Are You One Person at Home and Another at Work?

The Multiple Persona Disorder–A Way of Living That, Unfortunately, Most of Us Have Mastered

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When I think about identity, I think about how we diagnose having multiple personalities as a disorder. Yet, most of us live lives with multiple personalities and don’t seem to think it’s a problem!

We are different people depending on our role at any given moment. Far from medicalizing this condition, from an early age, we are encouraged to divide our authentic selves into neat little, appropriate personalities to achieve success in all areas of life.

This division practice is supported primarily by the unconscious beliefs and behaviors that we saw modeled around us as children.

We believe that good girls act nice, good husbands provide for the family, good friends always agree, good investors put money above all else, successful people are hard on themselves, capable people have confidence, and good parents are always available for their children.

What happens if you are a married working mother of three who has internalized these beliefs?

You likely beat yourself up for…

  • Not being always nice.
  • Having problems with your husband about money and what it takes to support a family financially.
  • Not feeling successful but rather, burnt out.
  • Lacking confidence and
  • Being far from always available for your children.


Most of us, especially women, will begin dividing our identities to match the perfect but somehow always unachievable persona we hold up as our north star.  When the cells in our body do this division, the result is cancer. When we divide our identity, the result is deep, existential exhaustion.

Identity is built on the foundation of clarity of values and conviction in those values. Over time, those of us who deliberately live into our life values become increasingly more confident because we literally “know who we are.”

Knowing who I am is the prerequisite to being able to count on myself. If I can’t count on myself, clarity, conviction, and confidence will forever be out of reach.

Anchoring our identity to temporary harbors such as roles, circumstances, and other people’s beliefs is to live an untethered life—a way of living that, unfortunately, most of us have mastered. We are one person at home and another at work. We speak one language with friends and a wildly different one with family.

To have multiple identities is to have none that we can count on.

Living this way, we prioritize "performance" and "approval" above everything else. We view our identity as a means to an end—achieving success—rather than valuing our identity as the singular expression of our unique existence in this world. Our identity is an extraordinary transformational power, not a transactional tool.


Our identity is arguably our most powerful advantage as we play The Game of Life. If you, like me, have come to believe that life is a game, then you must also believe there are rules for playing it like a Pro.

Pros strive for a measure of skillfulness and mastery that differentiates them from Amateurs. As they progress through life, pros can cultivate more peace, ease, and joy. In contrast, Amateurs experience greater emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggles as time passes.

Amateurs feel that life is happening to them and that they are constantly at the mercy of external circumstances. Conversely, Pros take full responsibility for their lives and actively create and respond to situations with conscious intention and purpose.


So, begin to turn Pro and gather all the pieces of yourself to create one whole and complete, even if imperfect, you.

You who approve of yourself and do not change your life values based on your changing roles.

You who place authenticity over performance and refuse to abandon any part of yourself to fulfill someone else's or society's beliefs about how you should be.

You who are whole and consistent in your heart desires, soul yearnings, and purposeful actions.

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