Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I've Got Impostor Syndrome!!!

Photo I took to 3 weeks prior to my last day of school! 
One year ago this week, I completed my first day of testing for the bar exam. The nerves were unreal. I really didn't think I would be that nervous. It takes a lot to get me worked up, because once you've seen your child lying in a hospital bed almost dying, not too many things can top that, ya know?

But man, I was was the wreck that day. I remember the relief I felt when it was over and yet there was still this dull little ache of nervousness  because I knew I had to wait until October for my results.
So here I am one year later. And I'm just going to be honest with you guys. I suffer from an extreme case of impostor syndrome.

I made it through law school facing odds that most anybody would call challenging, even without law school thrown into the mix. I remember going from the NICU to law school for several weeks during my first year. Raising Christian while doing law school was definitely top three hardest things I've ever done!

I passed my bar exam on the first try, which less than half of most people do.

During my law school career, I became a public speaker, a published author, a blogger, and run social media pages that reach millions of people every month.

And while doing all that, I have juggled the needs of two very high-maintenance children, and they aren't too screwed up (LOL)!
Bar Exam day one completed! These two were
my motivation for it all! They are the reason I
worked so hard for that degree! 

And now, I am so terrified of taking the next step into starting to practice law that it has paralyzed me. It's been a year and the extent of my practicing has been to take one estate planning case. I'm honestly too afraid to even advertise that I can do wills and estates.

Impostor syndrome is basically this, I am an attorney. I have the degree hanging on my wall to prove it. I'm licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. And yet I feel under qualified, as if I'm a fraud or an impostor. I have the same degree that every attorney in the state has, although I do have less experience, and for whatever reason that translates in my head to me not being worthy or able to do what every other attorney in the state does.

Imposter syndrome doesn't reflect reality. It really only reflects the internal battle inside my head. I know who I am and I know what I've been called to do and yet somehow I still feel unqualified. I worked hard and got the degree and pass to the bar and somehow I still feel like an impostor. It doesn't make any sense when I look at the words written on the screen.

What I'd really like to do is start some Guardian Ad Litem work for children in the court system, and yet I am absolutely terrified about taking that step. I know I would be good at it. I'm so passionate about children, I am passionate about the law, and I spent years getting a degree where I could help them. And now I'm just sort of stopped. Fear has stopped me.

Every time I think I'm ready, the questions begin and the internal battle rages. What if I mess up? What if I do something wrong and it costs someone? What if I miss something and it means detrimental effects for my client? What if I'm not good enough?

I'm just being honest here, I am terrified of messing up. I've never been perfect but I have always felt an immense pressure to do exceptionally well. It's an expectation that I've always had for myself. I definitely haven't always reached the point of excellence in everything I've done, but the thought of failing and failing miserably at this has paralyzed me.

The thing is, I suppose, that even in practicing law, everybody's going to mess up at some point. I'm sure some people mess up big and some people mess up in small ways, but I'm absolutely terrified of messing up in a big way.

I'm sort of at this crossroads now where I need to decide if I'm just going to sit here and let fear continue to Cripple me or if I'm going to step out and take that chance no matter how scared I am. I know what the answer has to be. I know what I'm going to do, but I'm still terrified.

Graduation Day! Finally!
Class of 2016!
Lacey Buchanan, JD
I want to get better at messing up. Not that I want to mess up more, but I want to be able to accept that I'm not always going to get it right. I want to be resilient in the face of failure and mistakes, to pick myself back up and to keep going, to hold my head high with dignity even when I get it wrong. I want to give myself some grace. I beat myself up over mistakes in ways I would never do to someone else.

I know without a doubt, I have known for years that God called me to the profession of law. I have known most of my life that I wanted to be an attorney. I know deep down that I can make a difference for people because I care so much. I know that I can help change people's lives with the talents that I can offer. And I know that God has been faithful to get me this far, and I'm still terrified.

Oh me of little faith, right? Doubt and fear has taken over this aspect of my life. I recognize it, and I am ready to move forward despite the fear. I am ready to start doing what I was made to do! I am ready to face my fears and stop letting them control me. 

The thought of never getting to help people and never getting to fulfill my purpose in life is much more terrifying.


  1. Children in the court system NEED YOU to be their voice. To advocate for them to get them out of abusive visitations, to get them appropriate care and support, to be their voice when no one is listening to them. This whole year of experiences have been further preparation for this role. Take the first step for another child who needs a voice.

  2. I believe that you would be a great Guardian ad Litem or even an attorney that fights for parents rights. My wife and I have followed your page on Facebook and we both have much respect for you. You truly are an inspiration to families around the world

  3. I pray Lacey that you find your strength & move forward with the work you are destined to do. I totally understand your fears & your feelings but now is the time to take that leap. I believe in you. XxX

  4. I experienced exactly the same feelings when beginning my career as an RN. Take that first big step, that's the most difficult part. You are human and you will make mistakes, we all do, lawyers, nurses, doctors, etc. Each day as you practice your chosen profession your confidence will grow and your anxiety will decrease. And then one day you will notice that you are proud and confident of your abilities. So Lacey, just take that big first step!

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