How to recognize and overcome Imposter Syndrome

How to recognize and overcome Imposter Syndrome

July 06, 2020

Today's blog post is inspired by the personal experience of one amazing woman from Women in Aviation – Australian Chapter, Jess. Recently we partnered with WAI Australia to create a scholarship for women in aviation. The “CO Gear and WAI Australia Inclusive Clothing Kit Scholarship” provides women that are in Aviation and the Aerospace industry the chance to get kitted out in our protective industrial workwear, along with other benefits provided by WAI.

women in aviation australian chapter

This award is designed to support a current WAI Australian chapter member with access to work clothing and safety boots designed for women to support gender inclusivity within the aviation industry. This award is aimed at WAI Australia members who are employed or working towards a role in aviation which requires the wearing of safety boots and Cargo pants such as engineering and ground operations. The award will also include a 12-month individual membership to both WAI International and WAI Australia. The value of the scholarship provided is approximately $330-$500” – WAI Australia.

You can read more about this scholarship and the others on offer here.

It was in a recent WAI newsletter that Jess shared her personal story of dealing with imposter syndrome in the workplace. To quote her directly “Now the reason why my uniform affected my confidence was simple. It was because it was a man's uniform, a uniform made for the person who “should” be doing this job. So, it's pretty safe to say when my imposter syndrome was working overtime it was easy for me to say "I shouldn't be doing this job. I'm playing dress-up in men's clothing for a man's role after all."

imposter syndrome womens industrial workwear hi vis aviation

I’m sure this hits home for a lot of women, especially for those in men dominated work roles. Not sure if you’re being affected by imposter syndrome? Here are some of the subtle (or not so subtle) thoughts you may be having.

“I’m not good enough for this role”

“I’m not capable of learning how to do this role”

“I look stupid for trying”

Okay let’s stop there. There are so many common thoughts like the ones above that we could list. But what we should be focusing on is recognizing those toxic thought patterns and replacing them with positive ones.

“I’m just as good as anyone for this role”

“If they’re capable of doing this role, so am I”

“No one is judging me for trying”

A tip for recognizing imposter syndrome is to ask yourself if the thoughts you’re having are fact or fiction. A fact is something that more than one person can look at and can state to be true such as “the sky is blue”. Fictional thoughts are usually an opinion of ourselves or a situation that is blown out of proportion due to over thinking and anxiety. The more you practice separating fact from fiction, the easier it is to brush off the negative thoughts. Our advice for overcoming it? Get to know yourself and what you’re truly capable of. You will be surprised at what you might find. Here are some prompts for becoming more acquainted with yourself. Pen and paper please!

  1. List all of the positive things that make you, you. This can be qualities you have, things you’re good at, passions you aspire towards
  2. Now ask at least 3 people in your life what they think your best attributes are
  3. Write a list of circumstances that you have overcome in your life – big or small. Choose the ones that stand out to you the most
  4. Write down your goals and aspirations – try doing a 6 month goal list, 12 month then 3 years

Take a moment to reflect and really think on what you’ve written down and now it’s time to write a list of the “imposter syndrome” thoughts that regularly occur. It can be long or short but once you’re done, it’s time to let go of it! Burn it (safely), shred it, bin it… whatever brings you satisfaction. It’s time to let go of what’s holding you back. You’re capable, strong and have just as much right to succeed in this world as any other human being.

Jess’s imposter syndrome was triggered by the clothes she had to wear for work - men’s sizing that made her feel uncomfortable and like a fraud. By recognizing this trigger and finding work gear that inspired her confidence, her life was turned around. This is why we are so proud of what Co Gear has to offer working women in a wide range of industries.

You can find WAI Australia here and of course – browse our shop here.

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