If you’re like most people, you probably picked up certain messaging along the way about how you should act at work. Maybe it started during childhood when you were instructed on how to behave “in public.” Perhaps you also learned, a little later on, how to be “on” when spending time with people you were trying to impress. And in a way, there is a time and place for all of that. (You want to really prepare and be at your best for a job interview, for example.) However, there is also an awful lot to be said for being yourself at work. Here’s why:
1. You’ll be encouraging others to do the same
Wouldn’t it be nice to work in an environment where everyone was a little more authentic? You’d be doing a good thing in steering the company culture toward that direction. You’ll at least encourage others to treat you with more authenticity if you begin to do so with them. Over time, this should help you to feel more trusting of others, and it will help you to demonstrate your trustworthiness too.
When you have the courage to be yourself at work, you encourage the spread of authenticity and trust to everyone you come in contact with. In this way, you don’t just change yourself. You change your environment too.
2. Authenticity will help you make friends
Having friends at work doesn’t just make the job more enjoyable. It’s actually a really good thing for your career. These connections can help you feel more relaxed and happy at work, which can lead to improved creativity and overall productivity. Plus, having friends at work is a fantastic way to expand your professional network. It’s hard to make friends without really being yourself, though. So consider dropping the façade a little and letting the people you work with get to know you a bit more.
3. You’ll have more energy
It takes a lot of energy to try all the time. You’ll feel quite exhausted at the end of the day if you spend your working hours being someone you’re not. It’s certainly true that you should demonstrate that you’re passionate about your job. And, you should have a positive and optimistic attitude and be in good spirits too, as a general rule. Hopefully though, you can arrive at this genuinely rather than it feeling like something you have to force.
Phoniness requires a ton of energy. When you’re authentic, you can focus on directing your energy toward being the best professional version of yourself instead.Phoniness requires a ton of energy. When you’re authentic, you can focus on directing your energy toward being the best professional version of yourself instead.Click To Tweet
4. You’ll be less likely to have regrets
You’ll be far less likely to do something that you’ll regret later if you allow yourself to simply be yourself at work. Even just saying something that you don’t really mean can create feelings of cognitive dissonance. You’ll feel a lot better about your words and your actions if they’re aligned with your authentic beliefs. Of course, you’ll still need to make compromises at work. But, it will be easier to find your way to agreements that suit you when you’re authentic about your ideas and beliefs upfront.
5. It will boost your leadership skills
Think about the bosses that you’ve had over the course of your life. It will be easy to understand how authenticity boosts leadership skills when you remember who you enjoyed working for the most, and who made you feel like you couldn’t wait to get away. Focusing on being yourself can have some spectacular results, according to Kimberly Davis, author of the book Brave Leadership.
“While we think that we need to fit into some kind of mold or follow some kind of prescription to get results, the most amazing leaders on the planet are those who dare to be their real selves, constructively and powerfully,” Davis writes, according to Inc. “There are no formulas for true greatness. No credential, title, or alma mater can guarantee a fulfilling and successful life. It’s something we must extract from our deepest self every day.”
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