I Don't Have What They're Looking For...I Probably Don't Know What I'm Doing—And Other Lies Impostor Syndrome Told Me
Introduce yourself: Who are you?
Dezirae, I'm a private voice and piano teacher, and a beginning recording artist, although most days I doubt whether or not I should be allowed to say so.
Share the journey: How did you get here?
I have been singing my entire life in every setting--church choir, school choir, musical theater, singing pop covers and so on. I earned my bachelor's in Vocal Performance under some really phenomenal instruction. I truly believe I was set up for the greatest success (in teaching) by my amazing professors. I was given a lot of useful tools, but I'm now starting to wish I had focused on other skills as well. I want to be a successful recording artists and performer, but I'm still learning some very basic skills needed to do so.
Face your reflection: Is there a disconnect between your inner self and your outer self?
Some days there is a major disconnect between my inner and outer selves. I'm starting to bridge that gap more every day, but for a long time I felt like a phony, like I wasn't actually passionate about what I was pursuing, like I wasn't actually good enough to call myself a vocalist, and would never have what it takes to succeed.
What is the lie—or lies— that your impostor syndrome tells you?
I don't have what they're looking for.
I'm not good enough.
I probably don't know what I'm doing.
What do you do to remind yourself that you are enough?
I try to remind myself that I am valuable outside of my accomplishments, that I am lovable and loved even if I don't succeed and exceed in everything I do. I try to remind myself that perfection isn't worth striving for--mere growth is enough.
Scenario: You walk into a room of your "peers"—describe who they are....do these people encourage you, intimidate you or both?
My peers are other musicians also in the beginning stages, these are mostly high school friends that continued to pursue music and music education as well. Their progress definitely intimidates me some days, but it also inspires me. We often encourage each other from afar, given advice here and there, but we all have our own projects and plans we're trying to see through. I see my peers releasing new music, getting interviews, entering contests, playing gigs several times a week, attending workshops, etc., and it scares me. It makes me feel like I should be doing more. If I allow it to fuel my impostor syndrome, I will drown. And I know that. If I allow it to fuel my inner fire, I will rise. And this is a daily struggle. On days when I am focused and driven, it's usually because I see my peers doing big things, and I am inspired.
Who is in your "hall of fame"? How does this person(s) influence how you view yourself and your potential?
My hall of fame...is filled with artists that can be considered professionals, well known enough to go on national, maybe even worldwide tours. Lately, my most influential person has been Donna Missal. She has a beautiful, absolutely killer voice, and an even more killer personality. She is very real on social media. She talks about her struggles, her frustrations, her happiness and sadness. Seeing her journey gives me hope. When I met her at a concert in Chicago not too long ago, she said she had been writing music for 10 years. And that she considered quitting, but didn't. Thanks to her, the prospect of quitting hasn't crossed my mind since.
How would you encourage someone who is afraid of their potential?
If your struggle is anything like mine, I implore you to look at the smaller steps necessary to get where you want to go. The big picture is often intimidating, and seems impossible. Cliché as it may be, change in perspective is key.
Hello, Rose here—
I did not say anything in yesterday’s post, since I was away for the weekend. However, I am back.
I am still having laptop/internet connectivity issues, but I won’t let that stop the work of this important series!
I hope Dezirae’s story inspires you as much as it inspires me. I got to see her musical talent shine on so many occasions. She is a true professional artist: devoted to the creative expression and the diligent study of music. She has an amazing voice.
To find out more about what she’s up to musically, you can follow her on Instagram.