We live in a world that makes it increasingly difficult to be our authentic selves. Face it, everyone expects you to behave, think, and live in a way that society defines as acceptable. For some of us, it is as traditional as women shutting up at church and suppressing our natural talents and for others, it involves forcing the self to act in a managerial, outgoing way while in reality, he/she prefers to not be seen or heard. There are on average 16 documented different personalities in the human population according to the latest cognitive psychological research. So, in light of this, why do so many organizations and positions require people to be something that what they are not genetically programmed to be?
While society is evolving at a rapid pace, there is still a movement to bring originality to the workplace and a higher tolerance for individual variations especially in personality. However, for women, this change is not happening fast enough. Business still demands the neutral, masculine suits and the subdued leadership strategy. It is not surprising that the fastest growing start ups are among young to middle aged women. The 21st century is a great time to be alive!
In dealing with these variations in society and the organizations we must interact with, how can we keep our authentic selves and not not get lost identity wise in this hell? For those most bothered by these trends, the best solution is to become an independent contractor or start a business. When inside the belly of the corporate beast, one can not express the self fully. But when marching to the beat of the personal entrepreneur drum, financial security might be temporarily sacrificed. The big question is what is the price tag of your personal happiness and peace of mind? Again, the given personality traits a person has will self guide him or her to the decision that must be made for the self.
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