In our culture, we have a tendency to compartmentalize our various “lives.” That is, we very distinctly have a home life, a work life and a community life – nary shall the twain meet! We do our very best to keep these lives as separate as possible.
My question is… Why? We all come to the table with a particular personality, set of values, thought process. Furthermore, we often spend more waking hours with colleagues at work than we do with family and friends. I wonder why it is necessary to keep those aspects of our lives so independent. Seems to me it would be a lot less exhausting and a great deal more authentic if we maintained a consistent approach whether at home, at work or in the community.
Now, I get it… we may don a more serious demeanor in the workplace; a lighter, more casual tone when spending time with friends; and a much more laid back behavior at home with our family. That said, shouldn’t the very basis of our being remain unchanged despite venue or circumstances?
I like to think of it in terms of a Venn diagram (forgive me, I was a math major…). Each aspect of one’s life is placed in a circle.
As we bring the circles together, they overlap in the middle. The middle is critical because, in my theory, that section represents one’s truest self.
The larger that middle section becomes, the more authentic one’s personality. And, the lines drawn to separate the various parts of our lives vanish – instead of a home life, a work life and a community life, we simply have a life!
So, I implore you, live your most authentic life, in your most authentic personality. No need to compromise your values, beliefs or behaviors to accommodate new venues – just be you.
Below are a few ideas for your consideration as you check with yourself to ensure you are keeping true to yourself, whatever location you happen to be in:
- Set personal and professional boundaries for yourself. This concept is not to suggest that you “over share” or feel compelled to divulge too much personal information in a professional environment. First thing’s first: Know your audience! It’s okay to draw lines between what you share with people and what you don’t. But, as previously mentioned, don’t compromise your belief set, approach to problem solving, ability to celebrate, etc. because you are in one venue vs. another.
- Establish relationships wherever you are. Whether at home, at work or in the community, recognize that your ability to create, nurture and maintain meaningful relationships is reliant on your willingness to allow them to flourish. They will only be as strong as you are willing to let them be. Transparency into your most authentic personality is a good place to start!
- Be present. In whichever venue you find yourself, be there. We all need downtime, personal space and the chance to decompress. That’s totally cool. But, when you are surrounded by others, engage with them. Be open. Be yourself. Allow the relationship to blossom (see tip #2 above!).
I’m interested in learning about the ways in which you ensure your most authentic self shines through at home, at work and in the community. Please take a moment to leave a comment at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.