In a few weeks, many of us will either put on an outlandish disguise or hand out candy to others who have done so. Halloween is a great excuse to put on a rather obvious costume. But what happens when you find yourself feeling as if you’re wearing a costume to work every day?
Are you putting on a happy face in an environment that no longer motivates you? Do you feel you’re not able to be honest about things in your personal life at work? Have you realized you’re simply in the wrong profession? The longer you pretend at whatever it is, the more pain you will, consciously or unconsciously, feel as a result.
Nothing is worse than realizing you’re not being who you’re meant to be, period.
Employee disengagement is a real epidemic. But it’s not always the fault of the employer. If you’re not bringing your whole self to work, you won’t be as happy or as engaged with the work you do or the company you work for.
Want to be sure you’re bringing your whole self to work? Here’s what you need to do to start uncovering your authentic self.
1. Be willing to be vulnerable.
Often times we refrain from offering our honest opinions or sharing bits of our personal lives for fear of being hurt. But you may only end up hurting yourself and contributing to your own unhappiness at work. Try opening up a bit and see where it gets you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the response you get from your co-workers.
2. Be willing to take a professional risk.
Fear of failure is very real. It’s what holds most people back from growing and becoming more successful. If you can identify, ask yourself this:
What are you gaining by staying in your safe zone?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? What’s the worst that could happen? Will the company fall apart? No. Take a chance and ask for support if you need it along the way to be sure you’re moving in the right direction. No one will expect you not to ask questions when you’re taking on new challenges. You should afford yourself the luxury to lean on some people who can help guide you once you decide to take a step forward. You owe it to yourself to achieve everything your authentic you is capable of!
3. Be willing to go out of your personal comfort zone.
Really take a look at what your current comfort zone is. Is that as comfortable as you can be at work? It probably doesn’t come close to what being your authentic self feels like! If you’ve taken comfort in your discomfort, don’t accept it any longer. Push your boundaries and let your real self out. Everyone around you will probably like that person better too! If not, then maybe you’re just not in the right place.
4. Be willing to have difficult conversations.
Talking about personal things such as issues with childcare, or a need to go to a therapist during the week can be very freeing. The rest of your life still goes on while you’re at work. So how can you expect to completely separate yourself from pressing matters at home, your child’s school or your own well-being for that matter? You may be apprehensive to open up about such personal things. But you just never know what you’ll be met with when you do. Your boss might be more supportive than you think.
5. Be willing to move on if you have to.
Being your authentic self shouldn’t come at the expense of being happy at work. Do they have to be mutually exclusive? If they are then maybe it’s time to look for an environment where you feel comfortable enough to be you. Life’s too short and the days at work are too long not to!
Remember, while these tips will have a great impact on your authentic self at work, the benefits are far reaching. Uncovering your authentic self and turning your back on the need to hide certain parts of yourself in various settings will pave the way for lasting positive effects in every area of your life.