You aren’t alone if in your attempt to achieve your career goals or maintain professionalism that you have created an alternate persona at work. Whether you are too agreeable, struggle with the dress code, or simply feel fake—these tips will help.
Come Out Of Whatever Closet You Are In
Whether you are over being a people pleaser, done being a doormat, are tired of being fearful of not being accepted for who you are—its time to come out of the closet. Ripping the band-aid off is the best way to go. If you are a people pleaser, start sharing your authentic opinions. If you are done being a doormat, start saying no. If you are hiding anything about yourself, such as your gender identity, sexual orientation, or that you struggle with mental health sit down with your HR department and share that you have decided to live in authenticity.
Don’t Go It Alone
While ultimately empowering, being authentic is nerve-wracking, so don’t go it alone. Lean on family and friends who support living in your truth and invest in outside guidance to help you let go of the character you’ve created at work. For example, you may have a conservative dress code at work and don’t feel like you. Or if you are gender non-binary and want to create an office-appropriate wardrobe that feels more like you—consider working with a personal stylist. If you are transitioning to authenticity at both work and in your personal life, consider working with a life coach, therapist, communication coach, or reading the work of Brené Brown.
Assess Your Options
We are in an exciting time of awareness, acceptance, and inclusion. While it may take a bit of an adjustment period for one or two people, you may find that the one struggling with your authenticity more than anyone else is you. If that’s not the case and tensions remain high at work, give it at least a month, then assess your options. This may include transferring to a new office for a fresh start, applying to more inclusive companies, or finally launching the business you’ve been dreaming of.
There is nothing that will free you more than being you!