I stood in front of the mirror sweating in a 105 degree Yoga studio. It's the same spot I stand in everyday but today I noticed something different about this spot. The mirror split my body right down the center. I had stood their countless other times but today for some reason I noticed it and it struck me as odd. I'm not sure if the heat was getting to me or the Buddhist motivation the teacher was dishing out but either way I became very philosophical at that moment. My body was split and I realized that I often feel like two different people.
My personality like so many others is split between home and work. Work Donna and Home Donna are complete opposites as my spouse often reminds me. Work Donna is decisive, outgoing, a multitasker, budget conscious, a tireless go-getter and extremely private. Home Donna is quiet, wishy-washy and for lack of a better term often lazy. The two never meet except on a very rare occasion and everyone notices it quickly. My spouse first recognizes the voice. Apparently, work Donna's voice is much different than home Donna. My co-workers notice it when I'm indecisive or share some personal anecdote from home. Both my colleagues and my spouse are quick to point out when the other half of me shows up in the wrong place for good or bad.
After doing a bit of research, I've found that I'm not alone (phew!) Many people feel their personalities are completely different at work and home. There seems to be multiple reasons for this phenomenon. For those people in a high powered or stressful job, they may need to recharge when they get home. The same is true if you are an extrovert at work. Even the most extroverted people, need some downtime. Sometimes, the reason we get a job or are successful in a career is because of our personality characteristic. For those of us, that work in a non-profit, we know that multitasking is a trait that has to be honed and sharpened and without it we would fail miserably at our jobs. We are no longer specialists in one area but a jack-of-all-trades in many. Although there is a lot to do at home, my to-do list is more of a checklist than a barrage of people coming at me with needs and wants. I recognize I don’t have children and I’m sure every mom reading this is shaking her head.
Take a test like the Myers Brigg two times, once in the frame of reference as you are at home and once as you are at work. Take a look at the differences and examine what the differences are and ask yourself are they working for you at this time in your life and career? If you’re really daring, take it to your colleagues and family and see if they agree with how you see yourself. There’s a lot to be learned from what each of them say.
My goal next week when I stand in front of that mirror in the Yoga studio is to not see a body divided but to see different parts of me that work together to make a better human being.
Are you different at work and at home? Let me know in the comments below.