Some people have this experience where they feel that they’ve never really been in a dedicated role. Or thoughts that you don’t deserve your job regardless of your achievements and that you’re afraid of failing if you take risks. I believe that those people have imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is when you doubt your feelings and abilities. And you also get this feeling that you will be exposed as a fraud at any minute.
IMPOSTER SYNDROME TO SAFETY MANAGERS
As Safety Managers, we have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, and everyone looks to us to have all the answers. This can create a feeling of imposter syndrome; where people see you one way, but inside, you feel like a fraud or a fake. Today, I share the 4 C’s for getting over this feeling and how you can take action to get past the imposter syndrome we all feel throughout our careers.
TAKING RISK AND START DOING SOMETHING
I know it will be hard to overcome this when you have doubts about yourself. But every improvement starts with small steps and never giving up.
Just think about how much confidence you will have after this. You will also be a more effective safety leader.
When will you stop doubting yourself? Make a list of all the experiences and things you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. I also want you to apply the 4C’S on every action you will do to improve it and record everything in notes so that you see your progress.
52 - Imposter Syndrome
Safety Brye: [00:00:00] Well, Hey there, safety friend. I have a question for you. Have you ever felt like everybody around you sees you as an expert, but in your mind, you're like, I have no clue what I'm doing. I guess I'm just going to fake it. So that is what we were talking about today, imposter syndrome. Let's get to it. This is Safety Brye, your number one safety geek.
Why do we have the behaviors that we do superheroes in the workplace? Right? All of those things that go into making you an effective safety manager. I love what we do, motivation learning, teaching, training, teamwork. So, I geek out over that. Just as much as I do safety.
Well. Hello. Hello. Hello, and welcome to the safety geek podcast. [00:01:00] I'm Brye, your number one safety geek. I hope everybody is having an amazing day today, I will share with you. And if you have been in my community, if you're in the squad or you're in, um, safety management academy, I have shared this on some videos, but since I last recorded, like I literally recorded and the very next day I broke my front tooth.
I don't know how I did it in my sleep. In my mind. I was like, great. I just started the podcast back up again. I told everybody I was starting the YouTube channel back up again. And then I break my front tooth, not just like any back tooth or anything. My front tooth is literally broken off to the gum right now.
It's just kind of glued up there while they figure out what they need to do. And they said it's going to be anywhere from like, Uh, two months to six month process in order to fix it, things are kind of up in the air right now. They're, they're making me a prosthetic. So it doesn't look like I'm sitting here missing a front [00:02:00] tooth that I'm hoping I'm still going to be able to talk with.
It is kind of shaken things up in the safety heat world, because honestly I'm in a lot of pain, so I don't know. So that is just a quick little update as to what's going on. I don't have any more procedures, I don't think for another week or so. So I'm trying to record several episodes right now. So that way, if things do cause problems, at least I have some built up.
So I don't think, I don't think I'm going to be going back on my word about recording and bringing the podcast back, it's just kind of funny little thing, and I'm just kind of shaking my head going. Of course, they break my tooth, right. When I'm about to record videos or be talking a lot. And anyway, I hope that your world is doing much better than mine is over this past week or so.
All right. So our topic for today actually came from a message I received from somebody they didn't necessarily [00:03:00] asked and maybe they asked this question, but they had mentioned that their experience they've been at it for a while, but they've never really been in a dedicated role. I think it was. And they're just feeling this imposter syndrome and imposter syndrome is just a hundred percent natural even when you've been at it for 20 years, especially if you are changing industry.
So like, let's say you've always worked in pharmaceuticals and now you're moving into food processing. You're always going to have that little bit of feeling like you don't know what you're doing. And imposter syndrome is basically where other people see you as an expert and you yourself don't feel it yourself.
Or maybe in your mind, you're just thinking like, you don't know what you're doing, and everybody expects you to know what you're doing. And it's that fear that someone's going to call you out, that you're not as good as you're coming off as, and there is always been this thing in the world, which is a hundred percent ridiculous where they say fake [00:04:00] it till you make it.
You just fake it till you make it. And then eventually. Um, you'll know what you're doing, and there's a huge problem with fake it til you make it, because that actually creates more imposter syndrome because you're not telling the truth. You're not having integrity with yourself. You're not having honesty with the people that are supposed to trust you.
So I'm 100% against fake it till you make it. I am all about transparency and honesty. And if I don't know something that I'm going to tell you that I. No the way that this shows up in safety a lot is that we have to wear a lot of hats. In fact, I wrote an article is actually pretty popular article about what a safety manager is.
And I think I listed like 15 different areas that were expected to be experts in and that is impossible. And that does not even count the fact that we're also supposed to be experts in every single regulation as well. That is nearly impossible. I mean, [00:05:00] unless you have this photogenic memory or you're like one of those super memory people where you can remember every little thing, that's why I do not preach being a regulations guru.
I preach knowing how to find the answer, listening to your intuition. Uh, I've read that regulation before in something in this, this doesn't feel right. Let me go look it up and never to trust your human brains memory to be perfect because very rarely is that the case. I know, I always feel imposter syndrome whenever I am trying to act like I know everything.
It's why I just don't do that anymore. I'm just like, now you can feel imposter syndrome at all stages in your career. Obviously in the beginning, you're, you're most definitely going to feel it because when you first take that job in safety, even if you're just coming out of college and you have your safety degree, there's a lot on your shoulders [00:06:00] and there's a lot to learn course.
You're going to feel it then. But then as you change jobs and change careers and move within your profession. You're going to feel it at every stage. And I will tell you, I was doing this for 15 years when I took a position as a regional safety manager, over 40 locations. And I was confident that I could do the job.
I knew what the job was about, but I still felt imposter syndrome every time that I talked to one of my safety managers, because more than likely the person I was talking to knew more about the situation than I did, and that is a humbling experience. And that's one of the things that I use to get over it is that a lot of times I am the guide,
I am not the expert. Right even though they expect us to be the subject matter experts, I try to look at it. I am more of a guide and I'm a guru of how to look things up and how to do the research, how to give you ideas on how to do it better. If you approach it that way, it does help. But don't [00:07:00] think that there is something wrong with you because you're feeling this imposter syndrome.
So instead of thinking there's something wrong instead, just go like, this is part of becoming a professional. This is part of being a leader is that you have to recognize this and then just get over it. And take steps to make it easier. And for me, the way that I've always done this is through transparency and learning.
So what I want to share with you today is something to think about to help you get over this imposter syndrome, because it's not serving you like having this imposter syndrome is actually stopping you and slowing you down. Uh, what I want to tell you is just get over it and move on, but that's hard to do so let me give you the four CS that's C as in like ABC, the four CS of getting over imposter syndrome that have always helped me.
So here we go. The first one, the first C is [00:08:00] commitment. You cannot get over anything, any imposter syndrome without having commitment. Commitment means making safety a career. It's not just a job, it's a profession. It's something you're going to do for the rest of your life. A commitment to show the value that safety is providing to the company, a commitment to make a world-class safety program, as opposed to just doing the bare minimums and doing whatever your boss tells you.
It's a commitment to excellence. It's being like. No matter what I'm never going to give up on this. I'm going to keep trying until I reach my goal. So when you have commitment sort of requirement that you take massive action, because here I am in this role and I have a team that maybe doesn't support me the way that I want them to.
I maybe have a really high accident rate. I see these other companies that have these amazing safety programs while I am setting a goal to do the same thing and I am committed to [00:09:00] meet that goal no matter what. And that's the key part of commitment is that you have to have that perseverance attitude towards it.
Once you have commitment, you will then have the tools needed for the second C, which is courage. The courage to try and to fail. The courage to tell somebody, look, I don't know, but I'll find out for you, right? Or, Hey, now we tried this idea and it didn't work. And the courage to say, no, we failed. Let's come up with something else.
Courage to lead courage to lead your people, to that goal that you've committed to and the courage to not give up in the. At the adversity, we face so much adversity as safety managers, everything that we try to do gets pushed back on by management, by supervisors, by employees, you know, it's just [00:10:00] constant people arguing about what we're asking them to do, but we know it's the right thing.
We know it'll get us to our goal. So you have to have courage to not give up. And to face that adversity and to face people that might be looking at you, like you're wrong. And then also the courage to be wrong. Now, once you have that courage and you're taking action to meet that goal because of your commitment. That is going to give you
competence as you are facing the adversity, as you are looking things up, as you're saying, I don't know, let me try something else. And you do that over and over again. You are going to gain competence. Face those hard questions, learn from those hard questions and then gain competence. You gain competence
when you try and fail. You gain competence when you take classes and you learn new skills. You gain competence [00:11:00] when reading the regulations, when you are talking to other safety managers, when you are networking and building your, your networking community, when you face adversity, instead of looking at it like this employee is a jerk, he's just making my life worse.
Look at it as, this is a chance for me to gain competence on how to face this adversity, because this is not the only time I'm going to go face to face with somebody who disagrees with me. Every time you do this, you learn to face it better. So recently I think it was on LinkedIn, I had somebody comment about how they actually gain their skills and how they just took class after class, after class.
And that they saw after every training, they went to their skills were improving. They were improving their competence to make them up. Safety manager. So just think about it. That way, that everything you do is giving you that competence. So that way you'll be [00:12:00] better at what you do. And when you have competence,
you have confidence, that's our fourth C. So that is the only way to be confident in what you do. I can fake confidence, right? But in the back of my mind, I'm going to have that imposter syndrome because I'm faking it till I make it. You're faking the confidence until you have the competence. And that just doesn't work because it actually slows your actions down.
It stops you from the trying and the failing and recognizing what isn't working. So that's why I say fake it till you make it does not work because when you fake confidence, you are actually stalling your competence. Those are the four CS to get over imposter syndrome. Make a commitment to what you're doing, that commitment will drive courage to face the hard things which will result [00:13:00] in competence as you were facing those hard things.
And when you have competence, you will have confidence in what you're doing. What that boils down to is if you are feeling imposter syndrome, the only way to get over it is to have commitment. It's to have commitment, to be the absolute best safety manager that you can be and to take the active steps to improve your skills.
So what does that mean? Just like the person that was commenting on my LinkedIn the other day, they didn't wait for somebody to tell them what classes to take. They went out in the community. And said, what classes should I take? I get this question all the time. People like, what classes should I take?
Where should I go? What training should I get? Those are the people that are going to succeed. Those are the people that will not have imposter syndrome for long because they are taking active steps to learn more. And take responsibility for your own education. [00:14:00] If you are the type of person that is waiting for your employer to pay for your continuing education, that is the wrong thing to do, because what that does is it stalls your competence.
That means that you're waiting for somebody else to give you competence instead of taking action for yourself. So what I like to tell people is that. Anybody in any profession. So let's think about like doctors, lawyers, accountants, they have to keep their skills up, especially like accountants. So think about accountants where the tax law is changing nearly every single year and doctors were there is new technology and new procedures
every single year. Did you think that they sit back and wait for the hospital to pay them to go to the conference to learn about the new procedure? Heck no. Do you think that accounting firm is just going to sit there and be like, yeah, no, [00:15:00] we don't, we won't go and learn the new tax laws because you know, my boss won't pay for it,
that stalls you. So the better attitude to have is I am making such and such money because of my profession. And I'm going to take a percentage of that salary every single year. And put it towards my continuing education, whether that be finishing your degree, your CSP certification fees, because once you get your CSP, there's ongoing fees, your continuing education units to get those certifications conferences to stay up to date on the latest
industry news and what's coming down the pike and the best practices that you can put in place and even online classes and webinars to increase your skills with. I know that you all are inundated with emails, offering webinars. [00:16:00] Every single month because I get them and it seems like $89 for a one hour webinar is a lot.
But if you budgeted that every single month, what you will see is an increase in skills. So what you have to go back to is. What are you having to really use courage to get through? What are things that are facing you, that it takes courage for you to face it? Like maybe people are questioning you on your machine guarding or your lockout tagout, or how to get people to lift properly.
If those are the things you're struggling with, then those are the webinars that you go pay for whether your employer pays for them or not. That will get you the competence, which will give you confidence, which will move your career forward, and then guess what you get a bigger salary. So it all pays forward,
my friends. So you can get over imposter syndrome. So instead of just saying, I have imposter syndrome, I don't [00:17:00] feel like I am the expert that everybody sees me as be transparent. And say, look, I'm not really sure about this. So I'm going to go take some classes. I remember I was really bad at communication and getting my point across and training people.
Everybody thought I was great at it, but in my mind, I was like, I'm not doing good at this at all. I went out and I took communication classes and it improved my skills dramatically. Like I think they were on like Skillshare or Linda or something like that. I can't remember. It was an online class. I was like, this is where I'm struggling right now.
Let me go find a class. And if you do that every single month and then maybe plan out your, all your bigger things, like your conferences, your college classes, larger certification classes annually, and go, okay, how much will I spend on this of every month? How much will I spend on this? Every year? You can spread that out and.
You will gain competence. So, all right. [00:18:00] I know I'm getting a bit preachy now, but that is what I have for you today. And I would be remiss if I did not mention safety management academy, which is the only course that teaches you the processes of creating a world-class safety program. So if that is something that you need competence in, make sure that you check that out.
Just go to the safety geek.com forward slash. S M a and it will take you to a page where you could take a free masterclass for me and learn more about safety management academy, which I certainly hope is on your list of things to take in the future. Thank you so much for listening and especially about my rant about my two.
I will be chatting with you guys soon. And if you have any questions about imposter syndrome or want to dive deeper into it, make sure that you post something in the community and I will be sure to answer it as well as other people within the committee. You have a great day. Bye [00:19:00] for now.
You know what? I have a hunch that you have a BSF. A best safety friend who would love to know about this show. Well, don't keep it to yourself. Sharing is caring. Stop what you're doing right now and forward the show to them. They will thank you. And don't forget to check out the show notes and links for this week's firstname.lastname@example.org
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Highlights From This Episode:
- What does “Imposter Syndrome” mean
- Helpful Ways to Fight Imposter Syndrome
- Importance of 4C’s
- Stop Being Afraid and Take Risk
- Road to being a Better Safety Manager
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What will you do now to improve yourself and fight imposter syndrome? I would love to know what it is. Share it in the comments below.
Who knows, you might help other’s who also struggle with this. Let’s help each other in our community!
Hi, I'm Brye (rhymes with sky)! I am a self-proclaimed safety geek with two decades of general industry safety experience. Specializing in bringing safety programs to a world-class level and building a safety culture, I have trained and coached many safety managers, just like you, on how to effectively manage workplace safety in the real world. I would love to help you too.