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Having to maintain a never-ending facade of success and happiness really is draining.

Learning to be able to confidently say "I'm very concerned our company might die if we don't do X by Y because of Z" was one of the hardest and the most rewarding things I learned how to do.

I found that skillfully expressing my real feelings leads to much better results than not expressing them at all. If you pay careful attention to how politicians speak, they often utter phrases like "I'm very concerned about..." It sounds odd at first, almost fake, but when done genuinely it can be a source of great strength. You don't need to fake things in a time of crisis. You can share your darkest fears with people while maintaining a confident demeanor, and it does wonders for how people perceive you.

Of course this is harder to do than to say. I'm still learning, but a while ago I resolved not to hide my feelings from people anymore.

I've had a mentor point out the difference between processing the hard stuff that's going on and sharing it. She was saying that it's important to have peers that you can process things with, and once you start to have it figured out, you'll be able to share it more broadly with people you're leading and so on. You'll still be honest with them, but you're not falling apart or dropping this big thing on them that they can't handle. And I suppose you can process things on your own, but it's much better to have people you can trust to help you with that.

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