Embracing Authenticity in the Workplace: Unleash your True Self

Edith Thornton

Let’s face it, we spend a significant chunk of our lives at work. So why not make it a place where you can be your true, extraordinary self? Gone are the days when blending in and conforming were the keys to professional success. The modern workplace thrives on diversity, originality and genuine connections.

Picture this: you walk into the office each day as the real you. No masks, no pretenses. Sounds liberating, right? It’s more than just a nice idea – it’s a powerful way to build trust and foster a collaborative environment. When you’re true to yourself, you bring passion and engagement to your work.

So, how do you unleash your true self at work?

This is the hard part… time to drop the poker face and get real. Share your thoughts and opinions honestly. Respectful disagreement isn’t just okay – it’s encouraged as it can spark creative solutions. And don’t be afraid to show a bit of vulnerability.  Sharing your challenges can build deeper trust and create an environment where others feel safe to do the same.

Align your actions with your values. If you value teamwork, actively support and collaborate with your colleagues. Consistency between your words and actions builds credibility and earns the respect of those around you. It’s about showing up day after day as someone whose values and behaviors are in sync. Even the process of writing this blog is me trying to “Walk the Walk”. I mention in the above paragraph about opening up, but that can be easier said than done!
I am someone who will say “Yes, I have everything under control!” When really under the surface, I am running hard towards a deadline or a goal, or juggling many balls at a time and in reality not actually being that efficient because I am trying to get everything done. Over the last 6 months, I have worked hard to open up to my team mates about where I need support or assistance, and it was hard! This period of honesty and vulnerability has not only eased my stress in the long term but has also led to increased support and meaningful conversations. Through these discussions, we’ve been able to brainstorm ideas that helped me adjust my time management strategies and additionally, these conversations have sparked interest in other areas where I can excel and find more enjoyment in my role.

Knowing when and how to express your true self while maintaining professionalism is key. Adaptability is going to be your best friend. Adjust your communication style to fit different situations, but don’t stray from your core values. This balance ensures that you are respected and taken seriously, while still being genuine. It’s about finding that sweet spot where the two can co-exist.

Another way I like to be “Me” is bringing my personal interests into the workplace. This can be a game changer. For instance, when I’m not at work, I love reading and running. My colleagues often ask me about my weekend running plans, or what books I’m reading (not often for recommendations though…!) which fosters a fun and friendly vibe in our office! Sharing your hobbies and passions humanises you to your co workers and creates opportunities for bonding over shared interests.

Embracing authenticity in the workplace is not just about personal satisfaction, it’s about creating a positive, dynamic and innovative work environment. When I feel safe to be myself at work, I find that I am more likely to contribute my best ideas and efforts, which benefits the entire workplace. Imagine being part of a team where everyone feels empowered to speak up, where ideas flow freely, and collaboration is the norm. That’s what showing up as you can achieve!

So, I’m opening up and recommitting to aligning my words with my actions and my values. By being my true self, I believe I can continue to excel in and enjoy my professional life and help create a more vibrant, productive and enjoyable workplace for everyone. I’m letting my true colours shine and watching how my authenticity enhances my work experience and (hopefully) inspire those around me to do the same.

About The Author
Edith Thornton

Edith’s experience stems from a career in Residential Construction and Real Estate. Over that time, her organisational skills and can-do attitude are what have brought her the most enjoyment and success in her work. She is a logical thinker and loves problem-solving. Edith loves supporting the team by being up to date and helping wherever she can. She uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to try new things and explore new ways of looking at an obstacle in front of them.

Edith is inspired by her husband and young daughter. Outside of work, Edith likes to go running around Ballarat, spend time in the gym and read anything and everything.

For more useful information, follow Edith on LinkedIn.

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