“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are,” writes Brené Brown in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
“Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.”
And in her best-selling book, Illuminating Care, Carol Garboden Murray urges those of us who support young children to gratefully embrace both the struggle and strength of our work: ??"When we slip into the illusion that it is our job to fix the other, we lose our perspective on care and education. As practitioners of human development, we remind ourselves that we are not technicians. Unlike technicians, who can prescribe and predict outcomes as part of a task to repair and fix machines, we understand that human growth is organic, individual, messy and surprising. With care and education, we have to walk in the dark at times, we have to be open to confusion as well as delightful discovery."
Finally, in the Exchange Reflections, “Finding Joy in Our Work,” Luis Hernandez encourages staffs, college students or individuals to reflect on the fact that finding joy in our work comes from embracing the interconnectedness of struggle and strength:
“Joy is that ephemeral chemical in the silliest interactions or unexpected hugs and smiles. Joy is sharing with co-workers the successes of the day. Joy is resolving difficult relationships and challenging moments. Joy is earned through difficult steps. Joy is hard work.”
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