A friend asked me this question last night. She followed it up with “or are you Business Janice?”. I think the look on my face before I actually spoke, answered her question.
Why wouldn’t we be who we are at work? And if we have to be who we aren’t, who are we and what are we wanting to achieve by trying to be someone else? How sustainable is it to constantly try to be someone else? Wouldn’t that be extremely exhausting, not to say, stressful?
As you can see, my friend’s innocent question immediately brought to mind so many more deeper questions and gave me a great insight – thinking about it, “are you You at work”? is probably the essence of what this whole blog is about!
Most of us have been brought up to wear the “appropriate” mask depending on which context we’re in. We’ve been taught to hide our feelings, desires and dreams so we don’t upset people.
Of course, we have many roles in life, we may be mothers, employees, bosses, brothers lovers etc, but just because we have roles it doesn’t mean we have to wear masks, covering up who we really are behind each of those roles. We should be able to enrich each role with the essence of who we really are. If we do any less, we are short changing ourselves and our access to real happiness.
I remember when my children were born. With the first one, my daughter, I thought I “should” be with her as a baby instead of putting her into a nursery. At one point I gave up for work. It lasted 5 months, and I was so depressed for those five months; going out for fresh bread everyday and changing nappies just didn’t fulfill me. It WASN’T me! It was very different with my second child, he went straight into a nursery at three months old while I concentrated on building up a business. Ok, my kids may not have enjoyed a lot of home cooking when they were growing up (and even less, now!) but I brought them up MY way, a way which has shown them about self esteem, responsibility, being true to oneself and freedom, tools which will equip them for life an enriching life.
Your life is for you to live it YOUR way. It’s an invitation to be totally creative, to take the risk to be real, authentic and open with everyone you come into contact with. When you share who you really are with people, if you are prepared to be vulnerable without fear of what people will think of you, you will see that they start being real with you, and gradually everyone starts to feel more
connected with each other.
You can’t hide behind a mask and expect to be happy in life. If you want to experience true success and happiness you must start to let down your mask and eventually remove it completely.
So are you You at work? How thick is that particular mask?…