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The Secret Sauce of Burnout Prevention

If you believe there is nothing you can do about your burnout, you are making the problem worse for yourself. Many people throw their hands up when I ask them about their work stress and potential burnout. They say there is nothing to be done. It’s a staffing issue. It’s a systemic problem. It’s not their job, it’s the “other stuff” like interpersonal dynamics workplace culture “the way things are right now” These mindsets are a major contribution to burnout. Last year, the World Health Organization declared that burnout is a health problem. It’s defined by the symptoms of: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job reduced professional efficacy I believe that one core feeling underpins all three of these symptoms clusters: powerlessness. So yes,     . . . read more

Why Women Are Anxious and Frustrated at Work

Here’s the reason no one is talking about If you were an honor student growing up, you might be screwing yourself over at work. Let’s start with a story. Amanda was detail-oriented and highly competent. She did her job reliably well and got along with her colleagues. From the outside she appeared successful. However, she felt chronically frustrated because she often felt dismissed or talked over in meetings. She didn’t feel she was being paid fairly for her work quality. She also felt anxious much of the time and struggled to speak up about these feelings. Deep down she questioned if she deserved the things she wanted. Was she truly good enough? When I met Amanda I told her this: you are stymied by the schoolgirl mindset. Her response was probably the same as yours: What?! Let me explain. My     . . . read more

Burnout and the Culture of Impossible Expectations

“No one knows this because it seems like I have it all together, but inside I’m dying.” When you hear people’s deep dark secrets like I do as a therapist, you hear things like this frequently. This is because basically every human I interact with is going through something similar: the profound pressure to do “the right thing” in every area of life, while making it look easy. And expecting it to feel good. It’s the promise and temptation of being one life hack, career goal, or achievement away from perfection. You can be: as slim as a nearly disembodied head with barely a body to hold it up as productive as a super computer as cool and interesting as a celebrity (and employ a staff to pull that off) all while also having a loving relationship and friends. And     . . . read more