Burnout to Leadership

Ep#6: Feeling out of control

October 29, 2021 Dex Randall Season 1 Episode 6
Burnout to Leadership
Ep#6: Feeling out of control
Show Notes Transcript

What you will learn:

  • Why so many of us feel out of control.
  • Approval and belonging.
  • Self-criticism and burnout.
  • The part self-trust plays in this.

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. Today I'm gonna talk about feeling out of control, and building self trust as an antidote to that. In burnout we often feel out of control, things aren't going well for us, and we feel a little bit like we're juggling eels, and when we feel out of control, we express that as a need to control our environment and the people in it, we basically need to get approval from others to create a sense of safety that we lack inside ourselves, we want approval. And of course, belonging to the tribe wanting approval is a survival instinct. And so it is in one sense natural, but we've taken it probably a little bit too far in burnout, and our need for control becomes quite exaggerated, so we're looking for that sense of safety outside of ourselves, but unfortunately how it works is... Even when we get it it's just a temporary fix. We look for it for a moment, we get a little bit of feedback, and it's positive, and we feel safe for a moment, but then we begin to need more again only a few seconds later, and this is really because we don't trust ourselves inside, and I think of it, in this way, I think of myself as having an external adult self, which is what some of you people experience, and an internal child, which thankfully you don't. And the two are in constant dialogue with each other, but the inner child inside me, thinks that I've never really cared for him, I've never really listened to him, I've never really honoured him, you know what, he doesn't matter enough to me, and I'm not being good enough to him for him to feel safe and secure. For me, it's that really... I didn't come through on my commitments and my promises to me... 'cause think about this, right? If you put somebody... An appointment with somebody else on your calendar, do you turn up, are you punctual? Are you always there? If you put time down on your calendar for yourself, is that as important? Do you always show up for yourself, are you punctual for yourself? Do you do what you said you'd do? And for many people, the answer is no, but if you're disregarding your own desires, who else do you expect to uphold them? You've probably been living in a measure of self abandonment, self neglect, self criticism. Sometimes even verging on self abuse, as it was, frankly, in my case. And so from that place it's good to think about, Okay, well, if I need to develop trust so that I can feel safe inside me, how do I do that? And one way obviously is showing up for yourself, showing up for your own appointments, showing up to your own dreams, your own commitments, your own promises, and also having your own back, accepting and proving, including and defending yourself, finding yourself important enough. Also creating your own sense of worthiness and belonging, worthiness doesn't come from outside us, and belonging doesn't come from outside us either, they're feelings that we create for ourselves that are portable, we just take them everywhere we go, and when we're in a group, we belong ourselves to that group, or we find ourselves worthy to that group, and the next thing, is celebrate yourself exactly as you are, there's only one you, right? And self appreciation goes a really long way, think about as a child, how much you sought your parents' approval, you wanted them to appreciate you and enjoy you and celebrate you. So you get to do that as an adult, quietly by yourself on your own time for yourself, you can do it in public as well. When you get really brave, but initially celebrate yourself in private and also live by your own values, we can't live by anybody else's values, we can only live by our own, because if we're in a room full of 10 people, there are gonna be 10 sets of values there, we can't actually comply with other people's. And the way that we get into what we call integrity or authenticity is to live by our own values, it brings us true to ourselves and we can feel that when we come back in sync. Another way is to ask your junior yourself, say, What do you need? And give it. So my junior self needs different things at different times. Sometimes just to be heard, sometimes to go out and play, sometimes to run about a lot, whatever it is, I just give it... Or sometimes just a hug and I give it. I don't hold back any more, I don't hold out anymore, and then also ignore external opinion. What other people think is not nearly as important or weighty as what you think about yourself, and you will be your harshest critic, so once you satisfy yourself, chances are you're turning up pretty decently for other people as well. Find ways of caring for yourself, your mind, your body, and your spirit. What I've found is, I need to take care of all three for this whole thing to get off the ground, I can't neglect any part of me, and sometimes we think we've been taking care of our mind, but we haven't been doing that in a really effective way, often, we give a little bit of a nod to our body, but again, we're not doing that quite as well as we could, but the Spirit, I find is, in burnout, in enormous deficit usually. I think it's the spirit that feels dead in burnout, and I link it to self abandonment, which has become quite chronic, we forget to champion ourselves and see the good in ourselves, and inside of us, it hurts like crazy. No wonder we had a flame out and sank into despair. We mostly fear criticism, fear of rejection, but actually that's 'cause we're criticising ourselves so routinely and so harshly, if somebody was criticising you like you do to yourself, if they were saying to you what you say to yourself, would you trust them? Would you trust them to look after the child you, if they behave that way? So your inner child doesn't trust you as an adult. You've got a terrible track record probably, he knows you're not listening, he knows you don't care, he knows you're gonna sell him down the river without hesitation. There's no such thing as benign neglect, neglect is not love, neglect of someone important to you, particularly a child or other dependent is actually kind of abusive. So you're very well practised at shitting on yourself fast and furious all day every day, you tell yourself it's so that you're gonna lift your game and perform better, but for those of you listening who are aware of the self coaching model, we've got the unintentional model, and the intentional model, which one is beating yourself up in, and then which one of those gets you a result that you like? So it's our knee jerk response to the world, it brings us a negative response, a negative thought, a negative feeling, a negative action, a negative result, and that's where beating yourself up is, it never got you a place you wanted to go, has beat... You can ask yourself this, has beating yourself up ever worked? Has it really incented you to perform better... 'cause a lot of people say, "Well, yes, it has," but really, I would inquire a little bit more deeply into that one, because my proposition is, if you stop, you're actually gonna perform better. Not worse. And for anyone who thinks if you stop beating yourself up, you're gonna kind of collapse into a sudden torpor, abandoning the work ethic and standards and values of a lifetime, really? Naturally, you will not... Because those habits take effort to change, they don't just happen spontaneously, you're not going to suddenly be lazy unless you're already lazy, so beating yourself up pretends to have a protective quality, if I can meet my own stratospheric standards, no one else can judge or criticise or reject or blame me. But how is that working out? Because other people will not assess you in your efforts by your standards, they'll assess by their own and from their own self critique too. And they may criticise you to escape the pain they feel about themselves, to mitigate their own feelings of inadequacy, un belonging, injustice and despair. And if you had 10 people in a room, as I said, there's gonna be 10 sets of standards and even values, so good luck pleasing all of the people all of the time. It's really a fool's errand, you can only be you. Other people's feedback can be taken with a pinch of salt, some of it, of course, is really constructive, take that and discard the rest, you can ultimately only live by your own standards and values, some of which, by the way, aren't really yours and don't really suit you. You just inherited them from your parents and other influential figures in your early life, and you took them as Gospel truth ever since, never really questioning them. Check in some time and write down your values for what a good person does, what a good person says, how they dress, talk, behave, perform, what they should and shouldn't do, what their money, family, religious, social, political, and familial beliefs are. Just write all of those out and check how many of them really still work for you, because even now as an adult, if you don't like your values, the values you inherited from your parents. You don't have to keep them, they're just thoughts you've been thinking for a long time. So if you want to develop trust, it's going to basically require a revolution in your relationship with yourself, not with the world, and you're gonna need to do that consciously with an intention to change with intention, to find yourself worthy, likeable, lovable even. With the intention to stop the aggression, stop the war against yourself, 'cause you've been holding your own head under water, if you're in burnout, and you don't have to. Well, actually, you can stop holding your head under water, or you can keep it under, but if you want to get out of burnout, I know what I'd do. So here's an exercise to get you going, you can begin by taking note every morning at the start of every day, particularly if you wake up feeling stressed and crappy of 10 things you appreciate about yourself, just write them down in a list, different things every day, and they don't have to be epic, any tiny thing is fine, maybe you just picked up a piece of trash or you said a friendly hello to someone, or you smiled at someone. I challenge you to do that every day for a month. And after 30 days, review them, imagine when you read those 300 or so nice things, imagine they were about somebody else, not you, do you think you'd be inclined to like and respect that person with those attributes, do you think that person might be basically decent. You might want to, on the basis of this, reframe the conditions under which you will approve of yourself as a human being. Mine whittled down to only two. Number one, do I have a good heart? Number two, am I basically well intentioned? And I never met anyone ever who didn't meet those criteria. On my death bed, if they're still true for me, I'm gonna have no regrets, and that's what I have for you today in this episode, those for me are the bare bones of building self trust, and once you begin to trust yourself, the whole game changes. You start to become the champion of yourself. As my clients sometimes say to me, they learn to give themselves grace for their mistakes. Once they like themselves enough, they get courageous and confident. Burnout can't exist in that climate. It thrives on negativity. So really I see it as a journey of coming home, try it, you'll find out what it's like for yourself, and when you begin to trust yourself, you create internal safety and you won't feel such a need to control any more because you're gonna stop looking for safety outside of yourself. So if you feel out of control now and that's painful for you, you know what to do, these are the tools I teach and practice with my clients in burnout, you can try them any time and see how you go. If you're in burnout and you need help, you must join my Burnout to Leadership program, the link's at the end. And next time on the podcast, we're going to talk about frustration, so I'll see you then. Please subscribe and rate this podcast. Thank you for listening today. I always appreciate that. You can visit my website at dexrandall.com for the show notes. 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. Just tell me what's bugging you, and let's make a plan to fix it.