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Read Me When You Need a Perspective Shift



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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In Fall 2015, I was invited to travel with a prominent women’s conference within the Christian sphere. The excitement I experienced in getting the invitation quickly turned to dread as I tried (and failed) to fight off the Impostor Syndrome that was kicking me mercilessly in the gut.

Who am I within this speaker lineup?

What do I have to say that actually matters?

How can I even compare to these other voices?

I can read these questions in hindsight and know I was asking all the wrong things. 

It was a point in my life when I desperately wanted to be qualified. I think, if we are not careful, we end up wasting a lot of time waiting to feel qualified. Even when we thrust ourselves into situations that scare us, we spend that time hoping someone will validate us or boost us or make us feel worthy. We like it when people stroke our egos. We crave the approval of others because we’ve been wired to seek it in nearly everything. 

I sometimes wish I could go back to that younger version of myself and tell her, “It’s a fruitless quest to look to others to qualify you for opportunities God has called you into. People will never qualify you for things in life. And even when it feels like they do, and you’re on top of a mountain of approval, it will never actually fill you. There will always be a new mountain to climb just waiting just past this one. You get to the choice, every single day, of whether you’re going to follow God or follow the applause. One fills you. One deteriorates you.”

I remember calling my mom the day I got the news. Her response was everything.

“Just imagine how much you’re going to learn.”

I was so surprised by her answer. Out of all the things she could say, her mind instantly gravitated towards a chance to learn and grow. That, my friends, is a growth mindset.

My mind went to approval. My mind went to comparison. Her mind went to the beauty of the opportunity and the chance to learn things I didn’t yet know. She rattled on and on about how much I was going to learn by sitting underneath these seasoned speakers.

And so that’s what I did: I listened to my mama and I carried a notebook with me at all times. I pulled that notebook out to take notes for every single sermon (even if I heard it 5 or 6 times already). 

I stayed open to new conversations. I went into every situation telling myself that this was a chance to learn something I didn’t know yet from someone else. That perspective saved me more times than I could possibly tell you.

All throughout that season, I was tempted to say I didn’t belong at the table. I felt it many times but I always managed to stop the spiral by remembering what my mom told me:

Just imagine how much you’re going to learn.

That perspective has become a driving force in my life, especially when an opportunity comes up that I don’t feel qualified for.

It’s not about proving myself, it’s about learning as much as I possibly can. I want to be a student at all times. I will always have to step into hard things or uncomfortable situations but I try my best to stop putting the focus on seeming good enough and shifting toward learning as much as I possibly can.

If we’re not careful, our need for approval will steal the present moment from us. All the good things we’ve been given to live out and experience will be dimmed by the overwhelming feeling that we don’t belong at the table.

But, with little shifts, we can take back the story. We can become students again. Let me tell you, being a student in a world full of “experts” is so freeing. It’s not on you to get it all right. Your one job is to learn as much as you can and there’s guaranteed growth in that path. 

Ever since that season in my life, I keep notebooks and tabs and digital documents that are all titled the same thing: I AM ALWAYS LEARNING.

Whenever I learn something new about business, life, motherhood, or skill sets, I travel back to write down what I’ve learned. It’s a helpful reminder that I am allowed to not know everything and that knowing everything is never going to be the goal. I am always going to be learning new things and that’s a really beautiful space to flourish in. 

I want you to flourish. More than anything. And if you’re feeling the need to prove yourself, I have to warn you of what a fruitless mission it is. There will always be another benchmark or a bigger pair of shoes to fill or someone who manages to do it better than you. We were never meant to be measuring sticks for one another.

So measure the growth instead. Measure the impact. Measure how much you’ve changed from last year to now. Stop waiting for the invitation and just start showing up with a notebook tucked under your arm. It’s time to go back to school. 

You’re already at the table. Pay attention. Imagine all the things you’re going to learn.

I’d love to hear from you:

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


  1. Michelle Gallagher says:

    What a tremendous perspective, and such an encouragement in this particular season of my life… thank you!

  2. Angela B says:

    This hit way deep down. Thank you!

  3. Jackie says:

    What an absolute confirmation of the journey I’ve been on this year. Thank you, Hannah! <3

  4. Minoka says:

    Thanks Hannah! This was such a wonderful read and humbling for me. As a professional that took a "bigger shoes" role within a community I love, I have felt a lot of imposter syndrome. The kind of job where retreating under my desk felt like a good idea most days. Your perspective here is so much more freeing and also encouraging!!

    • I totally get that!! I know people are expecting you to be the expert but consider yourself the student and you’ll have so much more fun learning + problem solving along the way!!

  5. Cam says:

    I’m feeling this so deeply right now. I’ve come to something that feels like a stalemate in my current position and it’s sucking the life out of me. It’s time to learn, time to grow. Thank you, Hannah!

  6. Wells says:

    An answered prayer! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I consider my imposter syndrome as a fact because I work with others who are older than me. I started my business in college (and am lucky to pursue the role as my full time job), so I always think "I can’t be as good as them," or "there’s no way I’m actually qualified to do this." Thank you for the reminder that it’s His will that brings us to where we are!!

  7. Amy Irvin says:

    This encouraged me. Thank you.

  8. Corrie says:

    Stepping into starting my own nonprofit and these words have just given me a new perspective. I’ve got so much to learn and I don’t need to have it all figured out. Thank you for this little piece of wisdom.

  9. Pam Garton says:

    I love this. I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks and I’m so nervous. I’m going to remember- think of how much I’ll learn-. I’m a student and a beginner after a lot of years of management . It will feel good to learn something new and not be in charge of anything but myself, but at the same time not be afraid to make mistakes.
    Thank you so much. I needed this.

  10. Melanie says:

    I love this. I have been unintentionally doing this at work and elsewhere the last couple of years. But now, I want to start intentionally doing it. I take notes all the time because I have learned that, if I don’t write it down (and sometimes if I do), it won’t stick. I really got more into writing things down after I was home for 2 weeks in 2021 with Covid. I got into that.. habit and didn’t want to stop. ❤️
    Thanks for saying a seat at the table for us.

  11. Maria says:

    I just started a new job last week, and I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this. Even though everyone at the office is supportive, I can’t help but doubt my skills and knowledge.

    Absolutely loved the bit about growth mindset ❤️ It’s a hard thing to remember but an important one

  12. Dja Princess says:

  13. Faith says:

    I am so glad you chose to be the student,
    However now you are teaching me..
    Thank you

  14. Jane says:

    Your mom’s wisdom will help a lot of people!

  15. Michelle says:

    WOW, this post is timely for me. In a couple of weeks, beginning August 25th, I will be facilitating a group of women through the book of James. I believe the Lord put it on my heart to do so. However, I also kept asking the wrong questions. What will these ladies learn from me, I know so little about James. Did I really hear from God? I am going to be so embarrassed because the ladies probably know more than I do. I have a heart for God, Jesus, and women.

  16. Nina says:

    Freedom!!! Thank you for this!

  17. Christina Little says:

    Hannah, my first post to read of yours. I knew I would be blessed but God used you more then just a blessing. I’m in a season of “less”. It just is what it is. I’ve been trying to live small and I finally realized one of the things hurting my heart was living that way. And if the small living ways has been fun. I couldn’t come up with ideas of how to have fun on a thrift budget and no vehicle. I felt stuck and slightly hopeless. This entry reminded me I can be a student of fun. I can ask others what they did when in this type of season. So I start with beautiful insightful you. What’s your most memorable fun activity that costed you nothing or little and you only needed to be able to walk &/or public transport. My inner little girl thanks you!!!

    • Welcome to my corner of the internet! I’m so thankful to have you here!!

    • Marcela says:

      Hi Christina,
      1. Picnic at a nearby park with a friend! At dusk with candlelight if that is a possibility where you live. 2. Take a map of public transportation, close your eyes, point with your finger on the map wherever it falls, open them. Make a trip to wherever your finger fell on the map. Think of it as an adventure, go and observe everything, letting it speak to you, as if you were going to receive a gift on that journey (idea adapted from Julia Cameron). Or you can do the same with a map of your neighborhood and go for a walk there, being open to what might speak to you.
      Best wishes for your season,

  18. Regan says:

    I started a new job a month ago, and sometimes imposter syndrome creeps in. I just wrote on my office whiteboard "Just imagine how much you’re going to learn." Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

  19. Popi says:

    This was for me, thank you so much Hannah. I’ve been wrestling with beginning again and starting over, it has felt like a mountains. “We can become students again,” that right there was for me. “Stop waiting for an invitation and just show up with a notepad,” that was directly for me. Thank you thank you thank you♥️

  20. Emma L. says:

    This was so helpful!! I am going to be getting married soon (YAY!), but I have felt super under qualified for the longest time. It is so much more exciting when I think about it as a learning opportunity. Thank you!!

  21. Kelley says:

    Wow! Received this and finding your path from the Monday emails. So much hits home. Thank you for writing and sharing, and more importantly, seeing where I am. Ready to learn from more virtual " brew sessions"

  22. Christina Hayes Beem says:

    Hannah, I fell in love with how your writing spoke to me during Advent. This morning, as I am about to have a zoom interview, I am feeling those "I can’t" and "It’ll be a joke" and "You’re not qualified" statements running through my head. Then, I began my quiet time with God with your Monday Club….I appreciate so much your being the hands and feet of Christ to so many through your words and heart. I especially appreciate His timing this morning because I am going into that interview in twenty minutes. Now, I am saying "what can I learn from this opportunity?" and "where might God want me to go?"

  23. Knetris says:

    Hannah!! I love this post and find and will take away so much from it! I have recently felt like the ‘expert’ on my facebook platform and felt that God was calling me away from social media for a season. I have been taking the past 2 months to just focus on myself and the next phase of y life/what God wants me to do. I’m reading and feeling so much better! I recently read your books, ‘Come Matter Here’ and ‘Fighting Forward!’ I have 2 copies of Fighting Forward! Incredible and my life has changed since reading! I would LOVE to meet you someday! I am a published writer and am currently writing my own memoir! Thank you for being so genuine and caring about people the way you do!! God Bless You lady!

  24. Wendy says:

    Thank you for this, it was a Holy Spirit reminder for me today.
    I have been called into an arena where on paper every one is more qualified than me and it gets the best of my mind and makes me feel less, so this was so timely and rich for me this week.
    Thank you for staying seated at the table Hannah and allowing God to use you as a voice in my life.
    Very excited for Advent!

  25. Hidejah says:

    This is great and I appreciate you sharing your journey through imposter syndrome. I wrestle with this quite often especially in this season where God has sent me back to school. I often shy away from my work, submit things late, complain…because I feel inadequate. I feel as if He maybe made a mistake but I know that He does all things well. He’s confirmed over and over that this is where I belong. Now I just have to accept it, and be strong and courageous.

  26. Debbie says:

    I just remarked to my husband, “How can she know what’s in my heart?” Your words are an inspiration and hit me right where I live. I am in a season of “growing out of” a focus on pleasing people. I am learning to rely on God and not my perceptions of what others think. I’m learning to be obedient & respond to Him. Thank you for “feeding” my hunger during this season and encouraging me forward.

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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