While work is a place to be (mostly) serious and focused, it’s also a place where you should feel comfortable. Being yourself is one of the most fundamental aspects of being comfortable, yet so many people feel that they can’t let their real personalities show while at the office. It can definitely be hard sometimes to walk the line between being yourself and being work-appropriate, but with a little practice and self-awareness, you can let your real self shine through. Need more convincing? Here are eight reasons to be your real self at work.
1. You’ll be happier in the short term…
Seriously, who wants to come to work every single day knowing that you can’t be yourself? No one that I know. You’ll be much happier at your job if you feel comfortable and relaxed in your work environment. It will be such a relief to let your true self out. There’s no feeling like being truly at ease with yourself and others’ perceptions of you, so consider giving that a try.
2. …and the long term.
Over time, hiding your personality is sure to take a toll. You will feel irritated and grumpy, and you might even associate your job with negative feelings simply because you feel like you can’t be yourself. That kind of pressure can be very stressful. Let your personality out and you’re more likely to feel satisfied with your job.
3. People will like you more.
In most cases, people can tell when someone is acting strangely, and it’s possible that your coworkers see that you’re hiding your personality. Add on that they might not know the reason, and they might jump to conclusions that don’t reflect your true reasons. Being genuine is important in establishing connections, and the more genuine you seem, the more people will want to associate with you.
4. You’ll have more at-work friends.
A stifled personality is a nonexistent personality. By hiding your true self, you’re basically making yourself into someone that doesn’t really exist. If you let your personality show, people are more likely to be drawn to you and will be more willing to form relationships outside of simply being coworkers.
5. Honesty is important.
At work, it’s very important that others feel comfortable trusting you with tasks (especially if your job includes a lot of group work). You wouldn’t feel like you could completely trust someone who seemed a little shady. So why should others feel like they should trust you, if you seem like you’re hiding something? People like predictability, and if they know the real you, they’re more likely to believe you’re reliable.
6. You’ll be a better leader.
Leaders often rely on their personalities to draw people to them, and this relies on being comfortable with their real selves. Jack Welch, longtime CEO of General Motors, famously said, “success is all about growing yourself.” And you can’t grow yourself when you aren’t letting your personality shine through. Make sure you’re not letting your unwillingness to be your real self hinder your leadership potential.
7. Your work will probably improve.
Happy people are productive people. Being yourself is guaranteed to make you much happier, and you’re therefore more likely to feel more contented while working. Hiding your true self also takes a lot of effort. Your time is much better spent working than pretending to be someone you’re not.
8. You’ll catch your boss’s eye.
Letting your real personality out will make you much more memorable. Your unique characteristics will most likely impress the higher-ups at your job. It takes courage to be who you truly are, and doing so is an indication that you might be deserving of more responsibilities at work.
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