As a seasoned coach, I’ve had the privilege of guiding leaders through profound transformations, enabling them to break free from the chains of burnout and imposter syndrome. But I don’t want their journey to remain a best kept secret. In this article, I will share insights from behind the doors of my coaching program, to show you what’s possible so that you too can have a breakthrough and stop working so hard unnecessarily.
A Journey of Self-Discovery
Picture this: a virtual room filled with accomplished leaders who have come together to find a different kind of success. The change they are interested in is what to do after you’ve made it professionally but your personal life isn’t where you want it to be. For some of them, it was the desire to be more present with their loved ones. For others, it was an opportunity to redefine their path.
In this safe space, they open up about their struggles and aspirations. As we delve into the coaching process, a common thread emerges – the realization that they’re not alone. Just like you, they’ve navigated the same challenges that countless leaders face: finding balance, setting boundaries, and learning to say “no.”
Fast forward to the final session. We’ve worked together for 3 months and we’re getting ready to wrap up. In this meeting, we talked about how too often, our self-worth gets wrapped around productivity and how this is a trap. It keeps you having to continuously do more, waiting for “some day” to arrive when you can finally relax. It’s driven by a need to feel useful, to prove that you matter.
One participant, Bobby (not his real name), candidly shared his experience: “For me, it’s probably not so much of a drive to prove anything, but it’s probably more of an addiction to stay busy.” His honesty resonates with many, sparking a collective nod of understanding.
The Power of Mindset Shifts
As we explore their mindsets, an incredible shift begins to unfold. No longer confined by the need for constant validation or the fear of inadequacy, they embark on a journey towards self-worth and self-acceptance. Bobby’s newfound clarity is profound: “I always had to lead by example.” He explained how he would never allow himself to drink a beer at the company function. He worried that would be deemed “unprofessional.” But now, for the first time, he’s allowing himself to “have fun and enjoy life.” And it feels good. He is choosing to focus on the positives, which helped him stop feeling overwhelmed by work. He now recognizes that he has a choice.
Shirley started the program feeling like an imposter in the role she’d been promoted to. She didn’t believe she was capable of executing it well despite the fact that everyone around her had complete confidence in her abilities. Perhaps the biggest lightbulb moment for her was learning that she can change her thoughts. Once she recognized that it’s her thinking that is creating all of her anxiety, she changed her self-talk and poof! Imposter syndrome…gone.
Stanley was someone who, for years, was accustomed to working a 7-day week. As he shared his situation with me, I quickly came up with a term to describe how he was showing up with his family. He was “there but not there.” It was inconceivable for him to take off even one day. But then there was the “Birthday Challenge”.
Several weeks into the program, Stanley was going to have his birthday. I asked what he was going to do to celebrate. The answer, not surprisingly, was “work.” Why? Because he couldn’t take time off. It was a Monday after all and that’s when everything had to be set up. But I challenged him to prep in advance. In the process of doing so, he set up systems, alerted his team, and actually started practicing taking time off ahead of his actual birthday.
Today, Stanley is saying, “I have nothing left to prove. I can turn work off. I don’t need to save everybody. I can say no.” Each of these statements would be powerful on their own, but the fact that Stanley went from being unable to step away from work to shifting his mindset and his habits around work and his worth is super gratifying.
These transformations are more than just words; they’re tangible shifts that ripple through every aspect of my clients’ lives.
Empowering Leadership Beyond Burnout
What, you might be wondering, about people who aren’t burnt out? The truth is, the journey of coaching goes beyond addressing burnout. It’s about tapping into your full potential, regardless of where you stand on the burnout spectrum.
Coaching isn’t just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about embracing the possibility of what could be. It’s about discovering your authentic self, recognizing your strengths, and leading with integrity and purpose. Whether you’re struggling with burnout or simply seeking growth, coaching can guide you towards a more fulfilling and empowered leadership journey.
From the insights gained during the “Exhausted to Extraordinary” coaching program, a profound understanding of effective leadership emerges. The program’s emphasis on self-compassion and the separation of self-worth from productivity underscores a crucial facet of leadership – the ability to lead with empathy and authenticity. Leaders who grasp the importance of self-care and mental well-being not only model healthy behaviors for their team but also foster a culture that values the individual’s holistic growth and development.
Furthermore, the strategies to overcome perfectionism and delegate tasks highlight another key aspect of leadership: the art of balancing control and empowerment. Leaders who acknowledge that perfectionism can hinder progress and that effective delegation can drive efficiency create an environment where team members are encouraged to take ownership of their roles. By embracing the concept of “Just because I can doesn’t mean I should,” leaders ensure that their actions align with their vision while allowing space for others to contribute meaningfully. Ultimately, effective leadership, as drawn from the coaching program, involves leading by example, nurturing self-awareness, empowering others, and fostering a collaborative and thriving workplace.
A Call to Action
My invitation to you, fellow leaders, is this: are you ready to embark on a transformational journey? A journey that redefines success on your terms, that empowers you to lead with authenticity, and that offers you the tools to navigate both challenges and triumphs. Just as Stanley found the courage to say, “no” to more work, it’s time for you to discover what saying “yes” to coaching can truly afford you.
Over the years, my clients who finish going through the Exhausted to Extraordinary burnout recovery program ask, “What now?” They were looking for next steps, an opportunity to continue the work. And up until now, I didn’t have anything to offer them.
But I’m rethinking this now because I want to continue to support their growth and build a community where leaders support each other. It’s lonely at the top. I want to change that.
So I want to know from you – what would a coaching program like this offer you that would make joining a “no brainer”? Let’s build it together. Send me your thoughts and ideas and I’ll keep you posted on the launch date.
Coaching is more than just a conversation; it’s a catalyst for change, a gateway to empowerment, and a roadmap to transformation. As you’ve witnessed in the journey of these leaders, the path to success is intertwined with self-discovery, mindset shifts, and the unwavering support of a coach. Are you ready to step into your power, lead with authenticity, and embrace the journey of a lifetime? The choice is yours, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way.
Burned out? Let me coach you to go from Exhausted to Extraordinary.
Not burned out but still want to coach with me? Stay tuned for my year-long coaching program. Coming soon.
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Dr. Sharon Grossman, AKA the Burnout Doc, is a clinically trained psychologist and subject matter expert in burnout and mental health. Associations and Fortune 500 companies hire her to be their closing keynote speaker, to help their members and executives crack the code on burnout, and create custom-tailored solutions for recovery.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Sharon has been helping high achievers who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout go from exhausted to extraordinary by better understanding how their brain works and how they can design and run their programming on purpose to live the kind of life they want to live. She is the author of several books on burnout and mindset and host of the Decode Your Burnout podcast. Through her speaking, training, and coaching, she helps organizations keep their top talent.