The CURE for BurnoutMar 09, 2023
Today, we’re talking again about burnout and the CURE.
I had a fantastic conversation with burnout expert Rachelle Stone and Lori Smith a few weeks back. I had a sense then I should open up about my struggle with burnout and what I learned from it, but then I chickened out.
I went the safe route and did a couple of interviews with outstanding entrepreneurs. But then I was coaching a client about finding the courage to own their story and use it to help others. I realized it was time for me to do the same.
So here it goes!
Hi, I’m Betsy. I’m a recovering stressaholic. It’s been 30 minutes since my last email check. Okay, five minutes.
The truth is, I have struggled with burnout for years due to the challenges of running a business and raising kids as a single mom.
Recently, after a cross-country move and becoming an empty nester, I experienced another burnout at new levels. This burnout was more like soul burnout or spiritual fatigue that no trips to the spa, bubble baths, or even a new set of supplements would solve.
This experience forced me to take a hard look at my approach to balance and self-care. I realized that I had been neglecting my needs and boundaries around work, and I needed to make some changes in my life and business to prevent burnout from taking over again.
That's why I want to share my journey of recovery and reinvention! I will also share the practical tips and tools that have helped me bounce-back from burnout.
So, let's get started with the CURE method for burnout recovery.
The first step is C for compassion. (C - C is for Compassion)
The first step in overcoming burnout is to practice self-compassion. This means being kind to yourself and acknowledging that burnout is a real issue that affects many consultants, coaches, and business owners – and high-achievers in general. I’m convinced if you’re a high-achiever, especially a high-achieving woman, the issue isn’t IF burnout will happen to you but when and how.
I did a series on burnout a few years ago. I discovered that there are excellent reasons why high-achieving women tend to burn out, including the fact that extra responsibility requires extra testosterone, and we make a fraction of this. So when we’re bringing home the bacon and frying it up, it tires us at a hormonal level.
So, of course, when I hit burnout this fall, I was compassionate right away. NOT! I wish...
Instead, I fought it and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.
But over time, I learned that the best way to recover from burnout is to stop fighting it, accept its presence, and listen to its messages.
Burnout is a signal that something needs to change, and we need to give ourselves space and grace to heal and recover.
What about you? Are you in burnout? And to what degree?
Ask yourself these three questions:
As it relates to pure exhaustion, on a scale of 1-5 where one is “I’m operating on fumes. I feel exhausted beyond exhausted and can barely make it through the day,” and five is “I’m full of zest and have energy as the day is long” how would you rate yourself?
As it relates to cynicism, on a scale of 1-5 where one is “I’m feeling detached and isolated from others and have a ‘life is half empty’ outlook, and five is “I’m full of hope and optimism and have faith in my future and my abilities” how would you rate yourself?
As it relates to results, on a scale of 1-5 where one is “Progress and accomplishments are hard to come by and results that once were effortless to achieve are so much harder,” and five is “Results come effortlessly to me, I’m in the groove and the zone and seeing the fruits of my efforts ” how would you rate yourself?
U - U is for Understanding
The next step is to understand the root causes of your burnout. Everyone experiences burnout differently and there are many things that can cause it.
Here are a few categories to think about:
Job: Is it the wrong fit, too many tasks or responsibilities, lack of clear expectations, pressure for deadlines, work could be more exciting, or you feel like you plateaued?
Leader: Do you feel that your leader doesn’t value you and/or your contributions, they don’t consider your input on decisions that affect you, don't share info you need to do your job?
Work environment: Is the commute long, you feel isolated from working alone or lack opportunities to interact with people, there is conflict with co-workers, there are layoffs or rumors of layoffs, or is the company at risk?
Homelife: Are your finances, relationships with your significant other, issues with children, and aging parents weighing on you?
Worklife balance or lack thereof: Do you lack downtime, hobbies, and self-care?
Spiritual: Is there a conflict with your spiritual community, or do you have faith confusion? Are you in a spiritual crisis?
Physical: personal health challenges
Life changes: Are you experiencing a relationship change, life transition, personal identity crisis, or a move?
Achievement stressors: Are excessive work hours, heavy travel, scope of the job, and 24/7 accessibility too much?
When you take the time to reflect on what’s causing your burnout, you can make changes at the level of cause, not effect. Taking time off and eliminating unnecessary obligations won’t fix it UNLESS those actions are combined with reflection on what’s causing your burnout.
For me – MAJOR life changes were going on at the same time.
I got married in May, my baby left home in August and I moved to an entirely new part of the country that I had only visited a handful of times after more than 30 years in Orlando.
And on the work front, working from home was getting in the way of balance as the opportunity to work 24/7 is always there. And when I added in the marketing agency-type services like website design, I let go of parts of my mentoring, especially around community building and teaching, that I loved.
What about you?
On a scale of 1-10, where one is very burnt out, and ten is not burnt out at all, how would you rate your level of burnout?
What’s creating the most stress for you?
What’s your burnout costing you regarding physical pain, emotional angst, relationship disruptions, finances, etc.?
What could be different in your life if you had a solution to your burnout?
R - R is for reimagining and reinventing.
It’s time to make changes to get out and stay out of burnout, but what should those changes be, and how should you make them?
An easy exercise is to start/stop and continue your career, business, and life.
As a consultant or coach, I don’t need to explain to you what a start/stop and continue exercise is. You know this exercise because you do this with and for others. But when it comes to burnout, the essential part of this exercise is the STOP part. It’s the Marie Kondo challenge of letting go of whatever doesn’t bring you joy – even if it makes you money.
Without getting brutally honest during the letting go part of the exercise, you won’t have the mental space or creativity to imagine what could be and what truly are your superpowers.
Years ago, when I was at Disney, I participated in a creativity workshop, and I learned that innovation doesn’t come from what you love; it begins with what you hate and what bugs you.
All great inventions resulted from a solution to a problem of some kind. I have 1000 examples from my time at Disney around how problems like hassles in the guest experience led to innovations like Fastpass and Disney’s Magical Express.
I have been an entrepreneur for over 15 years. My business has gone through many forms – from consulting to organizations to training consultants and how to consult organizations, to the brand messaging, copywriting, and content creation I do now.
Every time it was time for me to pivot my business or reinvent my approach, it started with an experience with burnout and a fearless facing of the brutal facts around what I needed to let go of the things that no longer energized me.
Letting go is harder than it sounds.
There’s the sunk cost fallacy: if I spend money on a strategy or course of action, I can’t just lose that money and time – even if it would be better financially.
Marshall Goldsmith says, "what got you here won’t get you there," but we know and trust what got us here! And what will get us there is usually something unknown.
I get how tough that is – especially when the way you have always done things has made you money, but everything has to be on the table. Your signature programs, the courses that you invested a ton of money in that may or may not sell, what you’re doing to get clients, and even what you feel is your expertise based on your education and experience.
But when we let go, what is possible has space for emerging.
I put everything on the table. I got brutal about what I was doing in my business.
I discovered my business purpose. I love helping what’s inside of other people get expressed in words, visuals, and monetizable business model. But my approach to getting people there wasn’t capitalizing on my biggest strengths – speed to clarity and messages and leading groups. I had ultimately let go of and missed so much when I added more marketing agency services to my business.
As a result, I have made three significant changes to my services.
I have turned my 8-week signature business and brand strategy and messaging services from 8 weeks of 1:1 coaching into a VIP experience where we can accomplish the same results at the same quality in a fraction of the time.
I introduced a new service called “Marketing Messaging VIP Days,” which have been a blast. It’s for people with a significant opportunity on the horizon who don't have time to waste trying to figure out the right words for a speech, workshop, proposal, webinar, signature service, or unique IP like a framework or competency model. They need the words – fast! For example, one of my clients needed a long-form sales page for her online course.
In a day, we figured out her offer and pricing and created a really good first draft of copy for the sales page. Or another client and I worked through building a competency framework and assessment in a day. What’s fun about this service is that my clients can get a very tangible deliverable that they can use to market and sell their services, and I can use my creativity and speed in a meaningful way.
Third – the service I’m giddy about, which is my new Purpose to Profits Academy. This action-learning mastermind community offers proven consulting/coaching marketing and sales strategies, time-saving tools, easy-to-follow templates, revenue-generating copywriting skills, and community support so that everyone in this community is booked solid with clients that they love.
The heart of this community experience is the weekly LIVE quick-win webinars designed to give actionable skills that support your long-term success. The idea is speed to mastery of a particular skill, such as how to write a headline for a website page or blog post, how to write bullets, how to find the benefits in your offers, how to write an email, how to write a proposal or price your services or one of the many skills we need to do a single marketing or sales activity that will get us, clients.
And you can join this community for as little as $297. For less than it would cost for a nice dinner out with the fam, you can equip yourself with the skills to market and sell yourself far more effectively with greater ease, which directly translates to more clients and higher fees.
We officially start our weekly webinars on March 7, so head on over to www.betsyjordyn.com/academy to learn more and sign up.
Your turn! What’s going on in your career, business, and life that you love, bringing you the energy you want to keep doing? What’s draining the life out of you that you need to let go of and stop? And with the space opened up by the things you’re letting go of – what new ideas are emerging for you?
E- Energy and Capacity Management
Okay, here’s the kicker on getting out and staying out of burnout – becoming vigilant about where and how we invest our energy and time so that we can build our capacity to meet the demands of our life and visions.
It’s about balance, not necessarily between work and life, but between our outputs and inputs - reflection and action.
Working at home doesn’t automatically create balance, which I came to realize this past few months.
It’s about doing things routinely that encourage thinking and building energy, such as:
- Silence and time alone/away
- Creating rules around accessibility
- Getting a solid 8 hours of sleep
- Time away from checking email, social media, etc.
- Pursuing hobbies
- Enjoying nature
- Taking a walk
- Reading a book
EVEN during the workday, which we can - because we work for ourselves.
Through my various experiences with burnout, at one point or another, I learned how to be compassionate and understand the causes of my burnout. I learned to reinvent my business. But I should have paid more attention to protecting my energy and maximizing my capacity. It wasn’t on my radar screen until this last bout.
I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish. I’m a visionary with a million ideas and am compelled to manifest them all. But I can’t do it all on my own. I need my team around me, even if they don’t work for me full-time. So I need to invest in those people to build my capacity to invest all my time only doing what I can do.
What about you? How’s your energy? What practices can you adopt into your weekly schedule to build ongoing wells of energy and capacity?
Now, I want to leave you with three actions you can take today to start your burnout recovery journey:
- First, take a break! Whether it's a five-minute breathing exercise or a day off, prioritize rest and self-care.
- Second, journal about your own burnout experience. What are the messages it's trying to tell you? What changes can you make to address the root causes?
- And finally, consider seeking support from a coach, therapist, or supportive community. Sometimes it takes a village to overcome burnout. And if your burnout is because you have work you have fallen out of love with or are just tired of growing your business alone, I’m here for you. Head to www.betsyjordyn.com/services to learn how I can empower you to create a business and life you love.
Remember, burnout is not something that happens because you’re lazy or can’t cope with stress. You can find your path toward recovery and reinvention with compassion, understanding, a willingness to reimagine, and vigilant energy management. Take care!
About me: Betsy Jordyn is the founder and CEO of Betsy Jordyn International, a boutique branding firm that offers personalized mentoring and end-to-end creative design services to help high-achieving, purpose-driven entrepreneurs build profitable consulting and coaching businesses that they love. Betsy is the host of the weekly Enough Already podcast, blog, and YouTube channel, with over 300 episodes. Through her company and her content, she is on a mission to empower accomplished professionals to make the shift from success to significance and achieve their full potential in their careers and in their personal lives.
Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/betsy-jordyn/
Download my one of my free resources to help you accelerate your success: https://www.betsyjordyn.com/downloads
Learn more about my brand messaging and positioning services: https://www.betsyjordyn.com/services
Schedule a consult call to talk about what you need to do to nail your messaging and rock your copy so you can stand out in the market and attract clients: https://betsyjordyn.as.me/schedule
Related Blog, Video, or Podcast Episode:The Art of Figuring Things Out with Michelle Massman
Let's Stay Connected!
Actionable inspiration, expert interviews and behind-the-scenes consulting and coaching secrets and best practices and SO MUCH MORE, delivered to your inbox for a weekly dose of entrepreneurial motivation!
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.