How often do you abandon yourself when you go to work?

Katherine Breuss, PotentialSquared Associate, helps develop more authentic and resilient leaders. In this blog she asks how many masks do we wear? Is there a feeling that someone else other than you should show up at work to fit in, keep the job or get that promotion?

For many of us, being true to ourselves is difficult. We feel we need to be different at the office than we are outside of work. There are many reasons for this, from the culture of the organization to balancing family and work. But I also see another aspect to this. One where we hold all the power; which is a lack of clarity around who we truly are, no matter what the situation.

So, what are the benefits of this and how do we go about gaining clarity?

We make decisions and interact every moment of every day. This happens even without us having to think. When we move around our life in this manner, without a real sense of clarity, we still make decisions and take actions but without a clear sense of alignment. Wouldn’t it be better to be clear around the decisions we make and the actions we take? We become more conscious in the way we live our life allowing us to align our decisions with what we want. Then we can become grounded and integrate all aspects of our life into the person we want to be.

When we are grounded, we have no trouble presenting our full selves to every aspect of our life. When we are in this space, we can easily put forward boundaries allowing us to live our life by our terms. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?

So, how do you get to know who you are and bring forth the person you want to be in all aspects of your life? This probably will not be new to you, however the part of actually doing this may be. It’s about gaining clarity around your values, identity and purpose, but more importantly writing them down and living by them. They should be so clear to you that you don’t even have to think about them. This is your mantra, your guiding light. 

I like to work with clients from the place of values first. This is easier to identify and grasp. Your values are your ‘what’. What is important to you? What are those behaviours in life that you cannot live without? For example, I hear many people identify ‘integrity’ as a top priority value. It’s important to go further and define what your value means. For some, integrity may mean accountability, others honesty. Be specific and define it.

Find your top three values and no matter what happens in your life, you will not compromise on these three. They will help guide you when making tough decisions, your choice in relationships and ultimately how you want to show up in the world. The values below your top three will probably move around in priority depending on what stage of life you are in. 

For example, in my early twenties experiencing the world and growing as a human were very important to me – so a high value of mine was ‘growth’ in the form of travel. My decisions revolved around me exploring the world hence why I lived in four different countries and visited many more. Growth continues to be a high value of mine but not necessarily with travel as high on my list as in my earlier years. 

My suggestion is to start here and list out all that is important to you. Then prioritise with the values you will not compromise on, to the ones that are a bit more moveable. If you have already made a list in the past, revisit the values and check in that they still resonate with you in the same way. 

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