Being your true and authentic self seems simple enough. When you walked onto the court or the field or the pitch you had no choice but to be your authentic self. The game would accept no substitute but absolutely everything you had to give, and you knew that. But that time is past and now you are trying to navigate a professional world that operates very differently. Being your authentic self at work is an interesting concept because I think most people have pieces of themselves, they cordon off for certain groups of people based on a level of trust.
There is a way to be both uniquely yourself while also having a life of your own. At the end of the day remember your work friends and coworkers will typically be just that. The mixing of the two without boundaries can be disastrous. I recently remember watching a TEDx lecture on this concept from Jodi-Ann Burey talking about this exact concept. How can you be your authentic self when your authentic self is too bold? Finding the balance between managing the social expectations of higher ups while remaining true to oneself is an incredibly challenging task.
However it is not impossible as Keke palmer recently shared in a Forbes article. There are ways to manage bringing all of yourself while still managing expectations. Palmer spoke to a couple of different factors starting with authenticity and staying true to yourself despite the external pressure. Another, which can be difficult given the current job market but know when to leave the job. Try to set yourself up to leverage the position you are in for a better environment, but this can be the hardest one to achieve.
Do not allow yourself to get pigeon-holed, remember you are more than an athlete and more than the role you are in. Do not allow yourself to get locked into a role with no promise of growth. Fight self-doubt, you should be a pro at this by now this is no different than the little voices you heard in the back of your head during crunch time. Put those to bed, push them out of your mind and go conquer your goals. Make sure you are aligning yourself with the right people both amongst your coworkers and amongst management. Keep in mind the opportunities for growth and remind yourself to keep moving forward.
An athlete that has been consistently true to themselves is Chad Johnson. Also known as Ocho Cinco, he has been consistently himself throughout and now long after his playing career. His podcast, IAMATHLETE helps to highlight the character that he is. But like an earlier post I wrote, Johnson learned how to leverage his brand into something greater. By bringing his authentic self every day he was able to parry that into personal and career opportunities down the line. Find balance in the version of yourself you bring to work. Do not allow yourself to be thrown off track by the opinions of others stick to your guns and bring your true self. Find the balance between authenticity and professionalism in your given field and push that to the limit, challenge the existing ideals if they are outdated but continue to live your truth. Today, I would like you to write down all of the characteristics you possess and focus on embodying at least one of them every day you show up to work. This not only allows you to take stock of and reinforce your positive traits but to become aware of your negative traits.