I face the new semester with great trepidation; my own experiences with burnout, my mental health, and the brevity of the past winter break have all set me up for a very daunting academic chapter. I feel myself needing to breathe, to relax, and not take everything so damn seriously. Leadership is difficult for those who have charisma; it’s tempting to feed off of the accolades of others and never ask for help. I can’t afford to do that anymore.
Recently, I’ve chosen to do something different. Asking for help has never been easy for me, but at this point, it is vital for my continued health. I have resolved to ask for help when needed, to give myself breaks, and not crumble in the face of a mistake. In this journey, I have found others who have trod this path before me and now help others by sharing their own failures and mistakes. It takes great humility to be able to be vulnerable with those you barely know in order to help them. To me, those folks are true leaders; non-hierarchical, lead-by-example, vulnerable, authentic leaders. I am so honored to be among them and to have found people who have been where I’ve been and gotten through it.