You know, one of the most profound and telling experiences I had when I moved into the business world, from being a teacher, was that I had a misguided belief that I needed to be serious all the time! The fear that people, colleagues, my boss, my clients would think I wasn’t committed to my work or that I wasn’t very professional was with me constantly. So much so that my friends wondered if there was something wrong. I’d somehow lost my sense of humour and fun.
It took me years before I allowed myself to let go and find the child in me again. Even now, my inner parent sends me messages now and again (‘What will people think?’).
What I now know is that being authentic, being the ‘real’ me, is so important and is a key element in building trust with other people. Interestingly, showing a vulnerability can help, too.
I have demonstrated my worth, my commitment to my work. I have gained credibility and authority in my chosen field, now. I’ve got my wings! Now I can play and feel safe (and sometimes a little unsafe) and enjoy it.
As a result of this insight and resultant feeling of liberation, I have much more fun in my work whilst maintaining level of integrity and certainty that people I’m working with find reassuring. This makes me feel good, too and adds to my confidence. And, who knows, it may even slow down the aging process in some way!
I found a perfect George Bernard Shaw quote that encapsulates this beautifully and which I put on the back of my new business cards:
‘We don’t stop playing because we get old we get old because we stop playing’
Next stop, the sand tray!