The solution is not simply to “suck it up,” work harder, or even to spend more time on self care. The way to avoid burnout as a leader is to prioritize what matters most and stay true to that over time. We show you how in this episode.
You will discover:
The problem with self care that causes so many people to neglect it and suffer
How to extract yourself from being “fire-fighter” and focus on more fulfilling work
How you might be unknowingly worsening the blow of setbacks, and how to handle them more gracefully
To hear about the Tending Triad Journey we mention in the episode, join the Superabound Collective at besuperabound.com/collective
Listen on Apple Podcasts here
Erin Aquin 0:01
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches, Erin Aquin and Steve Haase. Our business owners like you learn the tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You're listening to Episode 260: Avoiding Burnout.
Steve Haase 0:21
Erin Aquin 0:23
we're gonna talk about everyone's favorite subject burnout. Today, I have spent many blog posts, and, you know, probably quite a few episodes way back when talking about burnout. And right now, it really feels like time to bring it back up. Because I think it's been quite a year for many, many business owners, many leaders. I have just been hearing from so many people in various industries, about how tough it's been, how hard they've been pushing, and I'm seeing the signs of a lot of people burning out all around me. And I really, really want to help you all avoid that for yourselves. So welcome, Steve. Let's talk about it.
Steve Haase 1:13
Let's and you might hear I'm a little stuffed up, I'm getting over a sickness. I'm not pushing myself though. I'm here, because I love this. This is what gets me going. And I've been laying down plenty when reading David Suzuki's biography, autobiography, I absolutely love what I'm learning about him great thinker, leader, iron environmentalist, which actually kind of gets me to, I think one of the first ideas of how to avoid burnout. And it's as simple as not easy as but as simple as actually tuning in to what your body is asking for. What it is that you love what your body is looking for, in my case, over the last few days, it has been looking for sleep, and downtime. And so rather than pushing through that and saying, Come on, I got work to do I got a calendar, I've actually been doing that. Sleeping so much that, like my back hurts, from all the sleeping even possible. Yes. Like, that's what's happening. I lay there in bed like a regular person, like awake for 20 minutes before I finally fall asleep as opposed to my usual two or three. So from all the sleeping, but you know, when we talk about avoiding burnout, the best way to do that is to keep it a long ways away. And that means taking great care of yourself. Yeah,
Erin Aquin 2:40
it means taking great care of yourself and making sure that your own wealth of resources is really stocked. I know this is hard, I think for everyone. But maybe I'll just speak to the parents out there, who are also entrepreneurs and leaders, mothers especially, it can feel very indulgent to take amazing care of yourself. This is actually why I tend to use the phrase self investment rather than self care. Because I do think that self care can feel a little frivolous for people. But when we think about the ways, the rituals, the routines, the ways we take care of ourselves as an investment, then it's very sophisticated and very professional. And something that we can tell ourselves is for other people. And I think I think you know, I do think we're all allowed to do things that are just for us. But I know that not everybody is comfortable with that because maybe they've been conditioned to believe that it's selfish to take time and energy and use your money for massages and facials and coaching and health appointments of any kind. So if you have to tie it to being good for other people go for it because the truth is, it's good for everyone when you are well rested. I mean, I'll just speak personally, I'm not going to speak for you. But for me personally when I am well rested. When I have had my regular dose of solo time, spiritual practice, exercise, I'm much nicer to be around. It's 100% For me, and it also is for the people I love and care about. I am much nicer to work for when deeper needs are being met and when the things I desire, the routines that I care about are being fulfilled, but it's not easy. It's time and space that has to be protected. And often there's so many other conflicting things that come up. This can even be true for leaders in business. I mean, how much time do you spend putting out fires rather than thinking about what's really important, and moving towards the big vision of your company and your life? I think for many of us, it's really tricky. There's so many folks we've talked to, because we have a book coming out next year, who tell us, I have a book inside of me, I really want to write a book, but you know, you just don't have the time I don't have the space, there's too many other conflicting priorities, to ever be able to do that thing. That could be my legacy.
Steve Haase 5:49
Exactly. One of the big causes of that feeling of being burnt out, is not actually working on what matters. If you are spending your time, fighting fires in the minutia in the weeds going from problem to problem, and never actually connecting with the reason that it matters to you. All of that work is going to feel draining. And maybe it actually is draining, right. So you could do one of two things there. One is actually find ways to delegate the fires, is there someone else who you could train, or who could be responsible for those things that are that are actually draining you right now. And the other is to take the time, even if it's just a breath before you jump into the inbox, to reconnect with what that bigger picture is, it could be that simple, I'd recommend going a little deeper than that, what I've found is that taking a full two to three days to step out, and actually clarify that vision to reconnect with it and make space for the bigger project bigger initiatives, so that you can get out of fight firefighting mode is so energizing and so refreshing that you can actually, you know, I don't want to say you can take on more, but it gives you more energy to bring back into your business, especially if you're feeling like things are starting to wane a bit.
Erin Aquin 7:26
Okay, this one, I think is actually really important, because a lot of advice I see out there around avoiding burnout is, oh, the key to avoid burnout is just rest more. And I think rest is so important, but I don't think it's the solution. I think rest actually, for a lot of people can be a bandaid to not doing what's really important to you, we talk so much about trying to connect everything back to the Big Vision. And that is because if you're working, you know, we call it the superabound vision, because it's maybe a little bit different than the way other people think about a vision statement. But when you have a superabound vision, it's enough to hold all of the dips, drops, moments that are hard on the journey. And that means you're much less likely to waste a lot of time and energy doing things that aren't pivotal and important to all of the lanterns on the path to that big vision. So, burnout is usually like the result of leaking energy and a lot of directions and not being really thoughtful about how you how you work and how you live. That's not a judgment. That's just what I've noticed from my personal experience with deep burnout. And that resulted actually in a chronic illness. That was really terrible and very transformative as a result, because I learned my lesson. So rest is important, but it's not the solution. To avoid burnout. You have to be working in ways that are thoughtful towards something you actually care about. It's twice as hard to do work, when it's not aligned with what you really want. And yet, that's what a lot of folks do. What one thing we're one thing we really want to contribute to this whole conversation in the business and leadership world is the importance of tending your inner fire. This is self investment at the highest level. And we have a really kind of detailed framework for how to tend your inner fires. Have that not only can you reach your next lantern and light it and have energy to spare, but you can do that in a way that is sustainable, every step of the way, so you don't light the lantern and then collapse. Or you don't get to a lantern that you have no more fuel to get. Avoiding burnout is not as simple as resting more. Avoiding burnout means you are taking care of yourself, at the level of an Olympic athlete, think about what those people do. Think about what an Olympic athlete has to do with their body physically, the only way they can do those things is because as much as they train, they also rest, like an Olympic athlete. So yes, resting is important. But then the way you train, the way you move, the meticulous way in which you work on and for your big vision, so that you're inspired, is really important. You know, I finish a work day. And there's some days I feel tired. But more often than not, if I've been doing vision and value aligned work, I have energy, I feel inspired, I feel like I'm already living a a micro in a microcosm of my big vision. And that is how I avoid burnout, elite self investment, and making sure that I'm not wasting energy working on things that don't matter to the
Steve Haase 11:43
Big Vision. One, one of the big factors to burnout is external stresses that kind of get to you. Maybe the money is short, or maybe you're missing the target, or maybe people are complaining or the boss is breathing down your neck or there's something outside of you that's impinging upon your consciousness and kind of grinding you down. One thing that you can do that is very powerful, in fact, probably the most powerful thing is not actually changing any of those external things, at least not at first, there may be things that you do want to address, and that you do want to change because they, if they're really impinging on your consciousness, it sounds like you want to free up that space. But before you go to work on fixing any of those problems, the place to begin is actually to separate out the static that you have about those challenges from the work to be done. Because burnout is as much a mental and emotional experience as it is a physical one. If you are not taking the time, to sort out what's happening in your mind and emotions, about any of those big problems on your fight, there's a really good chance that you're making them harder than they need to be. You're giving them more power to burn you out, then they should have one way to know this is to actually just ask yourself, Could there be a person alive today, or in history at any time in the world? Who could handle those same problems? And maybe be successful on the other end? And the answer might be no. But chances are you'd like well, maybe Nelson Mandela could handle these problems come out, okay. And the purpose of that thought experiment is not to make you feel bad about your own about your own situation, or downplay what is on your plate, but really to consider that you have a lot of power in how you respond to those things. And so we've done lots of episodes on feeling static, and how to actually handle those inner thoughts and feelings that you have about the challenges on your plate. So I recommend re listening to those. But that is one of the most powerful places to begin when you're handling some pretty tough circumstances is actually just discovering how you might be making it harder on yourself and finding a path of gentleness, to to heal that stack to come to a place of clarity, where you can actually just focus on the very real challenges in front of you without adding that weight of what those problems might mean for you. I think it's so beautiful. And I'm also so aware of that.
Erin Aquin 14:50
There's probably folks listening to this right now that really just be like they're so deep in it that they don't even have time to go and listen to a podcast and figure out how to work with them. So. So that is why we actually have a gift for you. So we are going to be leading a five day tending triad journey, what we're going to be sharing over that time are the ways in which you can really support your inner fire and deepen your own self investment. This is something that we've decided we are offering completely free. Because, again, I've just seen so many people who are really struggling business owners, business leaders, human beings, right now, in particular, and we just want to give you the space and the community to come and learn with us without any strings attached. I know sometimes with people's free experiences, you're expecting like half of it to be us marketing to you or pitching something to you. That is not what this is going to be. Of course, for those of you who maybe are looking for a coach or want a deeper program of there will be ways you can learn about how that works in our community. But the focal point of this five day experience, is really to help you normalize that deep self investment, and to teach you something that will be coming out in our book, but not till next year. So to kind of give you a sneak peek of one of our most important tools that's helped us personally, it's helped a lot of our clients. So that's just an offering that we want to share with you. And you can join that free five day journey, that's going to be happening in a couple of weeks. By signing up for the superabound collective, over at besuperabound.com/collective. You can find the link in the show notes. So you don't have to remember that that is your free ticket to join this journey. And come spend some time with us really focusing on your internal fire, rather than all of the strategy and all the stuff. Those things are, of course, very important. But even the best strategy in the world. And the best mindset tools in the world will do nothing for you if you are burnt out. And I say that from personal experience. I know it may be sounds really heavy handed, but I went through nine months of not being able to do very much and I had to shut down two of my businesses. It was a full crisis moment. I think I went through some pretty deep depression as well. And I just want to help you avoid that or support you if that's something you are going through. That's what we're here for. So we hope that you will head over sign up for the collective and join us when that kicks off very soon.
Steve Haase 18:05
Thanks for listening. Talk to you again next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai