I’ve always been someone who super ambitious. I’m not sure where that came from. It wasn’t a pressure that my parents put on me.
I was always competitive with myself. I wanted to do the absolute best that I could do. That meant going to the best university, getting great results in my degree and working for the best companies.
That drive and ambition has served me well for quite a lot of my adult life. However, towards the end of my corporate career, things got massively out of balance.
I pretty much spent all my waking hours thinking about the office. I was working all the hours I could keep awake, and it just became unsustainable.
I was completely out of alignment, and I got sick with burnout without realising why that had happened. It was a huge wake-up call.
Had burnout not come into my life, I would probably be one of those people you read about having regrets on their deathbed. Regrets from spending too much time in the office and not enough time on what really matters outside of work. I missed out on so much family time during my workaholic years.
Burnout gave me a second chance
What I’ve realised post-burnout is that it gave me a second chance at life. It allowed me to think – if I only had this year to live, how would I be spending my time?
What do I want to be known for?
What do I want to look back in the years to come and think “that was a great use of my time”?
It allowed me to explore what I enjoy doing.
It’s not realistic for most people to spend all our time travelling to beautiful places and not work. Most of us need to have an income stream. But there were so many ways to earn money. Had I not had that kick from burnout, I would have stayed in a career that ultimately wasn’t the right fit for me.
Burnout can help reset your boundaries
It could be that you come out the other side of burnout, realising that you’re absolutely in the right space.
Perhaps you’re a medical professional, and it’s your passion to help people and make them better. What you needed to learn in the process is how to set those boundaries to do that in a way that still nurtures you. In that case, taking care of yourself allows you to be the best physician or the best nurse for other people.
Burnout presents a unique opportunity to set entirely new boundaries, figure out what’s important in your life, and make some long-term changes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to reset
I think the worst-case scenario is you go through burnout, work hard to recover mentally and physically, and then go back into the same situation with the same mindset and the same practices. You can pretty much guarantee that you’ll burn out again.
Compare that scenario with someone who learns how to set boundaries and knows how to take care of themself now. That person could then set up a fantastic business that plays to their strengths or go back into the office and be a higher-performing version of themselves.
There are so many opportunities!
I now feel thankful for the painful lessons burnout taught me
Now I’m in a space where I can finally say that I’m thankful for the lessons I learned from burnout.
I hope that other people can find a way to get that realisation without going through all of the pain of severe burnout.
That is the mission that drives me to create content and coach amazing high-performing women who are approaching or recovering from burnout.
If there’s a way that I can help even one person have a revelation from a blog I write, a post on Instagram or a YouTube video, meaning they don’t have to go through the pain of a severe burnout, then everything is worthwhile.
You are enough
So remember, you are precious; you’re already enough.
Burnout is not a rite of passage. It’s not a badge of honour. However, if you’re experiencing overwhelming stress and burnout right now, have faith that you will come out the other side. Seize the opportunity to learn about yourself, find out why burnout occurred and how you can come out the other side a stronger person who knows what they want out of life.
If you’d like support and guidance on that journey, then book a complimentary burnout assessment call to discuss how I can support you.