Some of us are compelled to feel that we must have our “work face” and our “personal face” and we are often in a dilemma of having to wear a mask on some occasions to differentiate between the two. But what if when we ‘showed up,’ there was just us, the real us and this made a positive impact on all areas of our lives?
Throughout my career, I have heard leaders informing people that they should leave their home life at the door as they enter the office, and whilst I can see some instances where this may impact productivity, how realistic is it to do this?
As a working parent, there have been times when I have felt the need to hide the fact that childcare is a problem, or have agreed to attend an evening or early morning event then panicked about who will look after my sons. On the flip side, there have been times where I have returned home in the evening still distracted with the events at work and unable to get some tasks or people out of my head. As a working woman, I have often tried to hide the fact that I was a working woman. As a leader, I have sometimes tried to be one of the team, usually due to my age!
The turning point for me was seeing myself as a whole person: a wife, a mum, a daughter and a friend with home and work responsibilities. I came to see that the skills and experience I gained both in and outside of the workplace allowed me to grow as a person and impact all areas of my life – the transferable skills that we are told to use to sell ourselves during an interview process. This whole-person view also allowed me to look at the bigger picture of my life and not segment myself into the work-life conundrum, because actually I have only one life. Work plays a big part in it and the balance is not about work-life, but about how I prioritise and focus my time, energy and attention accordingly in my life in general. Think of the difference it would make if we achieved life balance, instead of work-life balance…if we realised that everything is intertwined and a big part of us rather than two separate entities!
From this “one me,” “one life viewpoint,” I live my life – my entire life as a whole person. Here are 5 key areas that allow me to show up authentically in all areas of my life:
KNOW YOUR VISION
I am clear on what my mission is, my sense of purpose and what I am creating. I know what I am passionate about and why. I access this power not only for my career but in every area of my life. I do so by focusing on a powerful question: “Who am I?”
BE CLEAR ON YOUR STRATEGY
I have a clear focus on how I “show up,” day-in and day-out. I have built my resilience and my ability to handle any situation with ease and deep confidence, AND I have created habits that support and renew me on a daily and weekly basis. I no longer have the different masks. There is no longer the “work me” and the “home me,” there is just me. I am clear that this created a ‘Marmite’ effect for some people, but knowing this has allowed me to build my confidence and my resilience, because I am no longer focused on what others think of me. Instead, I examine my actions and ask, “How is this getting me closer to my vision?”
HAVE A STRONG MINDSET
I have overcome the fears, doubts, limiting beliefs and insecurities that were holding me back. I have created a new set of empowering beliefs to support me as I create the next stage of my life. Not an easy task, and certainly more and more will come from this. I had a strong fear of failure and I realized that it was stopping me from taking action and taking risks. By turning this around into a strong desire to succeed, elements of failure are now stepping stones on the road to success and each and every time I fail, which I do, I learn from it and grow.
FILL YOUR TOOLBOX
I have identified any skills and strengths I need to build and work on them regularly to equip me with all of the tools I need to get to the next level. By no means am I perfect, but by recognising what my strengths and development areas are, I know where to focus my time and attention, where to seek help and where I can support and help others. I also know which of my transferable skills I can utilise and adapt to suit different situations.
BE AWARE OF WHAT AND WHO GIVES YOU ENERGY
I have optimised my environment. I am clear on which people, places and things FILL me with energy (energy angels) and which people, places and things DRAIN me of energy. I actively remove those (energy-vampires) from my life. I know who I like to be surrounded by and who I do not want to be surrounded by. I know my ideal clients. I know which people to call upon when I have mad, hair-brain ideas and I know that in order to bring out the best in me, I need to interact with a variety and diverse range of people each with different skills and experiences.
By focusing on these 5 areas, I know I am authentic, I know how and when I show up, and I know the difference they have made in my life.
If you could focus on 5 areas of your life what would they be and why?
KELLY FRYER // Founder of Chrysalis Consulting Ltd
Kelly Fryer lives in Cambridgeshire and is Mum to twin sons. Kelly is Founder and CEO of Chrysalis Consulting – a Human Capital Development Consultancy specialising in organisational culture change. You can connect with her on www.chrysalis-consulting.co.uk or on LinkedIn.