We still have such a long way to go to create work spaces where people feel safe to be themselves.

There are too many workplaces that continue to make excuses for leaders who are walking safety hazards.

I’m referring to leaders who are not willing to do the inner work of true leadership – to figure out and address the root causes of their sharp edges. To get the help they need to rise above behaviors that are harmful to others.

3 in 4 employees have experienced burnout and 9 in 10 people who are burnt-out report experiencing poor workplace relationships. 1 in 2 people are not willing to be vulnerable at work.

A quick skim of the reviews in GlassDoor quickly brings these shocking statistics to life.

Expect no appreciation for any good work you do and don’t expect anything from management as they lie and avoid doing the right thing. 

Nobody will see your hard work. Professional growth will stop once you join this place. Our manager kept hiring his friends and family without interviewing them but HR just didn’t seem to care despite being reported through multiple employees.

Long hours, workload is a huge problem, systems and process takes ages. Expectation to exceed target constantly along with politics surrounding race within this department which tends to favour one group vs another.

It is now an expectation that workplaces both monitor and mitigate psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

These hazards include emotional conflict, role ambiguity, role overload, role conflict, task conflict, aggression, exclusion and discrimination.

Not feeling free to be yourself at work is also a safety risk because it causes suffering, and over time puts us at higher risk of depression, anxiety and burn-out.

When we are not free to be ourselves at work, we carry the invisible emotional burden of what’s called ‘surface acting’ or ‘covering’.

This emotional labour becomes an exhausting second job for us when there is a high level of incongruity between how we feel and what we feel safe to show at work.

As Dr Susan David, explains when people habitually evoke the stress of surface acting, they’ll be more prone to depression and anxiety, decreased job performance, and burnout.

This burden of this sort of emotional labour is not equally distributed, but most of us carry it.

69% of people who identify as culturally and racially marginalised women report having to “act white” to get ahead. Over 80% Of people who identify as LGB report ‘covering’ at work. 45% of people who identify as a straight white man Report ‘covering’ at work.


So many of the psychological injuries inflicted on people at work happen because leaders have lost touch with the truth of who they are.

Many ‘high-performing’ leaders are burdened with feelings of low self-worth and deeply buried injuries of their own.

And it’s these old injuries, and compulsion to prove themselves that cause them to behave in ways that are unkind, cold, cruel, harsh, hyper-vigilant, competitive, discriminatory, controlling, judgemental, insecure or extreme.

I see so much unacknowledged trauma walking the halls of workplaces every day.

And this is a safety hazard because hurt people hurt people.

Here is the inconvenient truth: Until we learn how to care for all the parts of ourselves, we cannot properly care for others.

As more leaders find the courage to do inner work to heal the parts of themselves that feel abandoned, hurt, afraid and alone, more workplaces
become safer spaces for everyone.


Join me later this month on Zoom for a free Being True Masterclass. Places are limited, grab you spot here.


If you’re a big-hearted leader who’s ready to take the inner game of authentic leadership to a whole new level, I would like to personally invite you to join the April cohort of my 6 week BEING TRUE Group Coaching program. Only 30 places available. The investment is $599. Learn more here.


If you feel it might be beneficial to gently start a conversation in your workplace about why hurt people hurt people and how we can support ourselves and each other to heal using the evidence-based model of IFS, please reach out. I am getting incredible feedback on my 90 minute Being True Masterclass. cassandra@self-fidelity.com


By reconnecting to our deepest selves we liberate our highest potential and serve the greatest good. That’s why I specialise in the tricky business of authentic leadership and why I’m pioneering the practice of self-fidelity. I’m a trusted guide for big-hearted leaders who are ready to explore their inner worlds and rediscover their true selves. I help leaders get out of their own way, so they can have the impact they want to have in the world. I offer keynotes, workshops, programs, one-on-one and group coaching. Book a no-strings-attached discovery call with me here.