Wearing the mask

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

suit of armor We often talk about the importance of being authentic, of being yourself and not worrying too much about what other people think of you. We say this because we speak from experience, we know what it’s like to wear a work mask or a ‘suit of armor’ , something you do to protect yourself from others and make you feel like you are more worthy of your position at work.

However wearing the work mask or the armor is tiring; it’s like a weight upon you, and when you get home and you take your armor off, you’re shattered, you have no energy for yourself, for your leisure time, for your family time. We learnt to take our armor and work masks off when we first came to Pro-Development. It was a brave move because we weren’t sure how people would find us, how they would react to our true selves. However, the response has just been fantastic and now nine years on, we are so more comfortable with who we are.

We recognise through our work that there are many people out there wearing a work mask or armor, we meet them on a day-to-day basis in our coaching session, on our training events and through the engagement work we do. When we come across people in a mask we are compelled to help so if any of the above strikes a chord with you, here are a few steps that you can take to start removing the mask or armor.

• Take time out to understand what’s important to you

• Reflects and act on your thoughts

• Ask friends and family what they value about you and why

• Listen and act on their response

• Do something that makes you feel more like you at work. For example, we wore clothes we felt more ourselves in. An ex colleague of ours stopped straightening her hair. It doesn’t matter what, as long as you know

• Ask a colleague you trust to observe and give you some feedback on the changes you make and the impact it has

• Keep going, you might not always get it right first time, but learn and grow until you find your authentic professional self

If you would like help from us on removing your mask, get in touch.

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