Burnout Recovery

Ep#87 Getting started on burnout recovery

July 27, 2023 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 87
Burnout Recovery
Ep#87 Getting started on burnout recovery
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The first step in burnout recovery can be daunting. Many men have no idea if, or how, burnout can be fixed - and facing the prospect of talking about what they see as a failing isn't very appealling.

Does it feel like a leap of faith to you? No worries, I've got your back. Not only is burnout NOT a failing, it's the hallmark of extremely high-achieving powerful contributors. You've just hit one or more road bumps and it's knocked the wind out of your sails. Recovery is a predictable step-by-step process that will restore all that is good in your work self.

Choosing to recover is an act of tremendous courage and self-support. As soon as you decide to be in the solution, a huge burden is lifted from your shoulders.

After that, simply follow the steps through guided personal coaching sessions, to overcome all that bothers you at work.  I will be your expert guide. Your mojo - everything you previously thought was good about you - will return tenfold. We'll fix some lifelong irritations as we go.

If you're in burnout, I want to be clear - longterm recovery is 100% attainable.
You can outperform anything you've done in the past and enjoy life and work again.
You can restart your career growth in under 6 months.

Listen to the episode, then come and tell me where you're stuck, and let's set a course for your future.

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Dex (00:00:09) - Hi, everyone. My name is 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. Thank you for joining me today, where we're going to talk about how to get started if you want to banish burnout forever, because most people coming to see me, I think quite understandably, are a little bit trepidatious about starting burnout recovery. And I think the first hump to get over in that is just taking the plunge. It's choosing to be in the solution, not kind of hanging back on the sidelines. And of course, you might be thinking, you know, well, it's easy for you to say, but it's not easy for me to do. So what I'm going to do today is I'm really going to help you find your way to getting started. And we'll talk about. While you might be reluctant to start. What actually happens when you embark on the journey and how sweet that can be, frankly? But by all means, if you don't want a better life, better work, better relationships, then simply stay in burnout.

Dex (00:01:27) - Stay where you are. If that's what works for you. That is, of course, the simplest way. Because change really takes courage and honesty. And you might decide it's not for you. Or maybe just not yet. And that's your prerogative. If you're having a burnout experience right now or if you're just bruised, dented, a little bit worn out and over it, or you've got continuous deep stress, anxiety and depletion, feeling a bit crushed and miserable, if any of those things are happening for you, how much energy do you actually have for recovery? Chances are very little. You'll be worn down to a stump if you've got burnout and feeling rather bleak, probably about a future. So you're just going to keep on keeping on every day because that's what you have to do, even though you'd probably prefer to spend the morning in bed. Right? But I mean, if you did do that, it wouldn't improve anything. It's doubtful you'd even get any energy back because your mind probably wouldn't leave you alone long enough to rest, would it? So I'll tell you this.

Dex (00:02:41) - When I was in burnout, I didn't want anyone to know it was my guilty secret, because the unwritten code is don't ask, don't tell. Man up. Get on with it. Do your duty. Square up your shoulders. Don't be a wimp. Just cope, for goodness sake. Right. That's part of the man code. I don't know about you, but keeping my burnout secret didn't make anything better. Because burnout wasn't a phase. I couldn't fix it alone and I couldn't bounce back either. I just got worse. And I felt alone with my shameful problem. And eventually for me, I just simply fell on my sword and reversed out of my job forever. And that. I think you might agree, is not ideal. It's not even a solution. A couple of weeks later, I had a heart attack. My body just abruptly shut down on me, needing months of absolute rest. Now, I don't suggest that you leave your burnout if indeed you have burnout that long before you do something about it.

Dex (00:03:48) - You know, don't be a goose, Right? Because if only you knew, right? Recovering from a heart attack is a long, tedious, boring and disabling process that I wouldn't wish on anybody. And it takes much longer than burnout recovery. Hear that? And also, I don't think it helps your mental state at all, except perhaps as a wake up call. Guess what I did is I. After my heart attack is I lay on the sofa more or less round the clock for six months on strict instructions from my doctors not to move. I mean, I had to feed myself, but that's about it. Exercise was also impossible. I would just kind of black out if I tried to go for a walk. And I also had a lot of aftershocks, some of which required hospitalization. So if you think. Putting your heart and body under severe ongoing stress without taking care of it is a good way to go. I think I'm here as evidence to the contrary. But that said, you know, many of us do leave it a really long time.

Dex (00:05:00) - Why do we do that? Why don't we just fess up and get help? So what we're going to do here for a minute is look at the five biggest deterrents. To choosing to be in burnout recovery, I suppose. And of course, I will give you my my top five. But you may have many others of your own. But deterrent one. I've mentioned it already The man box. The definition of the man box is the collective socialization of men in the man box. Men are expected to be strong, successful, powerful, dominating, fearless, in control and emotionless. Sounds about right. Huh? If you aren't the rock for your family, well, what then? A lot of men come to me saying they can't let go of that because their family need and expect and want them to remain strong and specifically to keep earning. And, you know, all of that might be true. But if it is, how's their emotional connection with their family, then how rich and deep are their relationships? Odd, isn't it? Personally, I've never seen a great leader who hasn't abandoned the man box almost entirely, and I think that shows enormous strength of character, potency and leadership to be the full human that you are strong but still vulnerable, emotional, humble, curious, accepting yourself, and then, of course, accepting others.

Dex (00:06:38) - I think this is about not making your humanity a problem, not shutting down in the face of real life. And in this place, I think, lies the most enormous resilience and power. And I also think it gives you a significant drop in shame and self-blame and self-judgment. But we'll we'll come to that later. So deterrent number one. Anyway, the man box. You know what that means for you. And deterrent number two is simply exhaustion with two exhausted to be able to go for anything like a solution. You know, zero free energy, zero motivation, zero hope, nothing. Whole thing disaster. Because complete exhaustion is what it takes to actually stop us. We've been charging ahead, steamrolling every problem, bulldozing our way through probably for years and years and years, even as we watch things continue to deteriorate at work. Until sometimes this one moment when our grinding mental stress hits the wall. This is really where life does what it has to do to draw attention to the problem. It crashes us, leaving us no other option.

Dex (00:07:55) - Hear me now. No other option. If you keep gunning after a crash, what happens? Yes, sick, physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually sick. And you think deeper into collapse. A little bit like I did. I've seen this in countless men and women, too, of course. Who ignore the warning signs. Burnout is really a degenerative condition. Unattended, it becomes worse, more frequent, and deeper. Because really, it's a function of your relentless drive to succeed. Burnout does resist any attempt to fix it by effort alone. You cannot outgun burnout. You know this, I expect, because you've almost certainly tried, you know, to be the Lone Ranger and stare it down. But did that work? So deterrent number two is the crash into exhaustion. Now, deterrent number three, controversial. It might be money. This one's actually fiction. I'm barely even going to address it. I'll just say that. When I recovery's a simple, predictable process that just works for type type-A people like you, it's quicker and exponentially cheaper than staying in burnout, losing your efficacy, income, job, career status, friends, health, self-respect, and probably harming your domestic relationships, too, if you stay in burnout.

Dex (00:09:34) - And conversely, the recovery kind of inoculates you against the return out of burnout in the future. So it's a long term solution. It equips you for this kind of stellar rise in your success, your career, your passion results and of course, your income potential. It's this huge reversal from being shot down in pain to being open back out in potency. It's a huge bounceback in your mojo and morale. I think really it's I mean, for me particularly, it was a really big heart starter. It's choosing to put yourself back on top where you secretly wanted to be all along. And where a lot of new kind of options for success in your career and at work will open up to you and become more exciting and appealing to you. So deterrent number three, money, really. Of course, as well. You know, think of it this way. How much money will you sacrifice in your lifetime and what will your family lose if you never recover from burnout? Well, the next 20 or 30 years is going to look like the same, probably.

Dex (00:10:49) - So moving on, deterrent number four, I think, is pride. You might be too proud to show this. Aspects of burnout that you might perceive as weakness in you. You might fear loss of faith, reputation, status, professional standing. You might fear loss of clients or even your job. And, you know, let's be fair. You could be right. Burnout does progressively rob us of success. His dreams of world domination. We had probably more or less extinguished. But conversely, if you let Pride win, you basically cementing in your losses, you're selling in a stock market crash, if you like your personal crash. You might also fear that the people that you respect might judge and shame you. And that, too, is possible. It's also possible that they would wish they were as courageous as you and could reach out of their own emptiness and step into. The authenticity and self-assurance that you now possess. Since you started to recover from burnout. Remember that people might respect you for your strengths, but they connect with you through your humanity.

Dex (00:12:11) - You shared humanity with them, by which I rather mean your failures and also your kindness. You might also, of course, feel humiliated or diminished at the idea of not having all the answers, not being right about everything and having to reach out your hand for help. Well, I believe in you. I know you're a good man. And I do want the best for you. I will never shame you or allow you to stay in your own shame. I think the reward, if you do reach out, is tapping into a much deeper theme of performance that is robust, authentic, organic. Way beyond any brittle and waning supremacy that you might have been clinging to in Bernal. So if you're holding on to your pride, what's that buying you? Time, perhaps. Probably not much else. And what's it costing you? And how long are you willing to pay that price? So deterrent number four, pride. And now I'm going to talk about. A secret deterrent. Number five, which is.

Dex (00:13:27) - The the grief, really, of the loss of identity words. So deterrent number five really is it's all the shit you've been running away from. It's fear of the reality that you're going to let in if you acknowledge that you're in the grip of burnout and need help. And it is indeed a courageous choice, I think. But it has a whopping upside for the rest of your life. I am not kidding. It's a real transformation of who you are to step into this next phase. To take courage up in your hands and go there. It's just a complete game changer. Enormous relief from your suffering is available. But inevitably, you need to take a look first at what's been happening in order that you can heal from it. And I know how hard that is. It was really, really hard for me until I considered the alternatives. If I did nothing and if nothing changed. And perhaps also going on this journey doesn't sound like fun for you, but actually coaching is. It's quite a lighthearted and warm affair.

Dex (00:14:44) - It's not morbid navel gazing. There's no judgment, there's no shame, There's no dwelling in the in the ugly bits because I really prefer coaching to be fun, enjoyable, forward focused. And I know for sure you've already suffered enough. We don't need any more of that. So I'm really much more interested in helping you connect with all of your good qualities. Yeah. Even so, you know. Burnout does have an aspect of grief to it, and the relief therefore follows a similar pattern to relief from grief. And I believe that. When that day comes, when you acknowledge that you might be in burnout. It's a bit like so many unwelcome life events. Accidents, chronic illness, unemployment, bereavement, divorce and so on. You know, there is this grief process for the suffering, for what is lost, for the fracturing of normal life and of our identity. And our dreams or our expectations for the future. So don't really underestimate the impact of that, especially if you find that burnout for you has a despairing quality, like nothing's ever going to be okay again.

Dex (00:15:58) - I mean, that's not true, but that is how it felt for me when I was in my burnout. Nothing was ever going to be okay again. And I watched my professional persona. Fall apart, disintegrate, in, out. I was just engulfed in embarrassment and humiliation at that time. But little did I know it was going to be. Really one of the best things that ever happened to me. And you hear that sometimes for people who have had other grave situations, grave illness, and it's taught them things they needed to know about how to live a better life. And that was how it was for me. It turned out to be the herald of a much greater career success and a way of being that I love more than ever. This is my old passion just came back to me, and that's really how it turns out for my clients. That's where I steer them because. You know, if you're wondering. It can happen for you, too, because when you get your mojo back, you're going to love the sensations of that mojo, that passion, that engagement.

Dex (00:17:07) - After you've missed them for such a long time, you're going to love it even more than you know if you've had your mojo before. So let's speak to that. Really. Let's talk about this deterrent number five, which is the grief around loss of identity. Because those five deterrents that I've just talked about, really they're they're the headline reasons you won't want to get coached out of burnout. You won't want to create change. You won't want to transition into a freer and more enjoyable work life. And I also haven't mentioned habit here. You might be used to dwelling in comfortable and familiar misery, sitting under potential to protect yourself from doing something new and perhaps from being judged for that. But as Marianne Williamson said, our deepest fear is that we're powerful beyond measure. It's our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. And I know if you're listening to this, if you're still with me, I know that you're a great and powerful, loving human being. So really it becomes what part of your goodness are you withholding from yourself and from other people? Is fine to be wherever you are at right now, but staying stuck there is optional.

Dex (00:18:26) - It's a choice you make by not choosing to change. So I wonder for you if you are stuck somewhere in that cycle of grief and loss, if you can relate to the five stages of grief and these are coming from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and their denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. So what I'm going to do now is if you don't really know very much about those stages of grief, I'm going to go through them with you. You can check your own experience against them and perhaps you can unstick yourself in the process. So the first one is denial, and maybe that's where you think you are right now. This stage is really associated with shock avoidance, fear, confusion. It might arrive right after you allow the word burnout to enter your consciousness and wonder if it might apply to you. You might freak yourself out a little bit, but if that's happened, it's likely that you're at least. Somewhere on the spectrum of getting into burnout or being in burnout or trying to recover from burnout.

Dex (00:19:42) - And I think that in any of those cases, it's going to be a really strong choice for you to make about yourself and your ammo. To to change your trajectory so that your experience doesn't deteriorate any further from where it is now. It starts to go back up. First, you know, maybe you can relate to that one. The next one is anger. I'm going to make a wild guess that you can already see your patterns of anger in your burnout experience. I certainly know that I could. You might have anger at other people, your boss, maybe your clients, your organization. You might have helpless rage about simply what is your daily experience? Well, it might come out as anxiety that everything is so unfair. Or frustration that you yourself can't make it right. It also might just come out as irritation with colleagues, family and others or impatience with them. I think you're probably pretty up close with your anger right now, even if you haven't really wanted to notice it. And there's a really helpless aspect to it if you're in burnout as well.

Dex (00:21:01) - So the third stage is bargaining. You've tried all your weapons, you've tried to talk it down with others. You've even tried self-care. Probably you've probably meditated once or twice or exercised a bit or worked on some poor habits, tried to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get a bit more committed, a bit more dedicated, a bit more disciplined. You've probably also tried to cut down on work at night, something like that. Switch off in the evenings, not keep checking your messages. You might have tried to eat better and things like that. That's kind of the bargaining phase. If I do all these little right things, it'll be I'll be able to fix it. But, you know, ask yourself right now if you're having those experiences. Is that working out? The next stage then is depression. And not to necessarily be confused with clinical depression. I mean, that might happen, but it might not and just might be a very suppressed mood. With the accompanying, I think accompanied by a bit of a sense of giving up.

Dex (00:22:02) - So okay, this happens when none of your bargaining tactics fix very much in any way. You couldn't really stick to them. Yes. Have you actually gained weight lately? Are you drinking more? Have you withdrawn further? Or gotten even more grouchy with your partner and kids? Have you stopped doing anything you like doing outside work? And do you slump in your chair mindlessly watching TV or drinking beer? And also, do you criticize yourself even more than before this stage? It can be terribly overwhelming and you might feel consequently really hopeless and glum. There might be some fight back to aggression or avoidance. And by the way, if you are here and you're losing ground, if you're slipping into crisis, and if you notice that and you need support, please, please, please, please reach out to a professional if that's required, please don't ignore any very real needs you have for support in your mental health and capacities. Having said that, whilst the stages of grief are not linear and can occur or recur in any order, depression can actually be of itself a stage of giving into reality, becoming unstuck, and thus opening the way to the healing stage of acceptance.

Dex (00:23:27) - So if you're in this depressive stage, don't stop now just because it's unpleasant. Because if you did that, you'd just get to keep your misery. So if you're in the depression phase, keep going. Hold true. Help yourself. Keep a little bit of wiggle room in there. Yeah. Because the last stage of grief is acceptance. This is the easiest stage from which to access healing. Since you've dropped resistance and are opening to your real experience and you're opening to change, all the other stages are really just flavors of resistance that you go through to get to acceptance. So this stage really then it's it's the bare earth of the truth of where you are in this moment. And it might feel. Unanchored. It might be tiring, but it's also a little bit open and freeing. It's a little bit expansive where energy is actually flowing a little bit because what's really happening here in the acceptance phase is you're flushing out some of the negative energy making way for the new. So we'll feel perhaps a little bit floaty, a little bit unmoored.

Dex (00:24:45) - And it is also likely to encourage self esteem and facilitate the start of better habit because what's happening in acceptance is now you're in integrity. And you've really got very little more truth to fear. And it's a stage that will help you start esteeming yourself more liking yourself more. Believing in yourself more in this kind of shaky and tender way, and it will start to restore a little bit of perhaps inklings of balance, energy, hope. You can start to touch new possibilities of pulling yourself out of the pit of despair. And. I'm here for you. I just want you to know this, right? I'm here for you. I'm holding you right now. Wherever you're sitting. Pretty burnout in burnout, raging against burnout, struggling to get out of burnout. Wherever you are, it's all fine. But I'd love to be here for you because I believe in you. My offer to you then is simple. If you're listening to this and you want to know what your options are. I will meet with you one on one for an hour to talk about where you're at, what's bothering you, and where you'd ideally, in a perfect world, like to get to the possibilities for your future that feel probably terribly remote and unattainable right now.

Dex (00:26:12) - I will help you connect with those because I instinctively know when a man can be helped to a better place. With the program that I run. I can indicate that to you. Right on the call, I will tell you. But of course, there's no obligation to take any further with me. But I will nonetheless tell you, if I see that you're ready for recovery and I will share honestly what I see your future can unfold. Like I'm just going to show you the picture, really. So what it looks like to address your difficulties. How the process itself works and what to expect in terms of the stages of recovery. How to revive all your best qualities and what can be achieved in your job or career growth once you do recover. If you would like to find that out for yourself, what can be improved for you? How long it will take to feel better. Typically it's very quick what results to expect and. Here's Want me to tell you about results. Normally it's realistic to expect a great deal more than you think is possible right now.

Dex (00:27:18) - So if. If that's what you want for yourself, then I invite you to come and talk to me. No strings, Right. This burnout recovery program works across industries. If you're a type-A executive leader or professional, it will work for you. That's my guarantee. You'll get your mojo back, improve your relationships, feel more joy and reward. Find success more easily. You'll make better choices. You'll create career growth, and you'll develop this solid, sustainable, authentic and emotionally intelligent way of being. There'll be a lot less wear and tear kind of on a day to day, week by week, month by month basis. So if you are in burnout, go to Dex Randall and book a chat with me. Come and talk to me about how you might recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance leadership and most of all, enjoyment inside work and out. And if you enjoyed this episode, I would love you to help me reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing and subscribing to this podcast.

Dex (00:28:28) - And lastly, if you know someone else who's heading towards or in burnout, please send them the link to this episode. And I recommend if they new listen to the first five episodes of the podcast you start. 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 a burnout next round. Or just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.

The Man Box
Exhaustion and the Crash
Money as a Deterrent
The grief of loss of identity
The relief from grief
Acceptance and Self-Esteem
Options for Recovery
Benefits of Burnout Recovery Program