Since the pandemic hit, I’ve seen a lot of changes in people. Some for the better, some for the worse. Some (me) have let go of their health and let themselves become immersed in doomscrolling and comfort eating. Others (also me) have taken it as a wake up to take care of themselves and to work whole-heartedly toward their dreams.
One of the things I’ve always admired in other people, older women especially, is how some have learned to live authentically.
What is living authentically?
Well, my friends, that’s the question of the day. I actually googled this to make sure I’m giving you the correct answer here–Living authentically is essentially being true to yourself. Living your life the way you want to, not beholden to the limiting beliefs of others. It means speaking your mind, saying what you mean, and sticking to your word. It means taking care of yourself–your body, your mind, your soul–so that you can then take care of others. This could be self-care days, healthy diet and exercise, and moving away from toxic influences in your life. It means working toward your dreams… because if you don’t, what’s the point?
But there’s a struggle many come across…
How do I live the way I want to when I’m stuck in a 9-5 I hate, when I have bills to pay? When I have a family that depends on me?
How do I dress the way I want when I’m beholden to a corporate dress code?
My answer? Baby steps.
I’m still working toward it myself. My day job is a lower-level leadership position in a corporate environment. I have to look professional, speak professionally, and have zero personality.
At least, that’s what they taught me.
But since the pandemic started? I’ve seen a lot of people doing weird shit in public with zero ramifications. So I decided to test the theory in the worst possible place: my business.
What I’ve been wanting to do? Shift my aesthetic toward the one I’ve always admired. I want people to think I’m a witch.
But.. I’m at work. So? Corporate witch.
Let me tell you, there’s just about zero out there on Google about how to be a Corporate witch. Though apparently there’s an indie book by that name that I haven’t read. Anyway, I had to figure it out myself.
So the first thing I did? I started being more genuine when speaking with others. Aside from the boss, I’ve been letting my personality shine through a bit when talking casually with my employees. I also started allowing myself to wear things that still technically fit the dress code, but aren’t what you first picture when you think of corporate attire. Some plaid pants here, black nail polish there, and what I’m wearing today: a black and red pocket dress with leggings underneath. Actually talking about my book if someone happens to have heard about it. Little things that make me feel more real.
And? It’s working. One day I commented on how badly it was storming outside and that it was a bit apocalyptic. One of my employees said that seemed like my aesthetic–that, and the universe imploding.
I was overjoyed, fam. He was totally right, I love dark stuff like that!
But the moral of the story here is: being more myself, even in a corporate environment, hasn’t actually negatively affected me at all. I would argue the opposite.
I have yet to wear my witch-hat out in public–it’s been Summer here, after all–but I’m working toward that in the fall.
So, tell me… what steps are you taking to be more yourself? Or have you taken in the past? I’d love some tips!
2 thoughts on “On living authentically”
Ah enjoyed reading this, Jo! I think everyone in the corporate world is actually itching to break out of the ‘straitjackets’ and be themselves. The pandemic is truly allowing us to see people and things for what they are!
I think you’re right. Maybe a lot of people will come to see how much we’ve been restraining ourselves for no reason!