At work, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “bring your whole self to work.” It is also not uncommon for folks to bring a “version” of themselves to work. Why? It could be fear of saying or being too open, fear of not being accepted for who we are, etc. What the reason, it is not uncommon for us to wear different “masks”with different people.
Think about it. How many people truly know the real you? At home, I find that I can be a very goofy person when I let my hair down, but this isn’t the person I feel comfortable being at work. There, I am the consummate professional, providing input as it is needed. There may be times that I find it appropriate to joke but for the most part, I maintain a calm, professional demeanor. And yet, a very important part of my job requires me to get past the masks my clients wear.
I believe one of the reasons we don’t always show our true colors is that we find it difficult to trust easily in this world. We hop on the internet, turn on a tv or listen to the radio and each day we are bombarded by reasons not to take everything at face value. Every direction we go in, we are given reasons not to trust the world around us. And the truth is that the world isn’t getting any less chaotic or easier to trust. The key is being open to learning about others and willing to be patient as others do the same with you. It sounds corny but it’s all part of seeing beyond the masks we wear.