When Did We Start Hiding Our True Selves? A Call for Emotional Freedom in Leadership

When Did We Start Hiding Our True Selves? A Call for Emotional Freedom in Leadership

Ever wondered at what age we started to suppress our emotions? I had this thought while getting my nails done, witnessing a joyful moment that sparked a deeper reflection.

There was this little boy, happily munching on his Greggs sausage roll, unabashedly expressing his delight with every ‘mmm’ and ‘yum.’ It was pure, uninhibited joy – the kind we rarely see in adults.

Everyone in the salon was smiling, a little amused, maybe even envious of his freedom to express.

This innocent scene made me think: When did we learn to mute our emotions? To stop making those instinctive sounds of enjoyment? When did we start bottling up our anger or tempering our excitement? Society has its norms, sure, but at what cost to our emotional health?

Richard Moat was spot on when he said we’re a nation of people walking around emotionally constipated. We’ve become so good at holding everything in – our joy, our anger, our excitement – that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to let go.

As someone who’s danced through the realms of both entertainment and corporate worlds, I’ve felt this shift intensely.

In the world of dance, being quirky and expressive was celebrated. But in the corporate sphere? It’s all about poise, control, and masking your true self. For someone neurodiverse like me, this shift was more than just a change of scenery. It was learning to exist in a space that didn’t always feel designed for me.

So here’s my call to action, especially to those in leadership: Let’s take off our masks. Let’s show our emotions.

By doing so, we not only free ourselves but also create a space where others feel safe to express themselves. Imagine the kind of workplace we could have if everyone felt free to be their authentic selves, without the fear of being judged or labeled as unprofessional.

Leaders, managers, anyone in a position of influence – your expressiveness has power. It can inspire, empower, and liberate. And trust me, the last thing any of us want is a workforce that’s emotionally constipated. We need to break free from these self-imposed restraints and remember the joy of being ourselves – just like that little boy with his sausage roll.

#EmotionalFreedom #LeadershipWithHeart #AuthenticityInWorkplace

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