Enough Talk, Let’s Finally End Burnout - An Emotional Outpouring
Speaker 1: (singing)
Rebecca: This is Write Your OWN Story, Three Keys to Rise and Thrive in Life and Business. I'm your host, Rebecca Fleetwood Hession. This episode probably should come with a warning, because I am fired up. Pissed off. I've had it. Okay, I'm going to try my best to give you information today that is helpful and succinct, but I am riled up and who knows what kind of rant about to unleash? Here's the deal. Yesterday I delivered a message keynote for an organization here in Indianapolis called TrueU, and they asked me to be on a panel and talk about burnout, which is a topic that my entire company is dedicated to understanding and helping people ban it from an organizational perspective, and get rid of it if it's already a part of your life. So this is a topic that is not unfamiliar to me. But somehow in the preparation, in the research that I was doing for this talk yesterday, here's what pissed me off. And I thought after I delivered this message yesterday that I could just get back to work and doing good work, but I woke up this morning, still pissed about it. Okay. So the World Health Organization put out a report that burnout had become an occupational phenomenon, not a medical diagnosis, but it had a name, it was a thing. And this happened in 2019. And everything just went crazy. It was all over LinkedIn. Everybody was talking about it. Because all of a sudden people were like, it has a name. Great. And the three characteristics that they noted for burnout were exhaustion, the kind of exhaustion that a nap or more sleep won't take care of, cynicism, which you're just kind of like, eff this, this is ridiculous, as you think about your career, and a loss of professional efficacy. This is the technical term. What that really means is, you got no more suck it up left to give. You're no longer going to just try to be better and get better. You're like, I'm out. Okay. Fair. Lots of people feel that way. And that was evident by how many people shared this article and had opinions about this article, and organizations started to pay attention to say, we need to do something about this. Did you know that the first study on burnout that I have been able to come across... Guess what year it was? Just take a minute. In your car, on the treadmill, just guess. 1974. This shit ain't new, y'all. This shit ain't new. And yet here we are in 2019 inaudible like it's new. It's not. It's not. The reason that 2019 got so much airtime is because we got Google. In 1974, we didn't have Google. Somebody would've had to ride a horse to tell you about burnout. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But nobody's coming to save you. This is up to you. This is not up to your boss and your organization and all the other shit that you want it to be about. It's not going to get better unless you decide to make it better. And if we don't decide to make it better, we inaudible for our kids and our grandkids and everybody that comes after us. I've had it. Fix yours. I'm fixing mine. I'm trying to teach my kids, I'm trying to teach my clients. Okay. Calm down. It won't be helpful if you start screaming at people. I can't tell you how jacked up I am about this. Well, obviously you've just heard how jacked up I am about this. Okay. So in this study in 1974, Herbert Freudenberger, a German- American psychologist, was studying burnout in 1974, because if you've been following me, worked with me, listen to me, I talk about, and I believe wholeheartedly, you could not convince me otherwise unless Jesus himself sat beside me and told me I was wrong, you could not convince me that the reason that we are in this state of burnout, and it's been going back to 1974, is because when we moved from the agricultural society where we all worked together in nature, moving our bodies and living in community, where we shared in a purpose which was survival, when we moved from that which absolutely took care of our human needs by being in nature, working together, moving our bodies, all those things, to the industrial age model of work, which is now like factory model of work, where we separated everything out so we could control, measure and optimize... Which is a good business practice. I say that all the time. I'm not saying airy- fairy woo, like move away from good business practices. I'm saying that you are not a machine. And we have been treating ourselves like a machine since the 1900s. It's like in the 1900s we got on a treadmill. I know there weren't treadmills in the 1900s. Work with me. This is a metaphor and a symbol that I'm trying to use to teach you something. We got on this treadmill, and the promise was, get out of the fields, get out of the sun, you don't have to think about the uncertainty of if you'll get paid or not. Because when you're in the farming world, there's lots of uncertainty. You're dependent on the weather, which also meant that you were dependent on your faith, and lived with that uncertainty. And so we got on this factory model of work, we got on the treadmill, and the industrialists said, " We're going to pay you every week. Yeah. Nothing to worry about. You don't have to worry about whether your crops are going to fail or something's going to eat that stuff in the field. We got you. We got you. Going to pay you every week." And people went, " Cool. That sounds good." And it did increase the economy. It did. But it also took you away from so many of your human needs. And now you thought, " I'm in control. I get a weekly paycheck. I go to work, I get a paycheck." But now your work, you don't even really know why it matters. You just come in and put shit together with no context, with no human connection. But you're getting paid. And then 14 hour days, you bring your kids into the factory, because we all got to get paid. We don't want to starve any more. I get that. Survival is a great motivator. But then every single time there was an advancement, it went to serve the economy. It didn't go to serve you. The treadmill just got faster and the incline got higher. Oh good, we have electricity. Now we can work round the clock. All the shifts. First, second, third shift. Forget about your circadian rhythms that you're supposed to be paying attention to sunrise and sunset, and the way that you manage your body. Eff that. Get to work. Got to make more money. And you all know if you know me, I'm not against making money. For the love of everything holy, Jesus wasn't poor, I don't plan to be poor either. Talking about taking care of our human needs, and making money. So then, more advancements. Now we've got the digital age. Now we can communicate globally. It's 24/ 7. We're always on. Yeah. Every time there was an advancement that was said that it was going to make your life better, because it was going to give you more freedom, it was going to give you more time, you didn't use it to take care of you. You didn't say, " I can work from the beach, because inaudible digital, I'm going to go work from the beach." You didn't. You pushed the treadmill faster, you pushed the incline higher, because you said, " I'll just work harder. And then when I get caught up, there'll be this major thing at the end." There is no end when you're on the damn treadmill. Treadmill's not going anywhere. It's just going faster. It's just getting harder. And it's been this way for so long that you think this is the way it is. It's been this way for so long that now you're teaching your kids that this is the way it needs to be. Go get a job where you can make money. Pay no attention to your unique gifts and talents. That's not a thing. It is a thing. If God gave them to you, he meant for you to use them. We're unique down to our fingerprints. Don't ignore the gifts and talents that you have or that your kids have. Thumb your nose at God because it doesn't look like something that they can make a living. Told you I was riled up. Okay. So here's the thing that really pushed my buttons. Herbert Freudenberger, who's now dead, God rest his soul, I wish he would've had Google in 1974 so more people could have understood what we were dealing with and maybe stop this madness sooner. He died in 1999, so he didn't even get a chance to see a bunch of his research go viral. God love him, he probably wouldn't have cared. So he has this wheel of the progression of burnout. It has 12 things on it, and they build. So you know that anything that builds, you want to go to the root cause if you want to have the most significant impact overall. The first three things on this wheel of burnout as we'll call it. You ready? Number one. The compulsion to prove oneself. I'm shaking, I'm so angry. I have the most talented, wonderful, gifted women and men that come to me for coaching, that are doing amazing work in this world, and they're still suffering from this. The compulsion to prove oneself. To who? I get it. I used to be there. Not any more. Now if you don't like me, great. It's one less person I got to deal with in my life. Now, the Lord, I'm all about serving him. That's a whole different story. But y'all, for what? If you don't feel good about yourself, who gives a shoot what anybody else thinks about you? Number two. Working harder. Treadmill, speed up, incline up, working harder. No. No. No. And I'm not talking about quiet quitting and being a bitch about it. I'm only going to work inaudible I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about understanding that working differently versus working harder. Know your value. Know how your value is relevant. Know how your gifts and talents work to serve. Know the impact that you're having in the world. Not waiting for the boss to tell you, not waiting for something else to tell you, because you know it. Because at the end of the day, you say to yourself, " Damn, girl, guy, me, I did good work today. I helped. I served. I made a difference." You need to know that. I don't give a shit what anybody else thinks of you. I care what you think of you. Number three. Neglecting own needs. This was 1974. So unfortunately our parents and our grandparents were sold this bunch of shit lie, and they passed it on to your parents, my parents, who passed it on to us. And if we're honest, we started passing it on to our kids. And if you look around at our kids, ain't got nothing to do with the internet and Instagram that's causing all of their issues. I'm sure it could be contributing, but you know what's causing their issues? They're trying to prove themselves. They're working harder. And they're neglecting their own needs. Because we taught them that. You better start teaching them differently. I'm not kidding, you guys. I can't do this any more. So because we were taught this lie, this promise of this euphoria, of when we make more money, it's all going to get better, and then we didn't choose to do anything better with our lives when we made more money, we just worked harder to prove ourselves to some asshole boss who doesn't give a shit about you. Okay, maybe yours to us, but many of... I'm just in a state. So all of our motivation, or the majority of it, is external. That's why you got to prove yourself, because I got to get another degree. The boss needs to like me. I need to make more money. I need to get a higher title. I need a bigger house. I need, I need... None of those things are bad. I hope you live in a freaking mansion. I hope you drive a G- Wagen like a boss, but not because that's how you're going to prove yourself. Drive your G- Wagen down the street, cranking whatever tunes you want, because you know who the hell you are, and you get up every day ready to serve and make a difference. I want that for all of us. But external motivation has its place, but it's a really small place. Motivation primarily needs to be intrinsic, internal, from your own heart, from who you are, from the uniqueness down to your fingerprints, the way God intended you to be. Daniel Pink talks about it in his book, Drive. Google the TED Talk. Take you seven minutes to educate yourself on the whole deal. You don't have to read the whole book. Autonomy. I know who I am. I know who I am. And when I know who I am with the autonomy, then you want to get better at who you are. Mastery and purpose means that you are working for the greater good. You're working to serve your clients, your colleagues, your family, your neighbors. You're saying, I know I'm so confident, I'm intensely self- aware of the definition of badass that I've been giving you all for months, years, I don't even know how long, means I'm ready to serve. I'm here. I'm ready to help. How can I serve you? I know who I am. Autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Nobody's coming to inject you with autonomy, mastery, and purpose. You got to find that for yourself, and quit bitching about what's wrong with the world, and get reflective, and sit down and say to yourself, " I'm okay," and mean it. Decide how you want your life to feel, not what you want to accomplish or have. When I was doing the research for the book, I wanted to know how people describe the opposite of burnout. So if burnout is exhaustion, cynicism, and no more suck it up left to give, how would you describe the good stuff? How would you describe what you really want? If that's what you don't want, and what you have, what do you want? I sent out this survey to 200 career professionals on LinkedIn, where all the cool career people hang out. And you know what people responded, before they answered the survey? In the comments they wrote things like, " This is hard. I've not really thought about it. You've given me something to think about. I should know this." You can't have the life you want unless you decide the life you want. And then when they did answer the survey, and the question was, " How would you describe a great and rewarding life?" It was peace, family, God, community, faith. It was all the shit the farmers had, in the agricultural age. Yeah, they were scraping and starving trying to survive, but they were doing it together, and they were outside in nature, and they were inaudible. I know that was a little... I went too far. Okay. But you can have a shit ton of money and thrive and not have to worry about survival, and have peace and balance and community. But nobody's coming to serve it up to you. You got to take that shit. That's yours to go get. And not only do I want it for you, I don't want my grandkids to live in this shit. I want us to do better. If we can't do it for ourselves, if you don't have enough guts to do it for yourself, do it for your kid. Do it for your grandkids. If you got to do it, if you got to prove yourself, prove yourself in this way. Prove yourself that you're not going to buy into this crap any more. Go inside instead of looking outside. Tap into your heart. Tap into who you really are, and be glad about it. Because I am guaranteeing that who you really are is enough. It's enough for you. It's enough for your job. It's enough for your kids. But you get to be even more of that if you would shine the light on the inside instead of out with this spotlight looking out there to try to see what the answer is. The number of people that come to me for coaching and say, " I'm just not feeling great about my life. I think I need another degree." Jesus inaudible. Go spend more money and have somebody else validate you with some more grades and another certificate. See if that helps you sleep better at night. It won't. It won't. Okay. So I should give you practical action items, tips, because that's what we all wanted. I am snarky and riled up today. Maybe you need to get mad that you were sold a lie. Maybe that's it. Because you know what I think? I think this research from our friend Herbert, I think those first three things on that wheel of 12 things that lead to burnout, I think the reason that your boss and the teachers and the people that were supposed to be a part of your life and taking care of you, you know why they don't want you to know that? Because they want you to prove yourself. They want you to work harder. They want you to put in a few more extra hours. If you stop doing that, then what happens? Think about that. Sure. There are some great leaders out there. I know some of them. I love you. God bless you. I wish I could just multiply your goodness. But if everybody's waiting to get a good boss before this gets better, good luck with that. It's like waiting for the food industry to care about your health. Jesus inaudible. There's a whole nother rant waiting to happen. Ain't nobody coming to save you, sister, brother. You better decide it inaudible matters to you and your kids. Okay. Practical tips. Sit your ass down and be still for at least 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes. If you got to go fake intestinal issues and sit on the toilet to get your 10 minutes, do it. And in that 10 minutes, I want you to breathe and get your nervous system regulated so you can have a clear freaking thought. I want you to remind yourself who you really are. Go back to 14 year old you, when you had joy for the world and excitement and hope. Start to do things that give you joy. You know what? Here's a practical tip. Tomorrow, don't send your kids to school and call in sick. Just have yourselves a day and watch that the world doesn't effing end because you took a break. And you took a break with your kids without guilt, and you said to them, " You know what, kids? We need breaks. Let's go have fun." Go jump on trampolines or do whatever makes your heart sing. Sing. Do that. Crank up some music and sing. There's your practical tip of the day. I had a list of things I was going to share with you that are the typical... Gratitude, write it down, it will change your life. I have a framework about how you can journal your value, relevance, and impact every week so you know what it is. But you know why you don't do this stuff that will work? You know why you won't do it, you don't do it? Because it seems too simple. How's that going to help me, being still, writing down my gratitude? inaudible Because you so bought into the lie that, if you don't work harder... You're so bought in that you don't believe that those simple things will have a huge impact. You're still living in a no pain, no gain bullshit. No. You just keep being in pain. I ain't playing that game. I'm done with that shit. Okay. You want to come have fun? Come to the event that we're doing on March 8th at the Vogue. Laugh. Have food and drinks and live music and people in that room that have hearts of gold, that are there to gather around and cheer on these ladies that are going to share their stories from the stage of real life, authentic, vulnerable, human life. Come do that. Men, women, no kids. It's over 21. Sorry. Take your kids out of school tomorrow and do something fun with them. Come and just be a part of something beautiful, and see if that doesn't inspire you. And because I'm riled up, I'm starting a movement. You've seen me post it on my newsletter if you follow me there. If you don't and you want to, it's rebecca @ wethrive. live, put in your email, I send you stuff a couple times a month that are helpful. Or maybe you've listened to this rant and you're unfollowing me. Fine. Great. See you. Bye. But if you want to be a part of the movement, I'm looking for a 1, 000 women to join me in kicking this bullshit to the curb, and living in life where you can be courageous and proud of who you are and standing tall in your story and thriving on your terms. No more bitching about what's happening out there. Whiny, whiny bitching. Nope. Be ready to say, " Okay, I'm ready to be a part of the change. I'm ready to do things differently." And I promise you, from that, you will have the career success that you desire, if that's what you desire. If that's what you desire, I'll help you get it. Yes, I will help you get it. What if your desire is, I got on the treadmill but I didn't really want to be on the treadmill, and now I don't know how to get off? If that's your desire, I'll help you get off that treadmill. I'll help you live the life that... You want to stay home, raise babies? Great. But my mom says... I don't give a shit what your mom says. But the world says... I don't give a what anybody else says. I care what you want, and I'll help you decide what that is, and I'll help you be so courageous in going and getting what that is. I will do that with you, for you. Join this movement. It's not going to cost a lot. It's 30 bucks a month, because homegirl got to make a living too. That's the money making model. It's 30 bucks a month. And it's me, live. Not a video. We're going to build community, we're going to get in groups. I'm going to show you how to build your own badass women's council, so that you'll have your people in your part of the world. I want to just give you everything that I've gone through in the last eight years, discovering my story and honoring all of the work that I did before that. I'm ready to give it to you. I love you truly, because I love what humanity is for. I love that humanity, that we are built hardwired to serve one another. I love that. I love that you are completely different than me. I love that you want different things, similar things. I love all of the weirdness and intricacies of who we are. And I love that when you can respect all of those funky intricacies, and then we come together like this beautiful puzzle, all of our jaggedy- ass edges, dust from the bottom of the box, coming together that we can be more beautiful, stronger, and that every piece matters. That shit matters to me a lot. So if you're up for it, join me. I might have a rant or two over the year that we'll spend together. Let's spend forever together. But if you dedicate a year with me... Just dedicate six months. The first six months is all about personal thriving. The next three months is about career thriving. And then final three months is about how to build your own badass women's council. Just give me six months. I promise you, if you decide, your life will never be the same. Because I know that about me. I've worked too hard to know who the hell I am to ever go and prove myself again. Do I work hard? Yeah. But I work to make it matter. Not just time, task, labor, hours, overtime. And I take care of my personal needs. I sit there every single day with my journal, my Bible, take care of who I am, so I can do this for as long as I can possibly do this, because it matters. And I don't care if you work for a company that makes screen doors. Your work matters, because you're serving other humans. And I can show you how that work matters to your heart. Okay. I got to stop. Love you, mean it.
Rebecca: for listening to this episode. I would love it if you would leave a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts, and then go to wethrive. live. First thing you'll see is a place to drop your email and join the movement. I'll send you tools that you can use to thrive in life and business.
Speaker 1: (singing)
Rebecca: Hey, y'all. Fun fact. Did you like the music for the podcast? That is actually my son, Cameron Hession. And I would love it if you would go to Spotify and iTunes and follow him and download some of his other music. My personal favorite's TV Land.
"You can have a ton of money and thrive and not have to worry about survival. And at the same time, have peace, balance, and community, but nobody's coming to serve it up to you. That's yours to go get.”
We’re all talking about burnout, but who’s actually doing something about it?
In this episode, Rebecca goes deep on the historical causes and real-life solutions of burnout, a subject she is intensely passionate about. If you want to live a truer, more authentic, and less stressed-out life, know that’s attainable, but only if you’re ready to make some serious changes.
Listen in as Rebecca shares practical tips for combatting burnout and ways to find contentment and joy in your life.