It's my contention that - no matter how deep in burnout you may be - you are a glorious human being. Your current suffering is more superficial than intrinsic.
So let's explore and excavate that inner goodness. It will relieve your suffering to re-connect first with yourself and then others.
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Hi everyone, my name's Dex Randall and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello my friends, this is Dex and let's get comfy here today and talk about a very uncomfortable subject. So that's just a quick warning, your brain might find you something very urgent to do while you're listening to this, but just stay with me for a second. What we're going to talk about today is how absolutely glorious you are. And I'm recording this in the week coming up to Christmas because I think really it's a time when we start to reflect on ourselves, our loved ones, our work and what our life's journey has been like this year. And also maybe we're thinking about what we'd like to have coming up for us in the coming year. So really, I'd like to offer some cheer and some encouragement in this moment to you and to myself, I'm listening too. And for those of you who are still in the depths of this merciless burnout experience right now as you're listening, okay I understand what that's like, I know what it's like, but really no matter what your levels of stress and tiredness are in this moment, there is a mighty heart and a generous spirit trapped inside of you. It's still faintly glowing, I can see it from here. And if that's true, really then, it's just got buried in a deluge of probably self criticism and self judgment. And it's probably, if that's happening for you, it's probably a little bit materialistic, it's probably a little bit survival based, particularly in the Christmas period it's probably a little bit social. Don't worry. Here we are, we'll take a breath and really let's dig around a little bit and excavate any small remaining scraps of you that you might tentatively still view as useful or helpful. And then we'll let's enlarge upon them. And notice too if you're self criticizing you're probably also self aggrandizing, right? Because we know you've got skills, we know you're smart. So there's probably both sides of the ego at work here, the up and the down. But when you pause and breathe deeply, connecting with your authentic energy, there's kind of a sweet spot in the middle between the up and the down. It can be elusive, but there with humility and dignity you could notice what's good in you from a perspective of basic humanity and decency, what's always there inside you. And I would invite you to be here with me. I'm as deeply a flawed a human being as any. And touching on the real you deep inside without embarrassment or shame. Each of us has an inbuilt capacity for love, don't we? So I think of it as having this kind of interesting safety catch. We can only share that love genuinely with others to the degree that we're willing to give it to ourselves. So in a way reaching into that inner vault of goodness is our responsibility. It's our gift to the world. And if we can stabilise on that truth for a moment, we can present a grounded energy to the world. And kind of without artifice, we can be of genuine benefit unapologetically to ourselves and to others in a way that connects us. So having said that, are you with me? Please suspend your urges to tune out and come with me on this little journey today. Just be still for a moment. It might help you here just to take a couple of really long deep breaths. Feel a life force of your breath as it goes in through your mouth and nose, down your throat, filling your lungs with air, filling your heart with oxygenated blood. And when you're taking that long in breath, at the end of the in breath, just hold it for a few moments and then gently let it go. Let the out breath take the tension from your mind and body. Just drop your shoulders a little bit. Let go of the tension in your neck. Release the muscles of your back and your stomach. Just consciously let go. Let go of judgment and fear. Let go of the preoccupations of your external world for a moment and settle your attention on yourself gently with as much compassion as you can muster. Because you deserve to be here exactly as you are right now. Once you've taken those few deep breaths, focus your mind by noticing on purpose, what's inherently good in you. Notice your good heart, your basic good intention in the world, your care for other people. Remember a time, a little moment, when you did something good. Not a grand act, perhaps just a tiny unobserved moment of goodwill. Find something you appreciate about your existence as it is and choose for a second a joyful thought about someone or something you care about. What you've done really there is touched in on your basic goodness and you can touch in on that at any time because it's your birthright, unaffected by the external world, success or failure, gain or loss, popularity or isolation, approval or disgrace. Your basic goodness simply is. And very gently, even if you can just open a tiny bit to this exercise, notice how you feel, how your body feels. When you're compassionate to yourself, what's the quality of energy in your body? Is it tingling a little? Can you sense a softening in it? And think now about how you've been living each day, where you are armoured in life? And where your suffering arises? How your mind and body want sometimes to draw in and protect you from harm? But sometimes that doesn't work very well. How do you act when you're in pain and fear? What does that look like for you? And if you're defensive or withdrawn or self protecting or self critical and judgemental, just think about where's the upside of that for you. And if beating yourself up isn't really working, and for many of us it really doesn't work that well, one of the reasons is that underneath all of the stress, the worry, the exhaustion, and possibly you just had a tiny sense of this, you're already good. You don't need it. And when you stop holding your own head underwater, perhaps, or perhaps telling yourself that someone else is doing that to you, not you, you can still contact this good in you. It's still there. It's always there. And so if you feel the urge sometimes when you're experiencing stress or anxiety, or when you're feeling not enough, that you need to try harder to win, to meet other people's demands, to meet their expectations, consider perhaps that the opposite is true. Perhaps you're drowning and they're drowning too in this sea of modern life and modern culture. And maybe thrashing about isn't the answer, but what's good inside you is already the antidote. Reaching out, I think, from a gentle and tender place, connecting with the trust in your own fundamental value, and connecting with others in the same spirit, I believe it nourishes us all. In this life, we have our troubles, but really we're lucky. And recognizing and cultivating gratitude for what we do have is another way of filling the well. It's not wishy washy and aspirational, it runs on cold, hard facts. For all your grievances, hasn't life conspired to keep you alive, fed and sheltered until now? This gratitude, when we lean into it, softens and opens our hearts. As a practice, it's very grounded and it can invigorate us and nurture our sense of sufficiency and safety. And that's what I find so helpful about coaching. With coaching, we get to experience our daily events in a new way, freeing ourselves from any detrimental stories we hold about what happened that make our life experience worse. So with coaching, we interpret the world in our favor on purpose, because it turns out that all our opinions and views, they're just a web of fiction really that we regard as absolute truth. I consider that truth is relative. And just because we interpret something that happened today as adverse, just because we think somebody has it in for us or is blocking our success, is trapping us in a bad position or blaming us for an error, none of that makes it actually true. So coaching releases us to think differently so we don't drown in our own prejudices and instead can thrive regardless. And we do this by examining life through a new lens. With our thoughts, we create the world. So our thoughts have the power to change our experience. If the boss needs a late change in a report we're writing, we change our thought from he's being unreasonable to I'm going to give him what he needs in my own way. So rather than creating misery, we suddenly have the ability to manifest goodness flow, synchronicity, and we regain access by that to creative problem solving. We cultivate the habit of intentional thought in a protective way, but also on us who we are and what we can do. When we use coaching to approach problems in this way, we'll find our way through with a lot less wear and tear and a lot less bitterness and resentment. We'll habituate our brains to look for the win wins. If you like snatching victory from the teeth of defeat, and as we start to develop this skill out a bit more, we'll free up our enthusiasm and see that we've got more power than we noticed before. Naturally then we'll start to own the results we create. There's no flukes. We made it. And if that sounds theoretical to you, it is actually science based. It's the principle on which cognitive behavior therapy is based. So in fact, your brain can do it. I personally have a very naughty brain sometimes. That's um, you know, it's as tempted as anyone's to drop into fear and doubt and to misbehave accordingly. My old burnout style of thinking is opportunistic and still surfaces. But what I've done is I've trained myself to think freshly, to just pause and rethink whenever that happens. And I can kind of self coach myself back into the mind. And frankly, if I can do it with my brain, you can too with all the kindness you've got in your human brain. Because it starts with self compassion. The brain and heart you have are perfect. Your current life situation is the perfect start point for reinvention. It's all recoverable. And guess what? Hidden bonus. When you do this work on yourself, everyone around you benefits as well. You'll lighten up, you'll feel better, you'll communicate better and you'll see solutions more easily. And then you'll naturally want to help others who are still a bit in the dark of their own fear and doubt and anxiety. And if that's true, how would all that be possible if you didn't have goodness within? You have it. When you connect with the goodness within you can also apply in your team room, which is why my program is called Burnout to Leadership by the way. Coming out of burnout is kind of wild and wonderful and empowering for you. But I think particularly at work, supercharging team performance is the biggest upside. And I'm talking about work teams because your leadership will naturally flourish. But I'm also talking about any, any human interaction, family, socially, whatever. And if you think about why really getting in touch with your own goodness within through coaching will naturally open you up to the hidden goodness of other people. And thinking about it in terms of leadership, here are some of the aspects of leadership that will benefit when you do this work with yourself. Recognizing and developing talent, remediating team problems, improving morale and motivation in your team, increasing goodwill and loyalty, inspiring greater contribution, transforming the communication, not only within your own teams, but between your team and other teams and also with clients and other people who work supporting social bonding, stimulating willingness and work ethic, encouraging adaptability, facilitating good discipline, making room for more creative problem solving, inviting new ideas in that way, trusting your people to find a solution to a problem. And I think probably the most important in terms of performance and as well, employee retention, creating psychological safety, and that's a skill that many of us have to work on. And really that includes things like creating an atmosphere culture where there are no dumb questions, where we redefine the whole concept of failure and what failing is, where there's no hate speech, no point scoring, no shout downs, where there's no preferencing. And essentially we create an environment of same side team where we're all working together, rather than against one another. And all of those areas, I think, are areas that I normally work on with my clients. They're generally born leaders who got stuck in burnout, and many of them struggle to transition from highly skilled kind of technical or hands on roles into effective and performant leadership. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to bring you back to this proposition. You are a wonderful human being. And at time to time, if you behave in suboptimal ways or if you achieve suboptimal results, it's temporary and you're probably operating at least to some extent from fear. And you'll know this from how anxious you feel about what other people think about you. It really is never about them. Once you learn to connect the goodness inside you with gentleness, compassion, all that goodness you have is going to leap to the fore in a way that creates much better results and leaves you much happier. It's going to develop trust. This is you getting your mojo. If, as Tennessee Williams said, time is the longest distance between two places, then thought is the shortest distance between two places. It's very cheap having a new thought. It's very quick. And here's what I'm going to leave you with. Life's a game. We can assume we will fail at this game. So simply with compassion, we put learning above winning. We seriously attempt to fail brilliantly at everything because we're that good. That's what we can do. Thank you for being here today. Thank you especially for staying through the discomfort. I appreciate you being here. If you are in burnout, you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance and enjoyment inside work and out. And remember, it is your birthright to be happy and you are a glorious human. If you're in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout to Leadership Program. You can book in to talk with me at burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.