Imposter syndrome is a term that has made its way through many social media platforms in recent years, but it’s nothing new. The term describes the psychological occurrence of self-doubt regarding one’s abilities, achievements, and living up to expectations.
Bronson ‘Israel’ Jones, whose stage name is Israel Jones, has been experiencing imposter syndrome primarily in the last two years. Jones is a senior student at Florida A&M University with an English major. Through his college years, he has grown within his craft and built a name for himself within the music and art scenes of Florida. Between 2021 and now, Jones has dropped three different projects and in 2022, he performed in 22 shows.
Despite his accomplishments, there have been times when he’s had anxiety revolving around his talents or the content he puts out. However, with each project, he has been able to alleviate this anxiety better and grow more confident in what he knows he is capable of. His most recent EP, “Bigga Purpose” and his next project include themes of spirituality, overcoming hardship, and staying true to his authentic self.
“I feel like anxiety tries to convince you of a lie, and the biggest lie that you can live with is that you’re not who you are,” Jones said. “Instead of feeding into that, I’ve tried to become more aligned with my purpose. I’ve been doing that by writing, rapping, listening to rap, just watering the thing that I was put on this earth to do helps me a lot.”
Imposter syndrome usually makes it difficult for people to celebrate their wins and see things clearly. It can show up as doubting one’s abilities, believing things happened for that person out of luck or chance, and either procrastination or overpreparation.
FAMU graduate Giahni Bosquet is a frequent collaborator of Jones and has seen his growth as an artist. Bosquet has also related to the issue himself as an artist.
“I’ve noticed Bronson’s confidence strengthen with every bar and every breath,” Bosquet said. “He’s actively seeking out and building up the best versions of himself, and this process pulls him closer to love and confidence. There’s an unquestionable faith possessed in his ability that can light the dark.”
Imposter syndrome is a common issue with artists and creatives of all levels, even when they begin reaching the success they’ve sought. Issa Rae, a famous actress and producer known for her show Insecure, is among the list of celebrities to speak about their experience with imposter syndrome. As she started to see the fruits of her labor and get her first deal for her show Insecure, she began to experience anxiety.
In 2021 she told Yahoo Entertainment, “For me, it just came down to just pushing through it. [I told myself] ‘Is this all you want to do?’ because it’s going to come down to you at the end of the day,” Rae said. “And your confidence or your lack of confidence is going to reflect in what you end up doing, so be confident in what it is that you are putting out there.”
Many with imposter syndrome attempt to shift their mindset to combat it as Rae did. That can look differently for people including creating a jar filled with their wins or accomplishments, saying affirmations, and dedicating more time to focus on their craft like Jones has.
Jones has worked on building his confidence and spending more time on his art rather than shying away from the topics he wants to rap about or being timid with his ideas. He has learned that leaning into his purpose has made all the difference when it comes to his place as an artist in this world.