Type A super-achievers can be rather obsessed with being the one who can fix every problem, and whose work ethic and performance are top shelf. But this ultimately contributes to burnout!
If that's you, burnout recovery is a gift that keeps on giving. You will learn a gentler way to be brilliant and deliver your best work to the world, that gives you room to breathe. You need NOT sacrifice career greatness for peace of mind.
If you are in burnout, I believe in you and you deserve recovery.
There's a lot of good left in you, waiting to be released.
Are you ready for that?
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
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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. I believe that you deserve burnout recovery, and I believe that with all my heart. And I also believe that you can rebuild yourself. Rebuild, not reinvent, because there's nothing fundamentally wrong with you inside. You're perfect as you always have been. Rebuild because your walls have collapsed in burnout, your roof is blown in. The fixtures and fittings of your goodness and the depths of your soul have been rained on, thrown about, cursed. Relentlessly pounded by your life experience. Distorted, almost destroyed. You don't recognize this pale, weary shadow of your real self that drags itself mutely into work, ticking boxes, seeking solace, not finding any. Now so crushed for so long your back can't actually bear your own weight. And this is the weight of your innermost thoughts of your self-judgment, alienation, loneliness, frustration, bitter rage.
Dex (00:01:45) - Shame, despair and anything else that came along for the ride. And me too, my friend, in burnout, me too. Me too, and so many of us in this modern age of burnout. But that is never the end of the story. You've already burned down. So now it's time for your revival perhaps. Which requires change, but not of who you are. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with you. Inside you are perfect. So today, this imperfection that many of us feel, so deeply embedded in our wounds that it seems like who we are. But it is not. Inside the perfection of you and me still shines, inside in this little tight black plastic protective coating. You needed your protection. Just as I did, it served its purpose. And now you are here listening. And I think that might be your opportunity. It might be time for you to find a way to thrive and be joyful and let go those unneeded protective habits that separate you so painfully from your fellows.
Dex (00:03:18) - And that, my friend, is where we're at today together. Let's explore, as Brené Brown would say, the gifts of imperfection. Because, as she notes, "Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do." So if your job plunges you into this daily, deep distress like mine did. Then if you do nothing to change that, if you sit in helpless despair, it may not end well. I believe that our life experiences, especially the painful ones, are sent to teach us; to wake us up. And that's how I viewed my own burnout experience in 2017, my subsequent heart attack and the follow up road accident. Someone up there was trying to tell me something. I apparently wasn't a very good listener. Because listening, I think, I felt helpless. It seemed that my life was simply a reflection of who I was - flawed, broken, incapable, weak, useless, and fundamentally unlovable. And so my life experience then was inescapable.
Dex (00:04:46) - I hadn't the power to create anything different. And really, that thought turned out to be the whole point of the learning. But I was also a slow learner. Even seeing the lesson that I was working in the wrong industry, that I was trying to be a loner, refusing help. Whereas the way forward was accepting help. Even seeing all of that, I was a little bit slow to take the appropriate action and keep going. So, this helplessness that comes with burnout is such a common experience. And believe me, if you've never tried this particular thing yourself, being unable to move at all in a hospital bed for months, unable to take care of even your primal needs, when I had that experience personally, it taught me the real meaning of accepting help and care, and it really showed me, in those around me, the qualities of humanity that I personally wasn't deploying. It was rather revealing to me about human connection. So the reason I mentioned this today is in our quest for perfection -
Dex (00:06:09) - Which is really one of the fire starters of burnout - We're often a bit light on with the warmth of human kindness, giving and receiving. And this rod we're beating ourselves up with, to be that hyper autonomous super achiever? Well, it's the same rod we're using on other people, in our minds. Not our fault! Of course, if we do this, the high standards we're going for in our heads were passed on to us as kids by parents desperate to secure our future, by helping us bash our way into the top 10% or 5% or 1%. And really, who can blame them? But now, if this is you, you're suffering too much. Life doesn't have to be this hard. Life essentially isn't this hard. But to experience the success you now wish for, you can't work harder. You have to let go and work with people, not in competition with them. I find the best lubricant for your next great career move, in fact, is kindness. You need to love harder. Which first of all, means loving you.
Dex (00:07:27) - Coming home to the real juicy, blemished, bruised self with all the kindness that you can muster. It's allowing yourself to be you, giving yourself that full permission and the full aftercare that comes with that. Because all those unacceptable parts of yourself that you've shut down over the years, thinking they mar your perfection and success, are full of energy back there. Good energy. Messy, connective, creative, joyful energy. So what I'm saying is: The best bits of you are the mess. Shutting them all down is like cutting parts off your body. You need them. You can't thrive without them. So in many ways, burnout recovery is about reclaiming your full self, exactly how you were designed to be. And if that flies in the face of your social conditioning or family, workplace, religious conditioning, then it's your job to champion yourself through all of that. Back to integrity and wholesomeness and whole heartedness. And it's perhaps a lifetime's journey. But I think you'll be glad to know if you are experiencing burnout, if you are just willing to start.
Dex (00:09:02) - In the context of Burnout recovery coaching specifically, you're going to start feeling better very quickly and the ease, joy, contentment will start flowing back through your veins. I actually think you'll rather enjoy it. That seems to be the consensus from my clients. So if it seems daunting, well, it's up to you. Have you had the tap on the shoulder? Why are you here? If you have had it, your rebuild has actually already started. So come and see me to boost it onwards from here and in a matter of weeks you'll be smiling about work. And from there, your life just keeps getting better and you're going to find yourself in a place of greater social integration, greater success and enjoyment, and just a deeper, richer life. It's almost certainly going to look a lot like the "better life" that you wish you were having right now. So if you'd like to talk to me about that and make a plan to connect more deeply with yourself, your work, your family, your partner, your passion, you can book an appointment with me at dexrandall.com.
Dex (00:10:25) - And please, if you've enjoyed this podcast, I'd love you to subscribe, rate and review it, and also please forward it to anybody you know who is in or near burnout so that they can also get the help that they need. Thank you for listening today my friends. Until next time. And if you're in burnout, please come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance, leadership, and success and most of all, enjoyment inside work. Now you can book an appointment at dexrandall.com.