All the admiration does something to you and your ego. Your ego is blown up big way! Like a balloon. That’s how people with an imposter syndrome experience it. They still feel the same as they were before they became famous. They are anxious all the time, anxious that others might call them a fraud, that others deflate the balloon.
In the Dutch documentary-series “Fuck, I’m famous” I heard Jeroen Pauw, one of the major Dutch talk-show hosts, talking about his fear to be unmasked. When he’s walking on the street and people recognize him, he tries to avoid any contact by concentrating on his smartphone. He knows that others will think of him as arrogant, while in fact he’s very self-conscious.
The other side of the medal is, when you think that you have a right to all privileges that you get because of your fame. Often you don’t even know the name of the people surrounding you. You don’t seem to care, as long as they put you in the center of all attention. In psychology they call it ‘diva-behavior’.
Opera singer Bianca Castafiore (see picture) from the comic albums of Tintin is a great example for diva-behavior, as is Donald Trump. They have high demands for everyone around them, expecting that they have the right to be the center of everything and everyone around them.
Both ways of dealing with an inflated ego will lead to problems for yourself and your loved ones. How can you find the right balance when being a star, when standing in the spotlights? The ego leads to problems once your personality is defined by it.
But there is more, you are more than your ego. If other aspects of your personality can grow with your ego, the big ego doesn’t need to be a problem. Imagine your ego and the other aspects of your personality as rays of a star. If you want to become a real star, ego and talent is not enough. People who have managed to grow into a real star, are Barak Obama, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Annie Lennox.
Developing the other aspects while still supporting ego and talent is not easy, but I can help you.
The imposter-syndrome is one of the subjects in “The Music Managers Guide To Mental Health“, by MMF-UK and Music Support. Definitely worth reading, for everyone working in the music business!