“One of the most important benefits of reaching out to others is learning that the experiences that make us feel the most alone are actually universal” - Brené Brown
In the book Dare to Lead, author Brené Brown talks about the importance of resisting the shame so many leaders carry on their shoulders. As leaders we often feel the shame of not doing enough or being enough for the people we are attempting to lead. Being a leader is sometimes a very lonely job. One way that Brown encourages leaders to resist the shame of not being “enough” is by reaching out to others. By connecting with other leaders and colleagues we start to realize that we are not alone.
Many other people feel like they are struggling through their days and just doing everything they can to stay a float. As teachers, we often find ourselves drowning in lesson plans, homework, quizzes, tests, the list goes on and on. We are doing everything we can to just be ready for the next lesson, the next day. We feel less than, not enough, alone. By connecting with other teachers, other leaders, we can start to see this feeling of not enough is really universal. We all feel this way! We all know that we are imperfect leaders, imperfect teachers who are just doing the best we can. Brown said it best when she said, “Either we are all normal or we are all weird. Either way, it’s not just you.”
Isolation cultivates shame. As leaders, we need to resist isolation and seek comfort in the imperfection of our lives. Get out of your classroom, get out of your office and go talk with other colleagues to help you realize you are not alone! Find your tribe! Those people who are willing to admit their imperfection are the people you need to be a part of your inner circle or as Brown calls them, your “square squad”. These are the people you are the most vulnerable with and the people that help you realize you are not alone. As a leader and a teacher you are more than enough for your colleagues and your students.