Burnout Recovery

Ep#101 Your Next Big Leap Forward

November 23, 2023 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 101
Burnout Recovery
Ep#101 Your Next Big Leap Forward
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Towards year end is the perfect time to plan for next year.  What do you want more of? Less of? What would a perfect year look like?

Because if we set a direct course, we're infinitely more likely to be gratified than if we dwell in fear and doubt, not daring to set any firm goal.

Silently backburnering your year before it even starts is a mark of the defeat and hopelessness that come with burnout. Don't yield to that! 

Failure to thrive is NOT your destiny.
Whatever you truly want next year, let me fight for it with you.
My coaching clients thrive. 

Part one of my coaching program is the revival - systematically coming out of burnout.
Part two is spectacular and exciting career growth. Being who and how you want to be, fulfilling your potential in joyful ways.

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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. Welcome to this bumper episode on making your next big leap forward, starting now. And I've really been talking a lot lately about feelings, challenges and possibilities. What holds us back, how we change, and what helps us grow into a better future. And today, I think as we come towards the end of the year, it's a perfect time to think about what big leap forward you'd like to create in 2024, for what you'd like more of, what you'd like less of, what a perfect setup would look like for you, and how you can make that happen. So consider what big leap forward you would like to make so that 2024 really is your best year yet. And it really doesn't matter if what you're thinking about is impossible. I think the bigger the better.

Dex (00:01:15) - And I'd love for you to listen today and rediscover the hope that's been missing for you, particularly if you're experiencing burnout. Now, that's no impediment to dreaming big dreams. And what you'll find is. there's an inflection point in the burnout recovery process that's going to get you to your dream. And a lot of people do come to me and tell me that, you know, they've tried everything to fix burnout. And certainly I am aware of many burnout recovery methods and initiatives that really don't work that well. Psychology led, industry led, corporate led burnout solutions often, to be really honest, aren't that good. You might have tried these yourself. You might have done all their exercises and trainings, made your cultural changes or your work habit changes, but you're still burned out at the end. Believe you me, it's not just you. And many of my clients do look back and see that they've been sliding towards burnout their entire career. And I'm talking about people here working in world renowned, savvy corporations that think they have burnout nailed.

Dex (00:02:24) - Not just those of you who are professionals in industries where burnout is almost endemic. And there's only perhaps a lip service to cultural shift. Or also for students, though quite a lot of students come to me and they're already burnt out before they even start. So there's quite a lot of ways you could have got here. But really what I'd like for you is for you to have visibility of a recovery method that's actually guaranteed to work. And the kind of person it works for is a type A personality professional in burnout, typically with career aspirations still left in the tank. So I want you to have hope for a better future where your work isn't crippling you, where you feel valued, energized, and engaged at work. I want you to know you can have that without changing your job. And I really believe in this better work future so strongly, and I think all of us need and deserve to have that. And so for me, because I had my own burnout, I then spent the last six years developing a very essential and efficient set of tools to counteract the root causes of burnout.

Dex (00:03:43) - Without needing your boss, your organization, or your industry to change at the same time. So it works across industries. It works for medicine, law, accounting, sales, consulting. It works for any industry because it really works on the level of human nature. So the context or the content of your job aren't the important factor in recovering from burnout. And even if where you work, the external pressures and the challenges remain exactly the same. Same boss, same regulations, same demands, same constraints. You can still come out of burnout. Guaranteed. I put my money where my mouth is. So if your interest is piqued and you would like to have a better year next year, you're interested in what's possible for you. Now, I think it's time to set your dreaming gear in motion. Time to consider what change to make, so that next year is much better for you than this year has been. And at this time of year, I'm recording this in early November.

Dex (00:04:54) - Often the dead opposite will be happening. You might already be dreading next year. You might be looking backwards over this year, reflecting on all the undesirable aspects the failures, the disappointments, friction, difficulties, maybe goals you didn't hit. You might be thinking about what didn't work out in relationships, with yourself, with other people, also with your bodies, your habits, your health, family, other people. What's your relationships with money? Work? Career? Personal growth? Let's take in the whole caper here, right? Because you're just one person. You've just got one life. And what can happen is, particularly if we're having a retrospective on the years, we can get stuck in reverse ruminating on what's wrong, why we couldn't prevent it or didn't prevent it, and worse still, why we think we can't fix it. So today, let's talk about changing it. Because you do have that power. Although, if you're in burnout particularly, it might need dusting off a little bit. So then I think where we start is let's investigate.

Dex (00:06:05) - Yes, where you are now, but also why you haven't made the change you seek until now, and how you can unblock yourself and create that change now. Because that spring, really, if you've been thinking about your future, is already coiled inside of you. You already know what's not to your liking. Maybe you've got ideas about where you'd like to go from here. But what we can do is in Burnout recovery, we can release that tension by setting new plans in motion and creating the change that you aspire to. And for those of you who are listening and you are in chronic overwork, exhaustion, anxiety and frustration at work, perhaps also feeling overlooked, underused, undervalued, mistreated, even. And I think all of this is particularly pertinent because you probably don't want to stay where you're at now, so it could be time to stop licking your wounds about this year. And peer into your future with fresh eyes. It's your life, right? You're still breathing. Change is still happening. Your brain's working.

Dex (00:07:12) - And the possibility for intentional, active change still awaits you. Still there. And I think helpful in thinking about where we're at now and our future, what we might aspire to. Sometimes that can be a little intangible, and it can be helpful, I think, to start from a perspective such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And they suggest what's most important to us as humans. What needs we need to have met? And typically, we need to meet our needs each level before we can ascend to the next level. And I think it tells a story to those of us who are stuck in this lower level survival needs mode, but dreaming of these higher level aspirational needs. Now includes, of course, those of us who are in burnout and at the same time it includes people who are in poverty, oppression, discrimination, war, disability, mental illness, trauma and the like. So in burnout, we're a little bit restricted in what we can achieve. Like people who have a lot of other circumstantial difficulties in this lifetime.

Dex (00:08:30) - So there are arguably five levels in Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, and they are the first one. The base level. Your base physiological needs such as air, water, food, shelter, warmth, and sleep. The second one is safety. So this includes things like personal security, emotional well-being, health, finances, employment, property, things like that. Number three is love and belonging, which includes friendship, intimacy, family, trust, acceptance and connection. Number four is esteem. So this might be an area that you're aiming to because this includes respect self esteem. Self confidence. Status recognition. Attention. Strength. Competence. Mastery. And really the independence and freedom that come with those things. And then five the top of the tree. Self actualization. This is the desire to become the best that one can be. And Maslow himself pointed out that out of those five, the first four levels are deficiency needs that we need to make up to feel okay. So when we're in those deficiency needs the first four levels, it really leads to anxiety and stress within us.

Dex (00:09:56) - They shut us down. We contract when we've got those needs. And the level five. The top level need is a growth need. So that's where we start to expand. We've become expansive and we start achieving. Beyond our base level needs, into our aspirations for this lifetime and maybe our legacy that we're thinking about if we're in that stage of life. And. out of all of those needs, some of those we relate to at a personal or identity level or personal survival. But also when we think about it as we go up that tree of levels. More and more other people are included in our needs. We have more altruistic goals and our view becomes wider and expands further out. So it's worth thinking for yourself, right? What level are you right now and what level are you aiming for? Where are you going? And there's a couple of questions we can ask ourselves about this to help us identify really which level we're at. It's not necessarily obvious and which level we'd like to get to.

Dex (00:11:08) - So the five levels again are number one our physical survival. Number two safety, three love and belonging, four esteem recognition status and five self actualization. So the first question is which level do you think you're at now. And this is not always going to be a black and white answer. So but just go with your gut feel on this. Think about your anxieties. What level did they put you on. And are you on the same level realistically? If you're thinking from your rational mind about your situation. Okay. Or are you still in fear for your physiological needs? While your life experience is more at the love level or the esteem level. Just think about that for yourself. What's your fear based answer and what's your confidence based answer to that? And of course, if you do have physiological fears that are really out of step with your actual life experience. So if you're fearful for your survival but your actual life is fairly secure, then really what's holding you back? There is a survival level fear.

Dex (00:12:22) - So your anxieties are on stage one. So question one. What level are you out right now? And then question two obviously, what level are you trying to get to? Where would you like to get? Identify which level you're aiming for next. And notionally, since we need to grow to achieve each next level, we can't theoretically jump more than one level at a time. Of course, you're most welcome to prove that wrong. Maslow had a theory, but if you're suitably motivated to offer a counter-argument with your own results, then really go for it. There's no rules here. Your gut will tell you where you're trying to go. And in many ways, the work I do with my clients in Burnout Coaching is to help them ascend through as many levels as they possibly can. It's not a linear experience necessarily. It can be a quantum experience, and what they'll make progress with typically in beating burnout is things like sleep, health, emotional well-being, personal security, finances, career, feelings of belonging and connection.

Dex (00:13:35) - Marriage. Family. Relationships, intimacy, trust, acceptance, self confidence. Esteem. Respect. Purpose, status and the desire to become the best that one can be. So there's quite a broad brush effect in working with burnout coaching that will take you up through the levels and whichever level you put yourself at. It really doesn't define or restrict the growth that you can accomplish. I'm all for big goals myself. And once you think about growth, about where you'd like to be next year, it does organically expand your mind towards what problems you have now that you'd like to fix, what goals you'd like to set, and what you'd like to create in your future. So really, let your mind play in that space if you have that capacity right now, if you can do that. It's really, I think, a great area of thinking. It's a great topic to spend a week or two asking yourself every day for more and deeper answers, more and deeper answers all the time. Listening to what your mind gives you.

Dex (00:14:50) - Listening to what your heart tells you. It's helpful, I think, to ask your future self too. This is you just in a year or in two years if you like. Ask that future self what they've achieved and listen for those answers and then ask, okay, how did how did I get there? Quite often you'll receive those answers to. And of course, if your aspiration is simply right now to get out of burnout, that's wonderful because most people in burnout can't think too much beyond that. They're too tired. So if your current sense is unsafety, depletion, stress, and depressive thinking, it's going to be difficult to make big goals for the future. And a big marker for my clients as they're coming out of burnout is they do start hatching new plans for the future, that suddenly appear to be a bit more within reach. Their voice has an excitement in it as they tell me, even if they're a little bit still nervous or hesitant. You know, they're springing back to life, and those new goals will organically start coming to mind.

Dex (00:15:58) - In burnout. Obviously, people usually just want their energy back and to suffer less. So if that's you, it's great to make that your goal, at least your first goal. And once you get there. More growth becomes available, along with the will and the energy to pursue it, which you also may not have right now. So first steps first come out of burnout. So question two is what level of those hierarchy are aiming for? And of course, it's perfectly fine for it to be safety if that's where you're at and if that's where your need is. And then, of course, it begs the question three. Why aren't you there yet? What prevents you from achieving the level that you aspire to? If that's a painful question for you, be very, very gentle with your suffering self. Try not to leap to self judgment about where you are now because that's really unkind, isn't it? You wouldn't do it to someone else you care about, so please don't do it to yourself.

Dex (00:17:00) - If you're telling yourself you should have fixed your problems by yourself by now. Just gently say No to that thought and let it drift on. Because really, you couldn't have. If it were possible to fix your own problems by yourself, you would already have done it. But it isn't, right? And particularly that applies to burnout. It's very difficult for us to self rescue from burnout. And I know because I tried when I was in burnout myself. And in fact, what I had to do is I had to get help. I had to learn from other people who had a different M.O. than me, who had a different, deeper understanding of me about what would work. And also, if recovery seems impossible to you from burnout, if it feels impossible that you could get there. Just see if you can decide to keep that tiny flame alive in your heart. That hope that you can recover. Because the voice that says that's impossible, it's too tired and beaten down right now to imagine a solution.

Dex (00:18:07) - It's not necessarily correct. That is not necessarily a valid assessment. And of course, burnout is in pandemic proportions right now across the world. There are societal factors, industry factors, technology factors, health factors, economic and political factors that have all contributed. If you're in burnout, it's not actually your fault. And if you've tried all sorts of things to fix it and you failed, that's not your fault either. You've probably been sold solutions that were never going to work, solutions that blame you for doing things wrong or underperforming, and ask you just to lift your game. Solutions that require changes to your environment or your work habits or your productivity without giving you any help to get there. Burnout is real. It has real causes. However, you can still fix it. And I will teach you that if you like. So hold that thought in your mind as long as you can. If you can keep that flame alive, remember that inside of you you're a very capable human being. Just one is temporarily slugged, out of gas.

Dex (00:19:24) - So with coaching, what happens is you'll start to feel better in just the first few weeks. Quite often people start feeling better after our first conversation together because then they have a sense of progression, a sense of hope for the future, that things can change. And. Your best shot in burnout recovery, in any personal growth, in creating anything new, in fact, in your life, is to cultivate as much of a positive, generous, accepting and kind attitude towards yourself as you're able. And you can practice that attitude in writing every day or out loud throughout every day, because that helps you create a stronger habit of self support that will fuel your growth. Being good yourself is where growth happens. Beating yourself up? Not so much. Think you perhaps experimented with that yourself. So shouting at yourself or criticizing yourself or judging yourself. I mean, hasn't that just been shutting down your dreams and aspirations, telling yourself you can't do it? I think if it really is the ultimate demotivation, being mean and critical of ourselves.

Dex (00:20:46) - So question three what's holding you back? I think it's helpful to to see that, to journal on it, to keep asking yourself that question. What you think in you is preventing you from being where you want to go. And then once you've asked yourself those questions, where are you now, where you're trying to get to, and what's holding you back? Really, it's about how to begin that growth phase. Okay. And the first thing that you'll need to begin any growth phase is to feel safe. Safety is level two for Maslow. After this, basic physical survival needs you really to be safe. You need to stop worrying about everything. You might feel that you can't safeguard your own position, your income, your future, your family, your relationships, or whatever you might be feeling helpless, useless, undervalued without the protection that would be afforded by really solid performance in your role at work, and also the support of your peers and colleagues at work. And frequently if you feel that way, it's got a lot less to do with performance.

Dex (00:21:57) - It's got more to do with your sense of guilt or shame, your irritability, anxiety, feelings of failure and withdrawal from social contact as well. So how you can come back from there is actually to rediscover what's great about you. Your skills, experience, competence, willingness. Your prowess. You need to stop blaming yourself and re see yourself freshly. And you do that by examining what's actually happening at work versus what your catastrophizing brain in burnout is telling you is happening. You need to separate those two things, because normally it's not as bad as your mind paints it in a state of ongoing anxiety. So what we would do together in coaching is we'd mine your intrinsic goodness. We'd bring it to the surface. All your worth, your intrinsic worth. We'd find easier ways to deploy it out in the world by passing all the guilt, shame, dread, doubt, procrastination, loss of confidence, and so on. And these are skills you'll quickly learn because the goodness is already there.

Dex (00:23:12) - You've just been ignoring it or sidelining it. Devaluing it inside yourself. The worth in you are still good. So what we'd also do is create this effortless resilience in you, probably beyond your wildest dreams right now. But it comes from learning how to be impervious to criticism. That's a major breakthrough. Again, that's just a skill, but it changes everything. Imagine if you could go through a workday without feeling judged. You can. Your confidence and performance as well will flood back when you do. And in the first few weeks of coaching, I will teach you how to like yourself a lot more than you currently do. And how much pressure will that relieve? Then we work on how you spend each day eliminating overwork, overwhelm, focusing on task efficiency, which is probably crashed a little bit in burnout no matter how many hours a day you actually work. Burnout I think it's a little bit like depression. And who does their best work in depression? So I'll teach you a series of tools you can use to immediately improve your experience at work to reclaim energy, optimism, time, efficiency, and the goodwill of the people that you work with.

Dex (00:24:37) - So that's just a step by step process, learning those skills and starting to use them at work so that you feel better. And notice, if you do learn those skills, you've got them for life then. Okay, you're going to see work differently from that point and you will continue to do so. And that, my friend, is what will not only take you up a level in Maslow's hierarchy, but also it will prepare the ground for you to dream a lot bigger. About what your aspirations are, particularly for next year. Much, much bigger than you've been capable of dreaming lately, for sure. And in the next phase of coaching, what happens is you will start to develop out your dream and make it happen. This is about growing your career, growing your success, growing your prospects in your workplace. All of your dreams will start to spring back to life, and you will start taking action on them and making them reality. And this is how you're going to begin to invest in your next big leap forward, when you hardly dare think about right now.

Dex (00:25:41) - Probably it's going to organically become your next goal once you get your mojo back. And that's the goal we're really going for here. What we're going for with coaching is the one that gives you the biggest payoff. Not the rats and mice ones, not the simply feeling better and resilient and strong. Again, we're going for the really big payoff that you're going to enjoy the most. Like a bunch of these clients. I'll give you a couple of examples. A production company moving from 25k projects to minimum 100k projects. A professor of neuroscience starting a Deaths of Despair enterprise. A spinal surgeon opening his own center. A computer manufacturer boosting his revenue from 10 million to 30 million, and now aiming for 100 million. College entry consultant, doubling his business just with 1 or 2 simple ideas. A start up entrepreneur planning the expansion to a new country. A student with ADHD, moving across the state away from family to take a double medical degree. And a very senior big tech leader doubling his team headcount.

Dex (00:26:55) - If you join the Burnout Recovery Coaching program. When your new goal comes to you, you're know you're out of burnout. That's when it will come. And then it's all gravy from there on in. Then it's all about improving your experience in the direction of your aspirations. This is where we're really moving up Maslow's hierarchy here. Now, everything I've outlined to you in this episode is what you are capable of already. I will simply be your guide. And that's really what we talked about today is just phase one of coaching, eliminating burnout so that your dreams reemerge. Phase two as you go on to actually create a much easier, better, stronger year next year with less emotional stress and start making your aspirational dreams concrete, making them actually happen in real time during the coaching program. Because that's what I want to see. I want to see you get runs on the board that are important to you. And if you're in burnout and you want to get in on this burnout recovery program and create 2024 or another year, if you're listening to this in a future year, what happens in your next year? If you want to create next year as your best year yet, this coaching program will make that happen.

Dex (00:28:14) - So if you'd like to book in to talk to me about your current challenges and your aspirations, go to dexrandall.com. Book in a chat with me. Find out how you are going to recover very quickly and sustainably from burnout. Go on to your best performance, leadership and work success and most of all, enjoyment. And if you did enjoy this episode, please help me reach more people in burnout by letting them know, rating and reviewing this podcast and forwarding the podcast to them. Every episode is packed with ideas and tips that will help people in burnout. Practical tips that you can use right away, and I recommend that new people listen to the first five episodes to get started. Thank you for the for your time today listening to next week's episode. It's going to continue on from this week's theme. I will catch you then. 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 index, or just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.

Your Next Big Leap Forward
Why you may have tried to recover and failed
Maslow's hierarchy of needs and your aspirations
Setting your goal
Overcoming burnout to achieve goals
Setting your dreams free
The big payoff
Moving up Maslow's Hierarchy