Burnout Recovery

Ep113 Perceived Limitations

February 22, 2024 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 113
Burnout Recovery
Ep113 Perceived Limitations
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We humans spend much of our time lying outrageously to ourselves  about ourselves and our own capabilities, twisting the data to  match our beliefs.

Which would be fine, except in burnout, when our beliefs suck. Specifically, we see limitations where none exist.

Let's take a fresh look, and open up an exciting new world of possibility simply by changing our perceptions.

Show Notes:
The Myth of Normal, Gabor Mate
Four questions, Byron Katie

Thoughts to ask about your limiting beliefs:
Is this thought true?
How do you know it's true? 
Whose voice is it in? 
Who taught you the belief? Why?
What age did you learn the belief?
Does this belief align with your values?
Was there a time when it wasn't true?
Under what circumstances could it not be true now, or in future?
If it wasn't true, what would you be free to do?
Do you want to KEEP believing this thought?

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[00:00:22] Dex: Oh no, I'm laughing already. We haven't even started. Hello, my friends, this is Dex, and today let us tackle your perceived limitations, and mine for that matter. Because in burnout, if you're in burnout, you've probably got some really big perceptions of your limitations right now. They're probably really front of mind.

[00:00:44] You're very likely swimming, in fact, in a thick soup of perceived limitations. And I'm going to offer you some solutions in a moment. But I fear I might rant a little bit in the middle because I secretly, don't tell anybody, want to unseat you from the horse of self condemnation. Only because I care about you.

[00:01:05] It's all from love. Do you entertain many ideas about what you can't do, or won't do, or are, inverted commas, bad at? " I'm not the kind of person who does X", whatever X is. As if there's a kind of person who's good at tying their shoelaces, and another kind who are not. Actually, do you remember how you got good at tying your shoelaces?

[00:01:34] By being shown how and tying your shoelaces. A lot. Until you became the kind of person who can tie their own shoelaces. And let me also ask, just supposing you still wear shoes with laces, do you still tie them the same way you always have? Because a lot of us still do, unless we discover some cooler way to tie them and rebel.

[00:01:58] Just like we either wash dishes the way we were taught, or we found a new cooler way that somebody showed us later. We're either compliant, or maybe even complacent, or we're rebellious. We do everything how we're taught. Unless we want to fight or rebel against who our teachers actually are and what they represent.

[00:02:25] So there is a school of thought that people who fight a cancer diagnosis, who refute their prognosis, who query treatment details, in short, who take charge of their own recovery and destiny, actually have statistically better outcomes than people who passively accept everything and agree with everything they doctors say.

[00:02:48] And I cite Gabor Mate and others in that. And the takeaway here is definitely not doubting the skill of oncologists whatsoever. It's just that bringing forth our internal fortitude is better than passivity. And you might find this also applies in the field of other perceptions, right? Because fighting can sometimes be good for us, can't it?

[00:03:13] It stirs up the blood, it opens up new lines of thinking, and it raises the power of our internal defense resources and focuses them on our own instincts and needs. Because why do we have fight or flight? To save our lives in extremis, right? Fight is a protective survival mechanism. It's a huge deployment of our vital force and energy to our own benefit.

[00:03:42] But okay, when we're ill, when our bodies have lost homeostasis, and what we're hearing from experts doesn't completely gel with our felt sense of it. Of course, we may not be scientific experts, but we do know our own bodies quite intimately, and we don't need to be stuffed frogs basking in this perceived helplessness.

[00:04:03] We can participate actively in recovery. I think the fight back response really opens up our minds and stimulates curiosity. What in fact is going on? What can I sense about this? We end up in the "not knowing", which is actually a very powerful place of abundant possibility, where we've got room to ask new and unexpected questions and give space to our own intuition.

[00:04:32] And I don't know about you, but I feel that my intuition is often right on the money. I think of it as divine guidance. If I can turn down the volume and speediness of my brain for a few moments, And sit quiet and still. What pops up then is usually wisdom in some form. It's my connected animal spiritual nature.

[00:04:59] Because accepting the status quo is inherently disempowering, isn't it? It can be massively useful. I really don't want to spend time thinking about which way up to use a lawnmower. But, accepting the status quo is outsourcing our thinking, assuming that somebody else's way is best. Pretty much just because we've been told that it is.

[00:05:21] And sometimes that isn't the best for us in this situation. Each person learns how to do things a different way. They learn from whoever brings them up. And many of those ways might be right, but perhaps not all of the ways. Because knowledge really is forever inaccurate, incomplete, and subject to misinterpretation in any field.

[00:05:46] And it's also very biased. Ask the people who used to burn witches. Anyway, on to the two reasons I'm actually making this episode on this particular topic of perceived limitations today. And reason number one is, I recently lost some neurological function in sensory perception. Not a great game for new players.

[00:06:10] I'm experiencing vision, audio, and spatial awareness disturbance where I'm not parsing the data correctly. And that's yielding some odd results for me. For which, in case you wonder, I am receiving expert corrective help. But who knew that something as basic as our sense perceptions could go on the blink?

[00:06:32] And that it could be just a blip and be reversible? The body is really, it's a thing of great wonder, isn't it? But the experience I'm having, to be honest, is a tiny bit unglamorous. And I'm going to spare you the details, but only because you already know them. We humans spend much of our time lying to ourselves outrageously about ourselves and our own experience, twisting the data to suit our beliefs.

[00:07:00] A little bit like my neurology is doing. And you can see I've already done that many times in this very episode you're listening to. Bound things up in a story, then believed it all to be true, and tried also to induce you to believe it. Little stinker, aren't I? But notice this, right? Notice it. You're doing it all day, every day as well.

[00:07:24] Your perceptions are not facts. Your stories are subjective only. And that doesn't always serve you. If ignorance is bliss, that's actually good because if we were aware of how much we're nobbling our own lives with our perceptions and beliefs, we could just get a bit sad and weepy about that. True. So the second reason I'm doing this episode today is this morning I ran a Facebook Live group call for burnout coaches.

[00:07:56] As you may know, I teach the skills and business of burnout coaching to other coaches, helping them launch their businesses. Anyway, a wonderful coach came on the call, bless her, she was having difficulty taking the actions required to get her business started and create any kind of success. And this had been going on for a while.

[00:08:17] And in my working with, over the years, thousands of coaches who are starting a coaching business, I find this situation to be almost endemic to coaches starting out. I had it myself at the start. I'm immune from nothing, right? I'm still human. For any listener to this, after all, burnout recovery podcast, you've almost certainly experienced this phenomenon yourself, since it applies equally to people in burnout.

[00:08:45] Feeling bad, nervous, doubtful, fearful, vulnerable, ashamed, so not taking the appropriate action that would create success. Instead, of course, what's happening is there is sledging. We have grossly overstated perceptions of our own lack of ability, and then we flood our brains with thoughts of inadequacy, humiliating, embarrassing, and shaming us, shutting us down.

[00:09:15] And this is on topics from the grand to the mundane, the recent to ancient history the germane to the completely unrelated. And importantly, from those beliefs grounded in some kind of reality to those we've totally invented. We rip through our back catalogue of imaginary, woeful attributes and behaviours until our self esteem is completely shredded.

[00:09:42] And faced with this rampaging self attack on our good nature and our skills, we back off and do something completely different instead. Eat cake or scroll our phones. We definitely don't get vulnerable, face our fears, and do something constructive about our business development or whatever we're trying to do.

[00:10:02] We tell ourselves, oh we don't have time, or something similar, and we walk away from those tasks feeling terrible and needing a big time cheering up, because now we're also beating ourselves up about Letting ourselves down and not doing the task. And the name for this whole spiral of misery is procrastination.

[00:10:26] As I went through, notice how much fiction and false belief created all of this suffering. We perceive limitations. That don't exist, or don't matter, or are temporary, untrue, unimportant, or that don't align with our values anyway. We tell ourselves, quite vigorously usually, that other people will judge us if we do the next task.

[00:10:53] But really, who's doing the judging? We've gone about seven leagues beyond the idea of simply being a human who makes mistakes, and we stray into this kind of dangerously self stunting territory, which is so painful. And then we'll never let ourselves escape back to the land of curiosity, bravery, and experimentation.

[00:11:17] We just get trapped in a procrastination cycle of doom. So I'm going to give you some suggestions and exercises. If that's you, if that's where you're at right now. So here's an exercise. First of all, if you want to test this for yourself, if I speak the truth or not, please don't take my word for anything.

[00:11:37] So exercise one of three, I'm going to give you on shifting your own perceptions. So first of all, think of something you're not quote unquote good at. Let all your negative judgy thoughts come up and just tune in, listen to them, write them down. Just pause the podcast if you like, just press pause and write them down.

[00:12:01] Obviously only if it's safe for you to do, not if you're driving. So write all of them as they keep coming, just keep writing, give yourself plenty of time on this. Don't just write one thing and stop because your brain's got a lot more in it than that. All the thoughts you have about you not being good enough at the thing and why you're not good enough at it and examples of you failing at it and everything else your brain spews up when it's thinking about.

[00:12:29] Not being good at something. If your brain gets on a roll, just keep writing and keep listening also as your brain justifies why all of the things it's saying are true and write down the justifications as well. It's trying to persuade you, that you're not good at something and endorse its own arguments.

[00:12:48] So once you've got that, once you've written all of those down and you've got this big list. Read them back to yourself one at a time and about each one, I mean you may not get through all, but get through some. Each one, each line that you've written down, each thought you've written down, ask yourself about that thought.

[00:13:07] Is this thought true? How do I know it's true? Whose voice did it come to me in? Who taught me that belief and why? Particularly why, that's a good question. What age did I learn this belief? Does this belief align with my values? Was there a time when it wasn't true? And under what circumstances could it not be true, either now or in the future?

[00:13:39] And if it wasn't true, what would I be free to do? And finally, I'll put these questions in the show notes. Do I want to keep believing this thought, or shall I let it go now? Because beliefs really are just thoughts you think frequently that are intrinsic to your sense of self. And just because you've had a belief all of your life, Or it's been handed down generations to you, or it's part of your culture.

[00:14:07] It doesn't mean that you as an adult need to keep believing it. You may choose to, but you don't have to. Take for example the belief that homosexuals are sinners and should be punished. You may or may not believe that yourself. If you're a gay person listening to this, That might be a belief you're open to replacing with one of your own.

[00:14:28] You get to choose a new belief anytime you want to do that. So substitute any belief in there that doesn't suit you and think about the alternative you might replace it with. Because when our perceptions of limitations aren't serving us, they're not creating progress. That is one thing that we can do.

[00:14:50] Inspect our thoughts and beliefs. Decide whether we want to keep them or not. And if not, just practice replacing them each time they come up with more favorable beliefs to create the future we want.

[00:15:04] And so that's exercise one, question your belief and adopt a new one if you wish. Exercise number two, when you bump up against a perceived limitation, usually right before you're going to do something, first notice it here listen in for the thought that you're thinking. So you know what's going on in your head.

[00:15:27] And then choose to accept yourself just as you are, right now, and accept the fear that might bring up in you, and do your task anyway, consciously. Conscious of the task, conscious of the fear, conscious of holding yourself in acceptance around that whole bundle. So really this is how to feel the fear and do it anyway, but you're going to need to help your brain do this.

[00:15:54] Because it won't want to. Has it ever wanted to until now? Fear is not going to go away. But you don't need it to. It's not, that's not the point of the exercise. But as long as you keep giving into the fear, it's going to get stronger. So what we're instead doing is accepting the fear. Okay, just let it be here for a little minute.

[00:16:16] Because feeling fear is actually harmless. It's just some constricting sensations or some urgent vibrations in your body that fuel more fear thinking in you because fear breeds fear. So you can just choose to let the fear be there and hold yourself and be courageous in moving forward. Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's acting whilst you have fear.

[00:16:45] And courage breeds courage. So hold yourself in kind and gentle compassion. I usually put my hand on my chest just so I really feel my own support. I don't know, it works for me. But acknowledge that you're in fear and that's okay. You can hold yourself, accept yourself, comfort yourself that this fear will not in this situation kill you.

[00:17:12] You can choose not to give your self-criticism and judgment free reign. And rather focus your attention on the gift of creating success. Success that you actually want that will reward you, as imperfectly gained as it may be. You will have much resistance to this. Your brain will drown you in disaster thoughts.

[00:17:35] Of failure, ridicule, rejection, blame or whatever. But since this rejection and blame are coming from inside your head, not out in the world, you decide. Can you put up with it for a minute? Do you want it to direct your actions? Because if you say you want to run a business, for example, and yet every day you're procrastinating, How's that actually serving you?

[00:18:00] Do you truly want to start a business? Because I've seen a lot of people get stuck in starting a business, under earning, staying small, not getting clients for many years. It's possible. You could choose that. And it's the same with burnout. If you aren't willing to change the status quo, then you'd better hope the status quo suits you.

[00:18:26] It sounds a bit harsh really, but it takes quite a lot to jolt us out of procrastination and take a different action. We really have to think about what it's costing us and why we're bearing that cost and what we would like. to gift to ourselves in our future. So I'm doing this out of exquisite care for you.

[00:18:47] There's no element of blame here because all of us procrastinate and all of us are fearful and we all have, these hiccups in life. So it's not a blame thing. It's just, okay, this is how things are. How would I like them to be? How do I get there from here? Because really, despite all the resistance you have in your mind, moving through fear is nowhere near as unpleasant or painful as it says on the packet.

[00:19:13] And when you try it, you can be proud of yourself. Even if you just try it once, you can be proud of yourself. But here's what I also recommend is just, you could decide to do one thing you're scared of every day at 9am. For example, exercise your courage muscle, your ability to handle your own fears. And take action anyway by doing something creditable at the start of your day.

[00:19:42] See what it feels like. See how that changes your day and how it changes your story about yourself. Because it's never going to be any easier to start than it is right now. I can tell you that. I think you know that. How long have you been procrastinating, if you do? But regular practice of this exercise.

[00:20:03] Yes, that does make it much easier and more rewarding. So that's exercise two, how and why to feel the fear and do it anyway. And exercise three, love this one. My own specialist topic inside myself. I don't know if you've noticed this, but when you're procrastinating, you're hammering yourself with negative thoughts about you.

[00:20:25] You're always thinking about yourself. Thoughts about your own feelings, your own failures. You're living in your head. To avoid future rejection, you're actually pummeling yourself with self rejection now. Taking all the pain in advance to avoid future pain. That really makes sense, doesn't it? It's not how you teach a kid, right?

[00:20:50] But it does work. Of course, your brain is doing this to you because it works. It stops you doing the task. The task that your brain is so fearful about. You don't do the thing. But let's say that the task that you wish you were getting done is for someone else. It mostly will be if you're worried about it.

[00:21:07] Otherwise, whose judgment do you fear? And by the way, that other person isn't thinking about you at all. It's your brain in overdrive rejecting you, not the other person. They're busy thinking about themselves. Humans, eh? So how about you turn your mind towards the service you're providing? Think about who's going to benefit and how.

[00:21:33] It might be your boss, your colleagues, your patient, your client. Might also be your family, if your task is how you earn money. So think about that person. Think, try and find somebody in there that you care a little bit about, because maybe you can ask yourself these questions. Do you want that person to be happy?

[00:21:52] Do you want them to be relieved of their burden? Do you want to be a credit to them? If it's your boss and you hate him or her, maybe not. Try and think of somebody else who benefits. Maybe a member of your family might be easier for you. But many of us fundamentally are very kind in our hearts.

[00:22:10] And Intrinsically driven to help others. So tap into that. We want to make other people's day easier, reduce their problems, give them the help they need. We mostly want the best for other people. Even if burnout jaundices this idea temporarily, we do want to do the right thing. And when you think about the other person, if you care about them at all, Do more pleasant feelings arise in you?

[00:22:42] Try it, because typically when we think about ourselves we feel bad, and when we think about the other person and how we can be of service to them, we feel better. Perhaps we feel a little inspired, a little bit of care, motivation to help, or something positive. It generally works out to a more positive feeling in us than thinking about ourselves.

[00:23:05] So that's exercise number three. Think of other people. See how you feel. And it works especially well for coaches, service providers. Think about the other person and allow yourself to experience better feeling. Then use that to start the task. So in this episode, I hope you have found some techniques to end your blockage, bust your myths about not being good enough.

[00:23:33] All of them are lies. You're definitely good enough. Cut yourself some slack in your self judgement. Take up courage and get moving in the direction of your dream. Because you are 100 percent worthy right now. You deserve to live from that worthiness and have the joy of living. return to dwell in you every day.

[00:23:56] That's another of my stories, but it's one I like. I'm keeping it. In my coaching, I do support clients and coaches to connect with the abundance of goodness that's squirreled away in their hearts. Do not squish your love down, my friends. Make it safer for yourself to bring that out. By loving and accepting yourself as you are right now.

[00:24:19] Because the first and biggest beneficiary of your love is you, once you release it. And of course, that goodness then overflows onto everybody around you. And you can have that, I promise, if you're a coach who's stuck, or if you're a human experiencing burnout, you can still have that. That is available. So if you are in burnout, you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance, leadership, success, and most of all joy inside working out.

[00:24:53] Let's bring that goodness of your heart back into play. So if you'd like to come and talk to me, you can book an appointment at dexrandall. com. Also, if you enjoyed this episode, please help me reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing the podcast. I really do love your help with that. And if you know somebody else who's heading towards or in burnout, please send them the podcast link.

[00:25:19] It's packed as today with practical tips for burnout recovery. And I recommend that new people listen to the first five episodes to get started. Thank you so much for being here today. Good on you for staying through all of that. And I'll catch you next week. Be kind to yourself. 

Perceived Limitations
Internal Fortitude
Status Quo and Beliefs
Neurological Function and Self-Perception
Procrastination and Limiting Beliefs
Questioning Beliefs
Facing Fear
Service to Others
Recovery and Sustainability
Kindness Reminder