Episode 82 – Breaking out of your burnout

Hi my name is Jeff, and I spent years burned out.

If I was ever going to start a self-help group, each speaker would start off saying that statement.

A couple of years ago, I started breaking out of nearly permanent burnout. My work was suffering, my relationships were suffering, and I was just not happy.

I questioned my ability to be a proper husband. Maybe, I was a total failure.  I believed it was only a matter of time before every else knew the level of failure that I had achieved.

I even spent several long afternoons with a therapist trying to figure out why I felt guilty not getting killed in a war.

The therapy helped some. I knew part of why I felt so guilty. However, I did not break out of my funk. I was stuck. I was burned out, and to defend my therapist, I never asked for help with burnout. I just wanted to get past my survivor’s guilt.   

Then I finally recognized that was burned out.

My wife, Kristin gave me Jon Acuff’s book “Start”. I read it and I loved it.  It woke me up. It made me question myself. I realized that I had hopes and dreams. I had buried them so far, I was started to cripple myself.

I knew that I had to change, I needed to start sharing.  I jumped on my first love, fantasy fiction. I wrote my first novel and then I got stuck again.

Thanks to Jon, things started to change. I made some changes. I would get a great burst of energy and knock out work, however, I would end up getting frustrated and burning out again.

The burnout was no longer sticking.

It would set in and I would lose a weekend or a week.  However, I would pick up the pieces and keep moving. I launched my first podcast, the Worldbuilder’s Anvil. I started sharing.  I would pick up momentum, however I would still get frustrated and burn out, losing all of the momentum that I built up.

Finally, I had my aha moment

I was in San Diego, I had escaped the cold days of early March 2017.  I went to the Brendon Burchard's High Performance Academy Live. You heard me, I was in one of the best places in the world for weather and I spent 10 hours a day inside a conference room.

I had given in when he talked about the idea of high performance versus peak performance. My skeptical mind said, give this all a chance.  I knew that I had to keep changing.  I liked the way I was moving and I wanted more.  And thankfully, he backs up many of his ideas with the science and research to keep my cynical side at bay.

If you are not familiar with Brendon, I would suggest reading “The Charge”. I had been trapped in the caged life, I broke myself out and moved in the comfortable life. 

Comfort might work for lots of people.  However, when I was at HPA 2017 I was introduced to a friend I had not seen in years, I understood why even comfort lead to my burnout.

I stood in front of my old friend and waved into the mirror

I am a scout, explorer, podcaster, and author. I have a burning desire to entertain, educate, and empower people.  I cannot do that if I am living a comfortable life.  So, I invite you to join Kristin and I as we look at our stages of breaking through burnout. Escaping the burn out cycle does not have to take you years like it did for me. Once I understood that the root cause of my burnout was grief. I wasted so much time grieving. DO NOT DO THIS. Understand your burn out and break through it and start living a life that you love.

And yes, they are based on the stages of grief.  Because, I realized that I was trapped in grief. I was grieving for my dreams never achieved.

However, we learned that it is crazy to grieve for yourself. If you breathe, you can and should implement changes to move toward your dreams. Do it now before you regret it.

Here are our 4 stages of the burnout cycle and the 3 steps you need to take to escape it now:

4 stages of burnout!

  • Denial
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness

3 Steps to escaping burnout

  1. Recognition
  2. Reconstruction
  3. Hope

Dream Catcher Assessment (Free until the end of April 2017)

Small Biz HQ

High Performance Live 

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.


7 STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life 

23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History

16 Super Successful Introverts 

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