily could have felt like an imposter, given his history, but in the book of Romans and in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, he talks about his confidence as a child of God.

  • “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Cor 3:4-5 NIV).
  • “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:16-17 NIV).
  • “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Cor 4:10 NIV).
  • “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor 12:9).

Confidence in the Calling

I felt called to write, and I firmly believe that calling was from God.  It wasn’t a loud, audible voice, but I did feel a very persistent nudge to write books and blogs about my faith.  Knowing that calling, I’m a real writer.  I have a hard time accepting that fact, but I know God has given me everything I need to be a writer.  I may never become a best-selling author, but a real writer doesn’t need to be a best-seller.  A real writer just needs to write.

It’s taken some work, but I’ve also started considering myself a real runner and a real triathlete.  I may never win a race, but you don’t have to win races to be a real runner or a real triathlete.  To be a real runner, I simply need to run.

Wherever you struggle, I challenge you to see yourself how God sees you.  I challenge you to see yourself for what you do, not what you don’t do.  I challenge you to see yourself for the effort, not only for the outcome.  And lastly, I challenge you to see yourself for pursuing your passion, not for giving up a dream under false pretenses.  But why would you take it from me, I’m not even a real writer.

Welcome to the new you.  Enjoy the journey... 
Check out In Our Weakness We Are Strong on Amazon at
Learn more about Dave VanEpps or request a speaking engagement at

Thursday, April 1, 2021

I Believe in You

In 2014, I joined a triathlon team and signed up for a full Ironman triathlon. A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, all in a single race Here's the problem, I didn't know how to swim, I hadn't ridden a bike since I was a kid, and the last time I ran I had torn my calf so severely that I was told I'd never be able to run again. 

The coach offered to work on my running form with me, and I was willing to try.  He also assured me that his spin class was great training for the bike.  The part that scared me most was the swim.  I didn’t know how to swim, at all, and I didn’t have to just learn how to swim in a pool. I would have to learn to swim 2.4 miles in an open water race environment with hundreds of other swimmers nearby.  I didn’t think it was possible.


I Believe in You

My lack of experience or even basic know-how didn't faze the coach. He simply said, I believe in you.  I will teach you. Funny how much power is in those four words: “I believe in you.” The next day, I met the coach at the pool, and he began teaching me how to swim. It was incredibly powerful that he said, "I believe in you."   It was equally powerful that he said, "I will show you how to do this."

He started by teaching me how to float. Methodically, he then had me add one step at a time - the kick, the reach, the pull, and the breathing. In a matter of days, I could swim a length of the pool. In a matter of weeks, I could swim multiple lengths of the pool. In a matter of months, I could swim 2.4 miles without stopping. He also worked with me on open water swimming, and he even ran drills in which we simulated the start of a race, with everyone swimming over each other. 

Learning to swim had very little to do with me.  It had everything to do with having confidence that I could learn something because someone said they believed in me, and they offered to show me how. I've since swum multiple 5Ks and multiple Ironman triathlon races.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Talk

Every one of us wears multiple hats and has the potential to influence many circles.  We have our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our community activities, and many other social circles over which we can cast our influence.

Too often, it’s easiest to discourage those who are in our inner-most circles.  Those are the ones who likely need it most.  Our words have power.  Imagine if instead of telling your co-worker that this project will fail, you tell them that this project is difficult, but they are exactly the right person to make it successful and that you’ll be by their side to help.  Imagine if instead of telling your kids to clean up their pig sty room, you start by encouraging them with a “we can do it, and I’ll help show you how.”  Imagine if instead of telling your friends how hard something is, you show them the ropes and tell them that they have what it takes.

The opportunities are there on a daily basis.  Each opportunity is a chance for you to positively impact their life by letting them know they have what it takes and by pouring your time, talent, knowledge, and abilities into them.


Think about the power my coach’s words had on my entire life's trajectory. Had he not believed in me, I never would have gone on to become an endurance athlete, I wouldn't have made new friends in the endurance racing circle, and I wouldn't have been able to positively impact others through endurance sports. Had he not believed in me AND shown me how, the spark he ignited likely would have fizzled out with no action. It's the power of his words and his supporting actions that changed my life and positively impacted others.

In the Bible, Proverbs chapter 18 verse 1 says, "Words kill, words give life."  

  • How have you given others life with your words? 
  • Where can your power of belief empower others to become the best they can be? 
  • How can you use your empowering words of belief, plus your action, to shape the destiny of others?
You already have what it takes to shape destinies.  You just need to unleash the power of the spoken word.

Welcome to the new you.  Enjoy the journey... 
Check out In Our Weakness We Are Strong on Amazon at
Learn more about Dave VanEpps or request a speaking engagement at


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