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Impostor Syndrome...What is it?


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course: MA Music Therapy
Category: Music and performing arts

22 September 2023

MA Music Therapy student, Dominique, tells us about imposter syndrome and shares her experience of conquering it and celebrating her successes.

As a musician, therapist, MA student, yoga instructor, and research assistant, imposter syndrome is something I can relate to. Here’s what it is and how I combat it.

It’s the belief that your success is not deserved or validly achieved despite all of your real efforts and skills. It’s when you feel like you’re not good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to be where you are or achieving what you are. It can feel like you’re not as capable as others in the same position you are.

Sharing how I feel

Most people around me have felt this way at least one time in their lives. Knowing that I am not alone in this feeling is really comforting to me and I then have a support system of people who can lift me up when I feel this way.

Celebrating My Successes

I tend to have a habit of achieving something and immediately moving onto the next goal without slowing down to process the things I have achieved. I think when I rush from one thing to the next like this, I feel greater amounts of imposter syndrome because I am not recognizing my achievements.

Letting Go of Perfection

I am very detail oriented, and I want things to be perfect as I really care about the things I put effort into. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when it is all consuming and comes to a point of causing me anxiety, there’s a greater chance I’ll feel like I am not good enough. I try to balance a job well done and focusing on other things that are also important.

Embrace and Accept

I know that as I grow and develop and come into new situations and positions in life that I might feel imposter syndrome. I try to lean into this feeling, question it and why I might feel that way, and continue to make progress.

The music therapy students hold a concert every year in Walsingham, and I felt anxiety about performing in front of my peers and professors as this is not a focus of our course. I had symptoms of imposter syndrome but did my best to recognize my feelings, share them with my course mates, and carry on with my performance. I was proud of myself in the end and had such a great time.


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