In the struggle to be someone else to please others, there is a lot of wasted energy and a gap in identifying our true selves.
For the longest time, I thought I had to be someone else. I thought I had to be a picture perfect, corporate darling and only do safe, comfortable, and approved things.
I thought I had to be smart, but obedient. Hard working but with no complaints. Pleasant and not challenging.
The funny thing is I had no idea why I was behaving in this way. Nor did I actually know I was behaving in a way that wasn’t true to myself.
And it isn’t bad that I thought I had to put on a ‘persona’ in my daily working life in Corporate America. We all wear a suit on a daily basis, regardless of industry. But when that ‘persona’ is eating away at you silently inside, when that ‘persona’ doesn’t allow you to be comfortable with yourself on a daily basis, when that ‘persona’ actually does not exist anywhere else – then it’s time to question that persona and yourself.
I had to learn this the hard way.
Reflecting back, I realize that all the hard work and preparation to “get the job” during my internship experience in Corporate America bled into shaping a new me.
All that hard work to impress corporate people or leaders back in college, when I was part of the Hispanic Business Students Association at Arizona State University, bled into creating a new me. All that hard work to do well to get my teacher’s praise (and get good grades) back in Elementary, Middle and High School bled into creating a new me.
But the me that was being created (and has been created over time) was a “me” to please others. It was a “me” to be accepted. It was a “me” to be liked. It was a “me” to be sought after by employers and get a decent-paying full-time job.
And again, it isn’t bad to adapt who we are based on the circumstances at hand. But it is bad if in doing this we lose sight of who we are – or worse – never come to know who we really are.
In the struggle to try and be someone else to please others, there is a lot of wasted energy, a gap in identifying & discovering our true selves and a disservice in letting our own unique personalities flourish.
But what if we were allowed to be ourselves? What if we weren’t scared to be ourselves?
In my opinion and experience, this is what would happen:
- We would go for the job we wanted
- We would ask for the pay we wanted
- We would start the organizations and clubs we wanted
- We would respectfully question managers and leaders on projects
- We would bring our new ideas forward with no hesitation
- We would go above and beyond to deliver quality projects we could be proud of
- We would speak up when something was wrong or seemed off
- We would give our opinion kindly
Being yourself is the most powerful thing you can be. And with it comes many benefits to people’s health and wellness and the resulting impact they have on the companies they work for.
The reality is – being yourself can be hard – and it’s driven by both the maturity & experiences of the individual as well as by the company culture. When employees are allowed to be themselves and encouraged to be themselves – they will flourish and bring about many soft & hard benefits to their organizations.
But, alas, this is all a part of life’s journey – it’s the learning, maturing, and growing to be comfortable in your own skin… What do you think? Have you learned to be comfortable in your own skin over time?
Are you allowing your unique personality to flourish?