Today I went to a seminar and the topic was about coming out at work. I was excited about the topic until I noticed that the conversation was about the difficulties and disadvantages of coming out (sexuality) in the workplace.
For me, showing up as your true self is being who you are without giving up the independence of yourself. It means that you are one with nature, each other, and yourself.
Here is the deal, I cannot change the color of my skin. When I show up, I am perceived as black, aggressive, obnoxious, and ghetto without been given a chance to be me. When I sit at the table, some question my credentials. And when I speak up, I am told not to because I will be blacklisted. Not to mention the statement that based on my accomplishments and the way I articulate myself I am not the typical black person. Cut it out, it is not a compliment.
I worked in the corporate world most of my adult life, so I understand that showing up as your true self is a risking exposure of your essence to the roaring crowd! It is much easier to hide behind the mask, plus it assuages the unbearable anxiety. But does it resolve the underlying problem?
I am talking about the need to build genuine and satisfying relationships and most importantly – finding yourself.
I could not help myself, I stood up and asked, what about me, the African-American woman who is an educated thought leader who wants to make a difference. When I show up, it’s hard!
For me, it is a pain to show up. When I show up humble and in the color of my skin I am asked to bring more coffee or given a quiz about my credentials- while my colleagues just walk through the door, most look back at me with that apologetic face.
So do you really want me to show up as my real self or your perception of who I am?
As Jack Nicholson said in the movie A Few Good Man “You Can’t Handle the Truth“