Free To Be You

Our monthly Radical (Re)Imagining conversations continue to inspire us! We had a beautiful conversation with Carolyn Camman a couple weeks ago that has led us to ask this question:

What are the elements of community that allow you to be authentically you?

As we strive to be more fully human at work we recognize that many of us do not have the privilege to show up as our authentic selves at work. So, as you consider this prompt, you may think of other spaces you are in that support you whether it be friends, family, church, or community groups. What do those spaces offer that foster authenticity.

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2 thoughts on “Free To Be You

  1. Ultimately, the real and only barrier to being authentic in any space is myself. There are all those barriers and boundaries that I might set in various situations, and some of them are set due to societal norms and pressure, some are set due to other members of the community and their common preferences, some are set due to personal quirks and concerns that they might be interpreted poorly by others, and some are a hodgepodge of personal fears and insecurities. There are risks to being authentic with others, and with self. It’s no small mystery why many reflections about identity and self-awareness occur in ones 30s and 40s, because it’s often hardest to have awareness in the moment, and only after separation from a moment can you truly reflect. Often I think it is possible to not be authentic to self and not even realize that is the case due to the many kinds of “self” that exist simultaneously.

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  2. I think a community allows me to be authentically me when it authentically seeks to get to know me. Yet this is a cyclical process based on mounting trust and support from one another. I’m not sure I’ve ever truly felt authentically me in a new space, but rather it builds up over time, sometimes quicker or slower depending on the reciprocal nature of the relationship. In thinking about how our identities are ever-changing and context-dependent, it probably also depends a lot on the value I place on my identity in relation to that context.

    Just some random musings on this month’s topic!

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