Why you're running from being authentic at work and how to be more brave

Why are women deathly afraid of being more authentic in the workplace?

What are the challenges with being MORE authentic?

Why do we shy away from TRULY expressing our thoughts, perspectives, and viewpoints at work?

What are we REALLY afraid of?

What do we THINK would actually happen if we showed up as ourselves?

Let’s unpack this.

Let me guess-at some point in your work experiences or life you were shot down for being yourself. You tried to be transparent and were immediately rejected because of it. First, know you are NOT ALONE in this. Everyone has experienced rejection for being honest.

What I will say is that women struggle a lot with being authentic. We are setup in society to constantly please and our happiness was defined if “others were happy” with our actions.

We are conditioned to be and act perfectly. To say the right things, dress the right way, get the best grades, and be everything to everyone. We were given so much praise for being who our parents wanted us to be.

I was listening to a Tony Robbins I Am Not Your Guru documentary, and one of the questions he asked a female audience member was growing up, ”Whose love did you crave more?”

So I am going to ask you the same thing. When you were growing up, whose love did you crave more and why?

Sit in that for a minute because I think this is such a powerful question. Think about what you would honestly do to please that person. Who did you have to be? What were you were expected to do? It’s important even as an adult because you sourced identify from childhood and it effects your interpersonal relationships. Understanding these emotional decisions can help us unpack why we struggle in areas where we feel the need to behave a certain way.

As women we are often conditioned to meet the expectations of someone else even if it’s against what we stand for or actually want. We stay quiet, we don’t “rock the boat,” and be flexible. We are being too “bossy” the second we start expressing our true feelings and saying what we want.

In today’s corporate environment, we don’t want to come off difficult and cause drama. We say yes to everything and we in return we get rewarded for it because that is how we know to succeed. This is an extremely dangerous habit because the problem is that the more we strive to meet someone else’s agenda, our ability to be truly authentic diminishes.

I know if you’re reading this right now you know the pain points with being inaunthentic and putting up a front at work. You know it’s exhausting, mind-numbing, and kills your ability to innovate. BUT you keep doing it because the truth is-you keep being rewarded for it. Why would you stop doing it right? Why would you risk potential career opportunities when being a pleaser has actually helped you get people to like you.

But would if you started sharing what you REALLY think.

What if you shared a thought or took action on something that truly aligns with your point of view.

What if you were actually brave to take a stand on something that truly mattered to you.

How would that change how you viewed your job? Your career? Your personal relationships?

So for the next few weeks, I want to challenge you to do the following things:

  1. Self-evaluate everyday and ask yourself how authentic you were with your interactions on a scale of 1-5?

  2. Did you share your true thoughts and feelings? If you didn’t, do you know why?

  3. Did you give praise to someone today for being authentic?

My next challenge to you is to think about a boss, co-worker, or someone that you’re struggling to be authentic with (try and pick someone that you interact with frequently). Why do you think it’s hard to be authentic with them? What are you truly scared of if you shared your real thoughts and feelings with them?

I want you to take on these challenges because truthfully there are consequences if we don’t. If we shy away from showing up authentically we are teaching other women that this is how to operate. We are teaching our children that it’s NORMAL to be someone at work and then be someone different at home. And when we show up inauthentically, we limit our ability to truly live a full life that is ours and not on someone else’s agenda.

One of my favorite quotes I’m listening to is Brave Not Perfect by Reshma Sujani. She says this in the book that will help put into perspective why it’s important we show up authentically.

"We've become conditioned to compromise and shrink ourselves in order to be liked. The problem is, when you work so hard to get everyone to like you, you very often end up not liking yourself so much."

I want to challenge you to show up authentically every single day (even if there are fears of rejection). I want you to push past these fears and be brave. Take one bold step this week to not shy away from it but embrace it.

Let’s stop worrying about what others think of you and start focusing on what you think of you.

You are brave girl, and you can do this.

Marisella BodreroComment