#47 You aren’t Doomed. You’re “Burned-out” (this is how you fix it).

In this week’s episode of the SPS podcast, Ben dives deep into the father of modern anxiety… “Burn Out”. You’ll learn the signs, how it works, and how you can beat it (leading to a more fun and healthy work and personal life).

Episode Transcription:

It’s around 12:20 AM in the morning. And I have saved this podcast for the last minute on purpose. This podcast is going to come out in a few hours, but I wanted to have my thoughts together, even though when you listen to this, it’s going to sound at times. Like I don’t have my thoughts together. And the reason is, is because this is a very challenging subject that we’re gonna be talking about today.

Uh, if you’re like me, And you’re like a lot of people that are around you even know, maybe they’re not talking about it right now. You have this sense of impending doom, like something bad is about to happen all the time. And it’s like all these little things that might be seemed as bad, or even more of a sign of it.

I’m here to tell you that things are going to be okay. Um, no matter what happens the next little bit, we’re going to make it through together. And I’m not just saying that to be all positive. I’m telling you that because what we are seeing right now and what we are feeling right now is not as bad as what we think it is.

It’s just that we don’t have the normal coping mechanisms to deal with it. So in today’s podcast, there’s going to be times when, what I’m talking about, you’re going to be like, it’s been going anywhere with it. I assure you that I am making sure you listen all the way to the end. If you’re feeling a lot of anxiety right now, if you’re feeling like things might crash on you, I want you to know that you are not doomed.

You’re not doomed, no matter how bad things seem to be with everything going on around us right now and your business and your personal life, whatever it is, you’re not doomed. You’re probably just burnout. And on today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about how to fix that. And I’m going to give you a tool to deal with this, not just through what’s going on right now, but the rest of your life.

And so today I want you to know you’re not doomed. You’re probably just burnt out. This is how you’re going to fix it. All right. Let’s dive in. Let’s do it.

Confession. Um, I’ve been in a really weird place, slightly mentally. I’ve been moving, I’ve been growing, I’ve been building things. Um, and I’m proud of those things over the last, uh, eight to nine months or so I have built some very amazing things and I have overcome a lot of things, but that does not be that everything’s been rosy.

Um, this has been a transition. I, all the things that I normally do to cope with stress and cope with all the good things and the bad things, um, have kind of gone away that I’ve had to figure out new ways to cope and to deal with things as, uh, I’ve sort of been a lockdown and I’ve done things that I’ve had to do to get to where I want to go and to make sure that my team is, you know, everybody’s good there.

Um, and I’ll just go ahead and say it. Things are going well. Things are going really well overall. Um, but that’s not to say that they’re without their challenges. And what’s so funny is every single time that I’ve had a challenge lately. That has hit me. That is, would be a normal challenge that I would go through any other time through any other year.

It’s bit different. And there’s a increased level of anxiety right now, uh, on my end. And I’m sure maybe you’re feeling it too. And it seems like things that normally wouldn’t get to me as much. Um, they’re getting to me. And so I’ve had this really interesting sense of impending doom. And so, you know, I, I know, you know what that’s like, it’s when you know you’ve got something and everything’s going along fine.

Or maybe if everything’s just getting there, you know, you’re not, I wouldn’t say fine, but things are getting there in life. And then all of a sudden something happens and it makes you think that you’re not going to be able to hold it together anymore. And I’ve had this lately. I’ve had trouble sleeping.

And I’ve had trouble sort of getting out of the spiral of that sense of impending doom some time. And if you’re there right now, I’m sharing this because as you know, I’m normally a pretty positive person, and I want you to understand that we all go through this. It’s you’re not alone, but more importantly, I want to talk to you about.

How to get through all this, this sense of impending doom, um, and the anxiety that’s come with it at the cascade that has been going on in my brain at times that has led me in this cyclical path, uh, sort of it starts, and then it gets worse. And then when it gets worse, I talked myself out of it. And then it’s, you know, sort of comes back again.

I don’t want you to worry about me cause I’m fine. But I think about is this is very interesting. And I think that not being around people as much this year, uh, not having the normal coping things and, you know, just sort of seeing what other people are struggling with right now. It’s easy to sort of take something that I would normally deal with in business or in life that throws me into a little bit of a tailspin mentally.

And blow it up into something that’s even more scary to think that I won’t be able to navigate it. Well, here’s the thing. Um, even though, uh, I have been in this cycle lately and like I said, I’ve been, I’ve gone through this cycle over the last 10 years. I’ve been in the cycle enough that I understand what happens.

I understand what trips me into it. Some usually it’s a unexpected bill. Or it is an unexpected thing that happens in business or it’s something that doesn’t go my way, but it goes really the wrong way. And usually that’s what trips me into it and I get into it and I get really focused and I, uh, rock my way out of it.

Eventually. Uh, I go to the gym. This is typically a way that I deal with it. I get really into working out, which maybe isn’t the most healthy thing. Sometimes even though it is working out, I get really into, um, you know, when I’m not at work, I get really into doing things like going out and being amongst people and watching music.

I can’t do any of that this year. Uh, not, not the way that I was able to do before. So I’ve seen all these things before this sense of impending doom, this anxiety that comes with, Hey, maybe something going wrong, but I’ve been left without yeah. A lot of the skills to deal with it. And I’m sure you can relate with this.

Now, what I want you to understand about this, and this is where we started to kind of functional with it. Is that what is actually happening here is result. At least for me, it may be for you too. Maybe you won’t think this at first. But it’s a result of burnout now. Burnout. Most people think of this when they think of their career, uh, they think of their job.

They think of any number of things it mostly has to do with creativity, being a professional at work. Um, but it, burnout comes in a lot of different places. And so I want to talk to you about sort of the three types of burnout. That’s all of us are probably going through right now. Um, at least one of these maybe multiple and where they come from and how it sort of leads you down a path.

And then we’re going to talk about how to actually fix this, because what I realized the other day is all these little stressors that are normally hitting me. And I deal with, uh, I’m having a lot more trouble dealing with them lately, because not just because of COVID and all the things they’re having, but because of burnout, So there’s three types of burnout.

I want to talk to you about today. And I think this is super important. The first is what we would call overload burnout. Now this is what most of us think burnout is. It’s when we are passionate about something, maybe it’s our career. Maybe it’s a hobby and we put so much into it that we just overdo it.

And this is what most people think that you can overdo something, put too much into it. And that’s what leads to part out. That’s a very limited view of burnouts, which I’ll get into in just a second, but overload burnout is what we, most of the time think of is we’re putting way too much in, and we’re burning the candle at both ends and we run out of steam, right?

Okay. So that’s a limited view. I’m gonna go ahead and say that, but stick with me on this. And then we’ve got what we call an under challenged burnout though. This is where you may be in a spot. Maybe, you know, it happens because you know, your job changed or you changed jobs. Uh, or you changed your path the last little bit, and maybe you’re in a spot where you’re not being challenged enough, meaning you’re bored, you’re not feeling appreciated, or you don’t see a path to grow in what you’re doing.

And sometimes the reason this is so important right now is sometimes most of us that are, you know, feeling this sort of under challenged burnout. We are talking ourselves into thinking that, well, Hey, I’m at least lucky to have a gig. I’ve at least lucky to have a job right now through all this there’s people that are a lot worse off than me.

And so. Don’t face it and don’t face the actual thing because you’re like, well, there are people worse off than me, and that’s very dangerous because going through a type of burnout where you’re not feeling challenged can be just as dangerous as the overload burnout. Okay. There’s also this third one, which is neglect burnout.

And this is where you feel helpless to change the outcome. I think a lot of people are going through this right now. It’s, it’s where you’re good. You can go as hard as you want. You can, you know, take a step back and not do anything, but you feel as if nothing you are doing is actually making a difference.

And so it’s what we call neglect burnout. So between overload burnout, which is the putting too much in the under challenged burnout, which is kind of that boredom, or, you know, don’t feel like you can grow, but right now you may be dealing with it because you’re like, eh, at least I have a gig or neglect burnout where you feel completely helpless to change the outcome.

These three things, these three levels of burnout. Might be putting you in a spot right now where you are starting to be more, um, open and more susceptible to anxiety. For other things that are happening now. And it’s just, this is how it works. You slip into this state of burnout because maybe, you know, when the pandemic started or maybe just normally you’re putting a lot of work in, um, and you’re not getting the results that you think you should be, or you’re, you’re in a gig right now.

And you’re sticking with the gig because you think I am lucky to have a job, but you’re under challenged or neglect. You’re feeling like man, everything I’m doing right now is not nothing nothing’s working. Now, what I want to kinda tell you is I want to sort of open up what burnout actually is. And this is how you know that you are in this.

Now, whether you are relating the burnout to actual the anxiety that you’re feeling. Cause it’s, sometimes it’s hard to tie the two together. I want you to sort of play this game with me and just humor me for a minute. I want you to think about right now. Your job or, um, what you spend your day doing? Uh, it doesn’t matter if you have a paying gig or you are working on something and you’re getting paid very little, but you get a lot of good things from it.

Normally, I want you to think about this if you were doing the same thing, but getting more coming back to you. In good things. Um, would you feel as burnt out that, let me sort of paint this picture because I think this will make a lot more sense when I do this. Think about right now at your job. And at your job, you’re putting in a lot of work.

You’re going harder, as hard as you can or you’re there, or, or, or maybe you feel completely helpless in your job, but whatever you’re doing, you putting in work. Right. And you’re getting something back, meaning you’re getting work satisfaction. You’re seeing a job get maybe done, um, or you’re getting paid something.

And that’s, that’s the output that you gain for the input that you put into your work. Now, the thing is, is. As tired as maybe you are in his burnout, has maybe you feel with this gig that you’re in. What if all of a sudden, without having to put in any more work you got paid 10 times as much, or you got 10 times as much finished, or you got 10 times the feedback from the people you were doing it for meeting, they were overly thankful.

Um, or they were over the top with it. If you had to put it no more work. But what you got back in terms of pay or, you know, input coming back to you and people saying this is a good job, or, you know, just actually getting things done. Let’s say you’re chopping wood. You chop the same amount of wood, but you turned around and there was 10 times more woodshop.

If that would make you feel better automatically. Think about that. So here’s what, let me, let me put a real example into it. Let’s say that I’m doing a job and, uh, I put in my entire week, and let’s say for my entire week, I make $500 a week. Let’s just, let’s just stick with that $500 a week. And I’m going to go on it every week for the last year.

It’s $500 a week. And no matter how much more work I put in, I’m making $500 a week. Okay. So maybe you’re feeling burnt out with that. Here’s the thing. What if instead, you didn’t do any more work. You did the exact same amount of work that you’re doing right now, but you got paid $5,000 a week for it.

Would that cure a lot of the feeling that you’re feeling. If the answer is yes, then it means you are absolutely burned out. And the actual problem that you’re having is you’re not getting the output for the input that you’re putting in the meeting. The output now is not enough for you. Now, maybe it was enough before, but it’s not enough now.

So that’s how you know that you’re actually burnt out and you’ve got to start figuring out, okay, well, how do I fix this now? This is the thing I’ve seen this before. This is where I’m going to start tying this all back together. When you’re burnout this way, everything that comes up. Every bad thing.

Every challenge that comes up becomes the cycle and it becomes the cycle where you can’t sleep because you’re worried and then you continue to worry and you’re so worried you can’t sleep. Or when you do sleep, it’s poor quality sleeper. When you’re awake, you can’t get it off your mind. The reason that that is able to come into your brain and do those things to your brain.

Now, what it would normally not do that one little challenge, or maybe it’s a big challenge, but. You may not notice you can’t handle as well. The reason it’s doing that is because of burnout. Now, the idea is this, you’ve got to start making a change. If you’re seeing this, you’ve got to start making a change.

So if what you’re putting in is not getting you what you need in return. Um, Then you are absolutely burnt out, but it is leading to the anxiety. And what happens with the anxiety that comes with it is it will lead you further down burnout because most of us, the only way that we know how to deal with the challenge that’s coming, our way that something didn’t go our way is to actually work harder, which can actually be a bad thing at times, or it can be, you know, it could be a good thing too, if you’re, if you have to, you have to do it.

But what I’m trying to get across is this. If you’re burned out right now, you could be doing that. Now let’s get into why maybe you are this way. Maybe. Why, why would you have one of these three types of burnout? Well, because you know, COVID number one, uh, most of us have had to alter our schedule where they’re working harder or we’re working in a job that we just feel appreciative to have a job, or we feel completely helpless to react to the things they’re out, out there.

So the three types of burnout have been magnified with what’s going on. The problem is even bigger when we don’t even know how to fight, you know, this other extenuating factor. There’s no war to go fight. There’s only this thing that we can’t see that some people that we love, if we’re around, we can possibly catch it or we can possibly give it to them.

And so there’s this feeling. Of extreme helplessness and the way that most of us would normally cure that is to get away, to go places, to travel, to go out and see friends, to watch music, to go hang out in a bar or hang out in a restaurant. And that’s become challenged. There’s even times now where that is frowned upon because things have gotten so interesting with this thing.

Now, what I want to tell you now is how are you going to actually fix this? This is the tough part. The tough part is this. You’ve got to bear down and you’ve got to go through some things that may not be easy to go through. And this is the example for me over the last little bit. One of the things that has really challenged me is I’ve had to really say that when something comes my way that says, Oh my gosh, things are going to fall apart.

Things are, you know, we’re doomed in the sense of impending doom. I’ve got to really take a step back and say, listen, What is the grand scheme of things, goal that I’m trying to attempt here. And if I’m burnt out, is there a different way that I can attack and get the thing done, um, that I need to get done?

So a good example of this. It’s just this. I have had to make sure that when I go to work every day, that I expose myself to more people, uh, that sounded terrible. But you, you get where I’m going with this. What I’ve had to do is, is in my business. One of the key things that I try not to do is I try not to have a webinar all the time, uh, where I’m doing something new because I, you know, I want to stay focused, but right now, Um, I, I need to have webinars to be around people.

Um, I need to be on calls to be around people. One of the things that I don’t normally do is I don’t get on a lot of phone calls with people. Um, and that’s not part of my work. A lot of my work is sitting in front of a computer and creating things. But one of the big things I’ve had to do lately is I’ve had to talk to people I’ve had to do, you know, a lot of that, but more importantly, I want, where are the webinars coming in?

The phone calls come in and this is the solution to burn out. Is this. Most of the time when we’re in overload burnout, we’re an under challenged burnout. We’re in neglect burnout. We get to the point, especially right now where we feel completely like what would the input we are putting in is not giving us output.

And the only way we don’t have to fix it is to go harder, which leads us into further burnout, which leads us into anxiety, especially when little extenuating factors happen. The solution is actually this and this is going to be something that is not obvious. But it’s the solution. You’ve got to find someone outside of yourself or a group of people that you can help, that has nothing to do with your business.

That has nothing to do with your passion. That has nothing to do with your art. That has nothing to do with anything that you think you should be doing right now to fix the problem. You’ve got to walk away from your problem for an hour or two hours, and you’ve got to go help someone now. This can be simple or it can be hard.

Both of them will work. It could be hard. You could go donate some time, um, to, you know, go get groceries for someone. I mean, you know, you could go volunteer somewhere. I mean, you don’t have to be around anybody right now, but you could go volunteer and you could do some things. It could be something that’s a little bigger like that, or it could be as simple as right now.

Get into your Facebook login. And go look at who pops up in your feed. And right now I want you to look at somebody on your feet and say, what’s something that I could do right now. That’s extremely nice for them. And maybe it’s donating a little something to a charity that they’re into, or maybe it’s as simple as this, you reach out to them by messenger and you compliment them and you say something extremely nice.

It’s, you’ve always thought, but you’ve never gone out of your way to say it. Now, this seems strange. And I know this is everybody listening to this is Columbus Atkins. This is some woo crap. What are you talking about? But what is actually going to happen when you do this is number one, you’re actually stepping away from the problem that your brain has not figured out how to solve, which is this burnout, which is also leading to anxiety, which that every little thing, as I said makes it worse.

And the more you think about it, the more. Down the rabbit hole. You go, it’s going to take you away from that for a minute when your brain can reset. So that’s big, you get away from it for a few minutes and your brain can actually reset so that it can actually come up with a good solution. Watch this will work also though it puts out things into the world that are gonna open up new paths and open up solutions that you never would have thought of.

Had you not gone through this because it’s accessing a different part of your brain. So we will, we’re not, I’m not telling you to go out there and, you know, be a good person. Uh, you know, obviously I want you to do that, but that’s not what I’m telling you. What I’m telling you is the solution to burnout and the anxiety.

And if you go deep enough down the rabbit hole, the sense of impending doom that you may be feeling, the only way to break yourself out of it is you’ve got to get out of. What the problem means to you. You’ve got to stop thinking about all the bad things that could happen to you, into your people. And you’ve got to get out of that mode for just a minute, and you’ve got to think about, okay.

What is someone else going through and how could I maybe brighten their day, a small amount or help them with their problem. And it’s funny how we’re wired when you do that. Number one, it’s going to reset. So you’re going to feel like you have more energy to come back and tackle your problem, but it’s going to also lead your brain down some mental pathways that actually.

Help you solve the solution because you’re helping to solve someone else’s problem. And that’s the thing most of the time when it’s our problem, we’re too close to it. It’s it’s we can’t get an accurate assessment of what it is. All we know how to do is to work harder and that doesn’t work. What you have to do is you have to start accessing different parts of your brain to actually solve your problem.

And the way you do that is by helping others, because you can see ways to be nice to someone else, or to help with something that they need, that you can’t see with yourself. And a lot of times it’s amazing how it opens it up. So. Grand scheme of things. Let me go in and say this because I can understand how this could get confusing, but let me walk you down the path one more time.

Right now, each and every one of us with everything that’s going on. Um, we are at a heightened state of everything that we normally go through stress wise, either you’re in a bad place because of what’s happening around you. Or you’ve got people around you, they’re in a bad place. So it’s affecting you mentally, whether you realize it or not.

We’re all there. So all the things that would normally stress us out and burn us out are that much worse. And so when you get into this spiral and I call it the burnout spiral, when you get into this burnout spiral, that leads to anxiety, that leads to this sense of impending doom. Like something’s going to happen tomorrow.

It’s going to make things worse and you’re going to keep going down this path that there’s nothing that you can do to actually fix it. Just understand it’s not real. And even when it is a little bit real, it’s not as bad as what your brain has made it out to be. The problem is, is your brain is working so overtime on this problem that your brain can not get out of the death spiral.

Which is how it normally motivates itself to go to work. So what you have to do is you have to step back and you have to say, what’s something nice I can do for someone else, something nice I can say to someone else. And if you don’t want to get out, you can do it from the comfort of your home. It’s as simple as throwing out a few compliments and saying, Hey, you know what?

I have never told you this, but since I met you 10 years ago, I think that what you’re doing with your career, what you’re doing with this charity, whatever you’re doing. I think you’re absolutely amazing. And I don’t need anything in return. I just wanted to tell you this because I feel too often, we don’t say these things do that.

And what you’re going to figure out is you’re not looking for anything from return from this person, but what you’re going to find out is it’s going to reset your brain and it’s going to get you out of the spiral because all of a sudden your brain has to focus on something else for a minute. And then your brain has the ability.

To get out of that circle to get out of that spiral. And then your brain has the ability to actually solve the problem. Now, this is a trick I’ve learned it over a long period of time. That does not mean that I don’t get sometimes back into these things too, where I feel like, Oh my gosh, things are going to get bad.

And what if, what if we never make any more money? What if we, you know, what if, uh, this, this happens or this happens and things continue to spiral downhill. I’ve been there before. You’ve been there before we solved it. The problem is, is, well, right now, things are a little deeper, but that’s the secret.

That’s how you fix it as we woo. And craziest, that sounds, that is the secret that will always get you out of it. And it’s not just about being nice to other people. It’s a brain hack that will get your brain into a position where number one, it’s not as overloaded. And number two, it can actually do what it needs to do to solve the problem.

And that’s the key. So, no matter what you’re going through right now, if you’re like me, you’ve had sort of this weird sense of impending doom and things that would normally not set you off the same way or setting you off in a big way, even though things are okay. Even if they don’t seem okay right to you right now, when you’re listening to this, they are actually probably going to be okay in the grand scheme of things, understand.

This is happening because you were burned out. What is happening around us in the world right now is a special circumstance. That’s going to make you even more burnt out. It’s going to really light on fire. The things that would normally, even if you are one of those spouses, they’re even worse now. And the key is to just reach out to someone else and figure out how you can help them.

Then I promise you, it will help you get out of that circle. And you’re not duped. You’re just burnt out and that’s how you fix it. Okay. I hope this was powerful for you. Do me a favor. If you are on iTunes, leave me a review, leave me a star rating. Actually say something. That’s always nice. If you’re not on iTunes, leave it on wherever you happen to listen to this so that we know that, but you can also go to serial progress, seeker.com.

We’ve got show notes for every one of these shows. Leave me a comment there. I love reading everything you’ve got and it’s always so inspiring to me. And it always lets me know, you know, where you’re finding value in this, if you are. And I hope that you are. Okay. So listen, if you’re feeling weird right now, I understand we all are.

And even those of us who are overly positive, most of the time are feeling it. And you got to understand that you’re not alone. At the end of the day, you got to understand you’re probably burnout and it’s leading to. Anxiety. And it’s leading to that sense of impending doom and there’s something that you can do about it.

And this is it. And if you follow what we are talking about in this podcast, you, how have a tool. That’s going to get you out of it. That’s not to say that you’re not going to experience this, but when you start to see it happening and you get in those spirals and you have that night where you couldn’t sleep because of what was going on, you now have a tool, a mental tool to fix this.

And the beautiful part about it is, is you can repeat that exercise over and over and over again until it does fix it and it will fix it. So I hope you enjoyed it. And. I can’t wait to talk to you soon. Let me know what you thought of this episode. If this episode helped you share it with a friend and hopefully this is something that you can carry with you and, um, you can go kick some more ass because now you have this tool that can help you to deal with this.

All right. I love you Hit me up serialprogressseeker.com. And like I said, I’ll see you next time.



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1 comment
  • Nothing beats a food brain reboot. Thanks for the reminder of what lies beneath our conscious awareness during these exceedingly stressful times. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and wisdom. 🙏😎❤️