The first step in burnout recovery is being clear about what problem you're trying to solve. Then step 2 is finding an effective cure.
Many people come to me with what they THINK might be burnout, because my speciality is executive and professional burnout.
They tend to have four main questions for me:
Is this burnout? If so, why am I in it? Why have I been unable to fix it?
And when they hear that there IS a solution, the next question is - Will the solution work for ME?
I hope to give you a deeper understanding, and perhaps a new perspective, as I answer all of those questions in this episode.
Rest assured, if you are a professional in burnout, not only is there a solution, but even though nothing has worked to fix it so far, burnout coaching WILL work for you.
Ep#1 Burnout 101 - What exactly is burnout?
Ep #2 What type of person gets burnout and why?
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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, and today we're going to talk about is burnout curable?
It's rounding off my series on feelings, really, and I just thought it was
worth a revisit because burnout's all about feelings and asking this question
really, because it's critical to know.
The first step of recovery is being clear about what problem you're trying to
solve, and the next is, okay, what to do.
So many people do come to me with what they think might be burnout, but
they check in with me, and really it's because my specialty is executive and
professional burnout, so I'm able to help them out with that, and they tend
to have four main questions for me.
Number one, is this burnout that they're suffering?
Number two, if so, why are they in it?
And the subtext of that really is there something wrong with me?
And question three, why have they been unable to fix it and can it even be fixed?
And question four is, will the solution work for them specifically?
Very valid and reasonable questions, all of which I'm going to address here.
And before we begin, I hope you're gonna listen to other episodes of the podcast.
'cause what I do is each episode I'll try to include as much information
as I can, as many techniques as I can, and concepts as I can to help
you reduce your suffering in burnout.
So there you go.
I think there should have been a spoiler alert ahead of all of that.
I can't stand to see so many people suffering in burnout.
Anyhow, let's take those four questions first up.
Number one, is this burnout?
To quickly identify if you are in burnout, first up, listen to episode
number one of this podcast, burnout 1 0 1, which will explain all.
And number two, test yourself via the burnout Self-assessment quiz.
You can see the link to that in the show notes.
So I've already talked question one.
I've already talked about how to identify if you're in burnout or not on many of
the episodes in the past, but essentially. I'm gonna encapsulate it for you now.
If you have chronic stress and anxiety lasting for months, diminished
or unsatisfying professional performance, a perception of
loss of autonomy, recognition, or sense of being appreciated.
It generally leads to futility, hopelessness, cynicism.
If you have a perception of loss of reward, loss of fulfillment, and the
consequent kind of disengagement and loss of motivation that comes with that.
If you have ongoing exhaustion and consequent, low mood, irritation,
anger, helplessness, and despair, and I think this part of it feels
a little bit like depression.
If you have loss of enjoyment and impaired human relationships, feelings also of
being judged, all of which tend to lead to a tend to lead to a withdrawal socially.
So that's a quick roundup, and if that's you might also be experiencing
a desire to quit your job.
But listen to episode one for more details.
I go through the whole thing.
So question two, then, if you've just identified that you may be
in burnout, why am I in burnout?
And again, I explain fully why people get into burnout in episode two of
the podcast, also in the show notes.
So listen to that one later.
But essentially again, people susceptible to burnout are smart people with a very
high work ethic, who really care about their success and impact in the world and
are powerhouses of support for others.
Super achievers who also worry about what other people think about them,
they tend to have no off switch and few boundaries, throwing more effort
at every problem that needs fixing often for many years until collapse.
So if we're going to throw a blanket over those people,
we'd actually call them Type A.
Type A though is not a personality type.
It's not a life sentence either.
It's simply a cluster of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that
when taken to extreme lead to chronic overwork and burnout.
Type A people learn early that they must work hard to get the love,
attention, and approval that they need.
That being a super achiever is always a very safe place to be because
it helps them fit into the social world and it naturally follows
then that it's your not your fault.
If you have Type A behaviors, you've developed them in
order to get by in the world.
So again, listen to episode two if you want more details about that.
Question number three.
This is I think the clincher for a lot of people.
They come to me and they say,. Dex, why haven't I been able to
fix this problem with all the things that I've tried so far?
And sneaky question, adding on the back, can it actually be fixed at all?
So if that was you just now, if you relate to Type A behaviors
and attitudes, perfectionist, impatient, driven, demanding.
Then of course, If you studied hard and or excelled at school, if you
joined a profession where there's some very exacting, prolonged training,
you probably shot up in this meteoric career trajectory that created a lot of
early success, and you are gonna see in that, that you behaviors have worked.
They've got you what you wanted, and you are capable of creating success and the
status that feels safe and good for you.
So naturally, when that works, you keep doing what you've always done.
You keep driving hard, but this isn't a perfect world and you are still human.
And one day your invincibility will be challenged.
You're gonna hit some kind of a wall.
Maybe it's illness or accident, loss, divorce breakdown, or simply
cumulative overwork and pressure.
Something's gonna happen that stumps you, that you can't simply work
harder to fix, and that's where you might come undone at work.
Particularly your faith in yourself might degrade or might be shattered entirely.
And usually this is a very shocking and embarrassing experience, and it
leaves a person feeling tenderized and extremely vulnerable often for a Type
A not a terribly pleasant place to be.
And if that's you and that happens for you and you don't know how to fix
it, 'cause typically we don't, when that happens, if we don't know how
to fix it, then we're gonna hide it.
So maybe you are hiding it, secretly trying to find some way of overcoming
your obstacles, whatever they were.
And probably you lose so much energy, self-confidence and motivation that
performance does suffer at work.
Willpower Irritatingly does not help you fix it.
Maybe it used to, once, but right now it isn't working like that.
And perhaps people notice and they start to criticize you or performance
manage you, or perhaps you simply lose a bit of ground, you lose income,
you lose status, position, clients, projects, whatever it is, there's gonna
be some loss or some lesser return on your work time efforts if you like.
And when that happens, that only makes matters worse.
So exhaustion overwhelms you and you start snapping at people all
the time and despair sets in.
Even if you look though at this point for outside help, what you find that every
outside support you find is ineffective.
Corporate coaching, performance plans, punishment, ostracism, work-life
changes, reduced responsibilities, yoga, holidays, psychotherapy.
Nothing really works and you still feel awful.
And the reason you can't fix burnout that way particularly is
that burnout is an inside job.
Changing anything in your environment, anything external to you won't fix it.
It can't possibly fix it 'cause the problem isn't external.
It's the bad news and the good news.
And also meditation won't fix it either, all by itself, partly 'cause
it's gonna be hard to maintain a habit.
This is also true of good eating habits, good sleeping habits,
exercise, whatever you pick.
It is gonna be hard to generate and maintain a habit from this state of
demoralized exhaustion, but also it won't work mostly because your relentless
inner critic marches on, smashing your efforts at recovery and self-support.
So many people who come to me, in fact, almost everybody who comes to me has
tried a whole bunch of things to fix their ongoing chronic stress, anxiety,
burnout, and this often includes things like taking some time out, changing jobs,
working from home, stopping working from home, self-imposed regimes of all kinds,
for self-care and exercise and stuff.
Often includes counseling, medication, therapy.
Interestingly, they've quite often tried coaching too, to no avail.
From where I'm sitting, every potential fix that doesn't
work has one thing in common.
It's trying to fix the symptoms or effects of burnout.
It's applying a bandaid correction, and people in burnout are very resourceful,
high achievers, if fixing symptoms work, they'd have had the problem licked by now.
So if you've tried, perhaps even for years, to pull your own socks
up, to pull yourself out of burnout, with or without help, it's really
not your fault if it didn't work.
But of course, there's always some good news, and the good news is there
is a very reliable solution to burnout that once learned and practiced will
keep you out of burnout long term.
How do I know?
Because my clients come out of burnout very reliably and go on to
thrive and excel in their careers.
They go on to get their mojo back, their passion, their success,
their enjoyment and all of that.
They go out all guns blazing.
I'll give you a couple of examples 'cause I think it's important that
you hear from real people here.
So here's what one of my clients who's a big four consultant told me recently.
One year after completing his burnout recovery program with me, here's what he
said, and I quote, "Things are going well.
I continue to make progress and family life with the wife and kids are great.
They continue to see progress and clearly our sessions have helped me significantly.
I continue to use the skills you gave me to work on myself, and
I believe I'm in a great place professionally and personally."
By the way, whilst we were working together, he got promoted up to up
the partner scale to senior partner.
Here's another client, a hospital physician leader, and also one year after
completing his work with me and he said,
"I'm doing great.
I've been in my new job for a few months now and it's going great.
Great team, amazing collaborative culture.
I feel balanced and strong physically and more importantly mentally.
I'm glad, it sounds like you feel fulfilled too, and I'm eternally grateful
for all that you helped me to achieve."
There's just two results.
I could go on and on, but I don't wanna bore you but really these are fairly
typical the resurgence that is available.
Coming out of burnout is a very big scale transformation where people really
don't recognize themselves from how they were at the beginning in burnout.
So I think the next question about guys like those is,
how on earth did they do it?
How did they fix burnout?
How can you, the listener, yourself, fix your burnout?
So because of the common type A behavior patterns of both men and
women in burnout, combined with the concept of neuroplasticity, our
brain is always capable of change.
I think I've already answered the question there, that burnout is
curable, and here's how we really can simply learn new behaviors to
counteract our problematic experiences and ingrained responses to them.
When we're experiencing burnout, we can restore vitality and
passiona at work by really making quite subtle adjustments to our M.
And to approach work in a new way that restores the
balance of powers in our favor.
So we bring all the power back into ourselves, and that's
where we get our energy and our resilience and our enthusiasm back.
We start to feel we have agency again.
If you are burnout and you feel guilty, may be ashamed, embarrassed,
bit imposter-y, humiliated, beaten down, uncared for, undervalued,
overlooked, vulnerable, anxious, underperforming, or perhaps failing.
There's fundamentally nothing wrong with you, even if you
have any of those feelings.
So listen on here for what you can do in order to bounce back.
So the next question you might ask after that is question four,
will the solution work for me?
Here's what I think, if you relate to the burnout symptoms described here, If you
are an executive leader or professional in burnout, this burnout recovery
program that I teach will work for you.
It will work for you.
I've tested this pretty extensively over the last six years.
I've coached 8,600 or so sessions, and the program is so reliable
that I actually guarantee it.
It is designed to systematically remove the root causes of your problems.
Thereby the symptoms, and it does that without you needing to change your job
or your boss or whatever the unwholesome factors are for you in your experience.
Because what you're gonna learn to do is restore your own energy,
agency power and efficiency.
You're gonna take all of that back for yourself, as well as stimulate much
smoother and better human relationships.
Cultivate positive connections, rediscover passion and enjoyment, and facilitate
massive success for yourself with an ease that you may not until now,
be familiar with, or maybe once, and you've forgotten it was so long ago.
So you're gonna learn how to do this for yourself.
It's no point in me having agency over you.
I want you to have agency over you.
I want you to be able to create your work experience, how you like it
best so that you can thrive at work.
And also it's very important,. I think for success to be fun.
'cause I know you've got a lot of skills and experience and
goodness to bring to the world.
So it needs to be fun for you as well, right?
And no matter how long you've been in burnout, even if it's your whole
career, and no matter what career you are in, Medicine, dentistry,
veterinary, nursing, law, accountancy, finance, banking, consulting, IT, tech,
sales, media, entrepreneurs, business owners, teaching, academia, anything!
I don't really care as long as you're a professional.
No matter what stage of your career you're at from college student to people who are
preparing to retire, no matter what your ambitions from simply finding your feet.
Or switching job or career, going for a promotion to massive career company
or financial growth to downscaling or moving to part-time, to switching
from corporate to entrepreneurship, relocating across states or countries,
or just simply saving your home, marriage or family from imploding.
If you're a professional with Type. A behaviors, you are 100% perfectly
equipped, with all the faculties, all the attitudes and all the
habits you need to get over the line and create burnout recovery.
That's the joy of it.
When you turn these things around, all you're doing is drawing on
skills you already have, but deploying them in a different way.
And all I ask really, for people who come and work with me is that they are honest,
willing, committed, and ready now to make changes in their experience at work.
So if you are in burnout, go to dexrandall.com.
Come and talk to me and let's talk about how you personally can 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, please help me reach more people in burnout
by rating and reviewing the podcast.
That would be really tremendous.
I'll be grateful for that.
And if you know somebody else who's heading towards or in burnout,
please send them to this podcast.
I recommend that new people start by listening to the first five episodes and
then pick the ones they resonate with.
Thank you for your precious time today.
Wishing you all the best.
Catch you next time.
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, and just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.