We live in uncertain times - Covid, economy, politics - and it's important to notice how you feel about that, and how it affects your decision-making.
Success thinking dwindles whenever we lose confidence, but at such times it's more important than ever to focus on your goals. A bold attitude shines brighter when others are in retreat. Your commitment and performance will stand out from the crowd.
Everything you do on the journey towards your goal creates new energy and expands what's possible for you. Everything you learn is a win. Nothing is wasted.
You can achieve whatever you want this year if you come at it from a strong sense of your own worth and capacity.
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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, and welcome to this week's episode on achieving goals in an economic downturn. Because I believe you can achieve whatever you want this year if you come at it from a strong sense of your own worth and capacity. So we're going to talk today and in upcoming episodes about how to set yourself up for that success in an economic downturn, particularly if you're not starting from a position of confidence. And I'm making this right now in January 2024, because it's that time of year when plans and goals are so front of mind. I'm going to help you reframe this year as a year that will support you and your goals. Perhaps you're back at work already. Or perhaps you're dreading going back to work, or wishing you had a better job, or any job, or at least a more secure and less stressful job that you feel you could hold on to for the year.
Dex (00:01:23) - And I'm betting that you've thought quite a lot about setting New Year's resolutions or goals that are really important to you, really fundamental to you. This year, and quite possibly in these uncertain times, they are about money. And I've seen some really big changes in the way we as a population are guarding our money lately. Not surprising after our work and financial landscape changed so abruptly during the Covid years, many people have become more conservative about money. Perhaps you have, and I think it's because the unprecedented societal and governmental changes that Covid ushered in made a deep and lasting impression on most of us. We thought we had some security for our homes, our families, our mobility and our income. Turns out we didn't have as much as we thought. And that went way beyond unsettling for many of us. We're really asked to tap deep into a well of our personal resources and resilience and capacity to adapt, to keep ourselves and our families safe. And that's something that many people hadn't had to do before.
Dex (00:02:38) - Perhaps you too. Maybe you have relied on the cushion of stability that had enveloped you before, and that had been promised to you effectively right up until Covid. Then Covid suddenly arrived and it had a profound practical impact, emotional shock impact and ego impact on us. The practical impact as the way we lived, worked and connected changed, and emotional shock impact as survival needs came to the fore and we felt less in control of our destiny and an ego impact as we realised we couldn't trust the security we'd previously built and relied on. Because this security was illusory. All security actually is. And then we had to digest ongoing uncertainty about the present and about the future. And I coached people all the way through the Covid years, it actually was quite fascinating. Many people experienced a sharp increase in anxiety, feeling out of control, maybe panicked, angry and irritable, sometimes despairing, generally unsure how the future would pan out. And many people had to face the realities of being sick or having loved ones sick.
Dex (00:03:57) - Or simply social distancing; reduced access to supplies and services; work from home and schooling; being stuck at home full time with the family, that was a big one; Loss of freedom; financial stress; compromised social connection; this increase in anxiety I mentioned, and also an increase in addictive urges when we were cooped up. And all of that severely impacted people's lives, their accepted norms, the way they had seen their world and, crucially, how they'd seen themselves. Naturally, during Covid, any prior mental strain was multiplied. There was a societal decrease in wellbeing, mental health resilience and a commensurate increase in fear, conflict, aggression, violence, addiction, marital and family stress and distrust in the workplace. So in this context, if you feel things changed with you over the last few years, I'm sure you're right. Covid almost certainly affected the way you think about your future and security. And we can see consumer sentiment reflects this shift. Our interest rates rise, the cost of living rises. We're seeing it everywhere.
Dex (00:05:17) - We're still anxious and worried, and our anxiety setpoint got higher. So if you aren't relishing your New Year's prospects for growth like you used to. No surprise there, really. But if you are deep in anxiety, stress, worry about the future, this really is a terrific time to reset yourself, because this year can be great for you if you choose to approach it from a mindset of personal capacity and agency. If you don't let the gremlins of your fears take hold so strongly that they prevent progress. And really, this is where I can help you. Whether you're deep in burnout or post-burnout setting up new, expansive goals. Oddly enough, I was talking to a man in New York this morning about his burnout, and he said, I made burnout coaching sound like winning the lottery. He said, it sounds just like the winning lottery ticket. He really put me on the spot. Because I do guarantee recovery, which admittedly does sound like an extravagant claim, so I could relate to his skepticism.
Dex (00:06:30) - That's burnout talking all over. I think burnout is much like depression in that way. It tells us that salvation is not available, that nothing will get better. It really leaves us in no hope. So if somebody had made that claim about recovery to me when I was in burnout, I would have wanted to thwack them one, from my state of pent up, frustrated rage, despair and disbelief! So if you feel skeptical too as you listen. Ask yourself this: Do you feel that way a lot of the time? Is that how you normally treat yourself? Are you skeptical about your own performance and potential too? And in the face of that, here is why Burnout Recovery works. Here's why it's the winning lottery ticket. Everyone who comes to me in burnout is a wonderful, big hearted, skilled, and capable human who simply hit a road bump in life and got stuck. Impaled on their acid self-judgment, generally. They are suffering, exhausted, overcooked.
Dex (00:07:41) - Burdened., frustrated, embittered and cynical. Feeling helpless and unable to fix it. All those people can see is the bad in themselves. All I can see in them is the good. The winning lottery ticket of Burnout Recovery is already a seed inside them. It's their mojo, their special sauce. They already possess it. Your winning lottery ticket, that will empower your total recovery from burnout, is you! The authentic you, that you buried when you shut yourself down in burnout. And you shut yourself down because you spent all your days tormenting yourself, beating yourself senseless with harsh insults and judgments until you stopped wanting to get up in the morning. So if that sounds like you, of course you're also feeling skeptical. You will have stopped trusting in the basic goodness of yourself, of life, of work, and of other people. So let's pause right there. If you yourself right now are drowning in relentless negativity, helplessness, doubt, lack of confidence. Are you willing, right here, just for a moment, to look at yourself? Not from the jaundiced eyes of burnout, but from an open curiosity, as if you didn't know the answers already?
Dex (00:09:03) - So could it be true? Do you think that you already have this lottery ticket? That you already possess a wealth of assets? Let's go through a couple now and you can ask yourself as we go. Here are some possible asset classes, if you like. Adaptability: Easy to answer - of course you can adapt to current conditions because if you think about it, you always have. Motivation: Motivating forces are clearly at work in you already, or you wouldn't be listening to this podcast. So you have the will. Skills: Should be an easy one. What about your good qualities? Strengths? Intelligence? Professional skills? Expertise? Also, did you receive any education? Maybe you could count that? Social: Do you have family? Friends? Colleagues? A network? Because people who love and care for us, even at times when we test their patience and don't have much hope ourselves, are one of our truest assets. Environmental: I really doubt you're homeless, in prison, or similarly disadvantaged if you're listening to this.
Dex (00:10:14) - But any struggles you have experienced, have you worked hard to overcome them? Same with health: Have you survived illness and accident in the past? If you have mental anguish: Have you worked with that too, and supported others, perhaps in their frailty and ill health? Work: Do you have a job? Even if you're on leave right now or thinking about leaving the job. Do you have a job? What's in your back catalogue of successes and wins in your career so far? Did you make any progress? Do you ever get promoted? Have you even paid the bills? Supported yourself? Truly, when we start investigating our assets, no doubt you have so many like I do it would take days to catalogue them. I'm inviting you to try. How often do you acknowledge your assets? How much airtime do you give them? Because when you focus relentlessly on your shortcomings, real or imaginary, you're living in a very challenging world. And burnout is one such world.
Dex (00:11:27) - So rather you can choose to accept the world as it is. Your work, your life as it is, yourself as you are, and choose to bring your inner strength to the fore so you can shine your light over your situation in a way that stimulates your internal power, resources, energy, confidence and self-belief. You can choose who you want to be and how you want to respond from your highest capacity to whatever circumstances the world presents. And I promise you, because this is the journey that all my clients go through, that you will thus create your world, your goals, your work, your connections, the way you want them. And the only barrier, the only thing that can stop you, is if you let fear drive the bus of your life. If you don't, then my friend, you have all the agency you need to make your goals come to fruition. The world of today, exactly as it is now, is your oyster. Ask yourself again this: Do you believe that everyone on the planet will have a bad year this year? Maybe yes, maybe no. I don't, but even if you do,
Dex (00:12:42) - Do you think there are people who don't believe that? I've just given you an example. I don't believe that. And who do you think, from those with confidence or those without, which of them is going to create a better year for themselves this year? Believe in failure. You'll get failure. It's like learning to drive, looking at a lamppost and hoping you won't hit it. If the lamppost is all you're looking at, you'll hit it all right. So the winning lottery ticket is inside you. I promise you that coaching simply encourages you to see it. Fetch it out, dust it off, bring it to the surface and claim it. Really claim it. Once you let yourself shine by choosing to believe in yourself, you can hit any goal you like. Because when you come out of the helplessness of burnout, your good heart is what will drive your goals, not the external circumstances of your life. So here's what I recommend. And you can learn this as a skill. Champion yourself. Choose to find yourself worthy of that success.
Dex (00:13:51) - Choose to back yourself. Choose to create that success. And I can support you through all of this if you'd like. I'll show you the roadmap of recovery, and I will teach you all the individual skills you need to get there. Bring your own skepticism by all means, but be prepared to lose it. Because that, my friends, is how you're going to achieve your goals in a time of economic downturn. Think about that a little bit. Think about the choices you're making each day. And think about the choice to recover. That's all I've got for you today. But I will talk more about goal skills in coming episodes. But if you are in burnout, you must come and talk to me about how to find your lottery ticket to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance, leadership and goal success and most of all, enjoyment inside working out. You can book an appointment to talk to me at dexrandall.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, please help me reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing the podcast.
Dex (00:14:58) - I truly do appreciate your support with this. And if you know somebody else who's heading towards or in burnout, please send them the podcast link. The podcast is packed, as you know, with practical tips for burnout recovery, and I recommend that new people listen to the first five episodes to get started. Thank you for listening today and tune in next time for more about goals.