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Being authentic

Part of the “Living Your Dream” series.

For several years now I have been on a journey to live out my dreams and passions. For eight years, I was the manager of a very busy and growing outpatient Cancer Center and Heart Failure department. As a matter of fact, I was in the Cancer Center two months after its inception and I helped develop the Heart Failure department, so you could say these were my babies.

Four years ago on October 23rd, I officially left the comfort of what I had known to take a weekend nighttime position on an oncology floor at another hospital. Although many factors led up to this change, one goal I had was to write and start my own health business. I didn’t know how that was going to look and I didn’t have my action plan in place. I tried several things, but continued on my journey. After much praying on the matter, I believe God revealed to me the way to combine my knowledge as a nurse with my passion for prevention and wellness. (I didn’t have to choose one or the other!)

There are many other things that came into play during the past four years. I started working on another degree in nursing. I had an aromatherapy business. I obtained a personal life coach, and started taking classes on becoming a coach myself. One thing was for certain: I was tired of working weekend nights. As I have worked on my coaching and wellness business, I have also secretly looked at the job openings for my old position as manager to come open.

Two weeks ago, someone spotted my old job on the career opportunities page at the hospital where I used to work. My heart leaped, and my resume was updated and the application turned in so fast. I could see myself leaving nights in just a few weeks.

Then the soul searching came. As a coach, I had learned how imperative it is to be my authentic and true self. My heart struggled. If I went back to my job as manager, I would have my nights and weekends free. (Working nights is really hard on the body.)

After honest soul searching, I wrote a letter asking the human resources director to remove my application from consideration. I knew if I took that position, my dreams and goals would be placed on the back burner, and would eventually shut the door on them.

I decided to be true to myself and follow what I really want to do. The realization coming with this decision is I will be working nights and weekends a little while longer. However, to do anything different would mean I was not being honest with myself. I have peace today with this decision.

The question is: are you being authentic?


Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN, is an Oncology Registered Nurse and Wellness Coach.

Photo: Corbis

This post was written by a guest writer for Prime Parents Club. We are not currently taking new guest writers.


  1. Jacqueline

    October 23, 2010 at 7:15 am

    What a motivating story, Joyce. Good for you for taking the leap into your dreams that so many of us are afraid to do. You’re a true example of how we should follow our heart. We all will be interested to see how your story unfolds.

    • Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN

      October 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

      Thank you Jacqueline for your encouraging words. It has taken me a long time to get the courage to follow my heart. I almost messed it up this time. Looking forward to sharing how this all goes. I hope I will be an inspiration to others.

  2. 40MomsClub

    October 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Awesome guest post by guest @JoyceHarrellRN on “Being Authentic” (Must read if you need motivation for change!)

    • JoyceHarrellRN

      October 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      @40MomsClub Thank you! I appreciate the kind words!

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