3 ways you can turn career ending burnout into success

If you’ve had a burnout – give yourself a guilt break. The best in the world do it and often come back stronger, more resilient and more successful than ever as a result of it.

Movie stars and entertainers of all forms are famous for public burnouts.

  • Beyonce cancelled a tour in Antwerp Belgium in 2013 due to dehydration and exhaustion
  • Rihanna was hospitalised in 2011 after pushing herself too hard for too long and breaking down, saying “one morning I woke up and started crying so hard”
  • Maria Carey is quoted as saying after recovering from an embarrassing TV interview where she acted inappropriately that it was due to the fact that “I don’t take care of myself”.

It’s not just the stars who burnout. Talented, high-flyers and go-getters of all varieties have gone through it and it is often the high achievers who are at most risk of experiencing the level of stress that results in burnout.

Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of the Pulitzer Prize Winning Huffington Post, passed out one day in 2007 while reading emails at home, fell and woke up in a pool of blood with a broken cheekbone and cut over her eye. A series of medical tests identified the cause as extreme exhaustion. Arianna had been working 18 hour days building her business and hadn’t taken care of herself.

While I was working in a senior role in human resources in an international bank, I experienced my own burnout after several years of 16 hour days, and witnessed many of my hard working colleagues struggling to hide the signs they were burning out.

Burnout – not a medical term

The term ‘burnout’ dates from a 1974 paper, Staff Burn-Out, by US psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who went on to use it in his 1980 book Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.

Burnout is not a medically defined term or a medical diagnosis. Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners says

‘It’s a very American term that is used to describe people at the end of their tether.’

Clinically, burnout overlaps with stress, depression and chronic fatigue and symptoms include exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy.

Burnout to balance

Burnout is avoidable. Burnout can result when there is excessive levels of stress, over prolonged periods of time without suitable self care and rejuvenation periods to help reduce and release mental and physical pressure. Know the warning signs of burnout and putting practices in place to help you cope with your current situation, or change your circumstances.

With each of the super stars – Beyonce, Rihanna and Mariah Carey, they have each made different commitments to their self care that enable them to be more resilient and remain in their careers. All three of these women’s careers are strong and thriving despite their past experiences with extreme stress and overwhelm.

Arianna Huffington responded to her burnout experience in 2007 by consciously creating a better self care focus that included more sleep. In 2016 Arianna launched Thrive Global to drive change in the way we live and work, and to challenge the assumption that burning out is an acceptable price to pay for success.

I opted to leave my corporate career and start my own business in order to have different opportunities to manage stress. I created a different model for my success that includes balance and time for self care as non-negotiables while still achieving my goals. I now coach high-achievers at risk of burnout how to build resilience and create a healthy model for their success.

You may not have avoided burnout but you can bounce back better than ever. Experiencing burnout could be what helps you to go from just surviving in your career to truly thriving in your work and life. Put in place simple techniques to ensure you balance working hard, achieving big and self care strategies that work for you.

To achieve more, with less stress, avoid burnout and build resilience with expert guidance, book a complimentary Holistic Coaching call with me today.

Nicole xo



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