I am struck by how often my go to examples about myself demonstrate how often I identify myself with my work. I think that the reason for this is that how we identify ourselves with work pervades our culture. Here’s the thing – people quickly ask on first meeting ‘what do you do?’ or friends ask ‘how is work?’.
I am now moving away form the work life balance model to the idea of how I integrate my personal life with my professional life. If I want to show up as me at work I need also to show up as me at home. I am now going with this idea that there is only one version of me. It has taken a long time to get there but it is/has been too exhausting being a whole lot of different things – so the version you are seeing has to be the version I am.
Of course, I am not going to let on all my darkest secrets to anyone. If things are not going well at work, I am not necessarily going to wear my heart on my sleeve and let everyone see my struggles but I think if I work on principle-centredness (Read Covey’s work on this area) and put my values out there and live and breathe them, it will be hugely easier, I believe, to navigate my way through stuff and show up as the only version I can be – me.
It means that when I live and work there is a lot less hustling, a lot less people pleasing and putting a stop to the idea I need approval just to breathe. It means being truly self-aware, considerate, empathetic, compassionate, working on resilience and not being defined by what has happened to me. It means being integrated and then the work-life balance will take care of itself.
I will let you know how things go!
Oh and the other thing – working on the fear of failure – stifles creativity, innovation.
And another thing – working on our shame culture and examining my own shame drivers – at myself and at others.. There is such a massive dose of scarcity in our culture and I have been part of it but now I need to shine light where it exists and happens.