Often I hear people talking about being a different person when they are at work than at home. I call B.S.! (Usually not to their face as that would be rude, but I will try to point out that it isn't true at some point.)
Yes, most people have to conduct themselves differently at work than they do at home. Take me for example. I like to wear my pajamas when I have no where to be. The top has a picture of Oscar the Grouch and the word "SCRAM!" written across it. I like to talk in funny voices with my kids and sing songs in the manner of Beaker from the Muppets. Acting like that in front of a client would probably not go over well. With clients I dress nicely and speak lightheartedly yet professionally.
Does that mean I am a different person? Do I shut part of me off when I meet with clients? No! My personality is mine and I don't shut off any of it at any time. If my client happened to start singing "Dust in The Wind" like Beaker I would join right in. (Which is awesome, by the way. Check it out) I am the same person in any situation, everyone is, you can't escape yourself. You simply must conduct that personality differently in different situations.
When you walk into work, you are still the same person you were when you were at home. The same strengths, the same weaknesses, the same baggage, the same joys. If you had a bad morning it will likely have an effect on your workday. If you have a great workday it will have an effect on your evening at home. Trying to deny that leads to undue pressure to cover up feelings and try to mask what is going on inside; and that is never healthy.
Instead, you need to embrace the fact that you are you, no matter where you are. Know that you need to conduct yourself in ways suitable to the situations you are in, but that you should never try to disguise who you are.
If you are a fun-loving person, embrace it and be that way to the degree that is appropriate in all situations!
If you are a serious person, embrace it and be serious to the degree that is appropriate in all situations!
Whoever you are, embrace it! You will be happier and so will everyone around you because they will know they are getting the real you. Granted, you can't please everyone. Some people won't fit with your personality whether you are faking it or being genuine. So why not be genuine and let yourself be surrounded by people who appreciate you for who you are?
I am goofy. I know it and I love that about me. I am good at what I do and I can be very serious if needed but at the core I am goofy. That degree of goofiness will change according to what I am doing. If I sitting with a client exploring ways for them to reach their goals, I am focused and serious about the task at hand, but I don't hesitate to throw in a bit of goofiness if the situation is appropriate. That is me and I don't mind being me in a meeting. But when I get home with the kids, the goofiness can be let loose (assuming there isn't a serous talk I need to have with one of them). The bottom line is, I know I am goofy and I love it. I know that it is only appropriate in certain situations but that it is a part of me every second of every day.
Admit to yourself what the core of your personality is and own it! Don't feel that you have to shut it off in any situation. Don't try to hide who you are, just conduct yourself in a way appropriate to each situation. Be you at home, be you at work. people will appreciate you for who you are.