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Fix Burn Out for Good with this Coaching Hack (even if your Exhausted or Depressed)

Think burn out and depression, is just a sign of getting older? That it's inevitable for women of a certain age, or after having kids? Think again. Burn out is easier to fix than you might imagine. And it can be fun! Read on to find out more...


Beautiful tulips fully open with brush stroke like markings on them, glistening in the sun.


“I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”

– Marissa Mayer


I recently had a client come to me with a serious case of burnout at work and like so many women I meet... her burnout was spilling over into the rest of her life.


She was juggling between being mom, wife, and office manager. Trying to perfect her role in each and spending her day running from home to work, to date night.


And while she was extraordinarily competent in all those things, she was starting feeling a low level resentment seeping into her enjoyment of her life. Her days and weeks started to blur together and none of it was quite hitting her with the excitement it all used to bring her.


She had lost her zest for life, her appetite to find pleasure in it.


When she came to me, she was quite frankly starting to wonder if she was depressed or needed to quit her job.



In order to figure that out...


 


I asked her what I always ask my clients who feel like

the spark in their life has burnt out:


 

When the last time she felt really happy and carefree in her life?

What age was she? What decade was it? And what was she doing?



Her face lit up...


She talked about being in college in her twenties and feeling like the world was her oyster.


She was Confident and full of optimism and a sense of fun! She described getting to meet new people and have new conversations about classes... and even traveling across the world...


She got to be her most extroverted social butterfly self at that time in her life. She had friends from all walks of life, she got to have energizing conversations with people she found interesting, and she excelled at bring people together!



I bet most of you reading this can relate to both of these states:


Being burn out, life losing it's sense of pleasure & adventure...


& That sense of there being a time in your life when you were excited, optimistic, and full of energy & vitality for you life....



When life was good and you were your most vibrant self. I've yet to meet a woman who didn't have a time in her life when she felt confident, and full of life and happy.


And it's pretty rare to meet a woman past a certain age, who hasn't lost some of that.


Now back to my client...


We started to dig in to that decade or so of her life: What was it that made her feel so confident and free and optimistic? And how did that contrast with her life now?



And what came out was so interesting, but not at all surprising because this happens almost every time in a coaching session:



She revealed to me that things that made that time in her life so amazing ... meeting new people, trying new things, socializing and exploring other people;s worldviews...


...Were the same things she had gotten shamed for in her early working life.


A couple of coworkers early on had felt threatened by her sparkly, social persona and skills in this area and made a big stink about it to the rest of the office.


Every time my vivacious & fun client created a work environment that made people want to be there, one of these ladies made sure to ruin it -- publicly and usually by embarrassing her.


  • When she helped a client or won a sale, it was because she just really good at being "charming." Not like the rest of the group who had to work hard to get their sales.


  • Every time my client made time to socialize with the other people at work, or with the clients she was wasting company time and screwing off. Not like the rest of the group!


  • And worse, every time she tried to pick the boss' brain or schmooze him into giving them all a break, she was brownnosing and trying to give herself a competitive edge.



And the criticisms didn't stop there... They bled into the kind of mom and wife she was.


Eventually she felt like maybe they had a point.


Maybe in order to be a good mom, a good wife, and a good coworker and now office manager she had to snuff all of that out and learn not be so social... Maybe it wasn't fair and if it made other people angry with her why bother?


So she got good at hiding her strengths and learning new ones. She learned to keep her nose to the grindstone & to shut out everything but the task at hand. No matter water cooler chats or making work fun for everyone.


But her strengths and energies came from being HERSELF!


She was a stronger manager when she let herself socialize with employees, bosses, supervisors and clients... In fact, she tended to find out a lot of relevant information when she let herself chat up people!


  • She knew why that one employee was suddenly showing up to work late and tired. They were struggling with a back injury recently.


  • She knew why the client wasn't purchasing anymore, they were upset about the new price points and lack of service provided on the last job.


  • She knew when motivation was down and the team needed to bond over letting off some steam and playing together, not just struggling to meet goals, or hash out a work agenda at the weekly staff meeting...


She had critical information that made her and everyone else better able to their jobs.


And when we worked together to get her to release herself from needing to be different than who she was, and to accept her gifts -- guess what?


Not only did the burnout dissipate, she also had more energy all around to help solve managerial problems and lead her team to meeting brand new goals that had been working on for the last few years!


She even re-energized her relationship with her husband.


Their date nights improved when she stopped relying on him to provide her with here one and only social hour!


Instead, she started to socialize more with old friends, coworkers, and clients. Instead of just going home after work, or doing laundry on the weekend she'd up with a friend for coffee, or socialize more at the church she attended.


And she was delighted to report back to me that she and the hubs had more to talk about when they met up at the end of the day.


Their date nights started to sizzle again! Hooray!


And because she wasn't burnt out at work and dreading the next Monday morning, she had more energy for her kids!


And she spent that energy socializing more with them, the way she liked to do... Asking them questions about their day, or talking to them about the future dreams.


All of this is just to say...


 


A lot of times were trying to get to our goals, and live the good life, be the best versions of ourselves by not being ourselves at all...


By avoiding getting critiqued and dimming our light.


 

But that never works. Not in earning us love, validation and acceptence. And certainly not in getting to a life we LOVE!


Getting back to good? Eradicating that resentment & burnout?


That involves excavating our happiest moment and our natural talents and leaning on them more to get things done and enjoy our lives!


And coaching can help with that!


(FYI My client gave me gave me full permission to share some of our coaching sessions recently because we both agree it's so relevant to so many women's lives!)

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