Without This Step, You Will Stuck in the Burnout Cycle

My burnout story in a nutshell:

My imposter syndrome was killing me when I first joined Google. I overworked every day to try to feel that I was good enough. (It was not easy when you were surrounded by all smart colleagues)

Later on, I got into a new phase where I got frustrated often and react to “small” things (for the reference, they did not seem small to me back then) I then started to change jobs within Google, it was easy because of my stellar performance and peer reviews.

Then I found myself in this burnout cycle: no matter how many times I changed jobs, went escape to Spirit Rock for a weekend silent meditation retreat, or flew to Hawaii every other month for some peaceful time to myself, I always ended in a place where I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and unfulfilled after the “honeymoon” phase. I then started to wonder if leaving Google or even finding a new partner would make me happier – Now that I came to the other side, I’m so glad that I did not leave Google or get a divorce.    

One of the major reasons that cause burnout:

Many reasons cause burnout that needs to be addressed to end the cycle. I’m not talking about those time management or boundary setting tactics here- they are important, however, you need to address the more serious underlying issues first. Otherwise, those tactics won’t carry you long. 

One of the major reasons that cause burnout is pretending to be someone you are not. It does not only leak your energy daily (Aha! No wonder you feel tired all the time) but also creates unwanted tension inside of you, that can translate into frustration and anxiety in relationships at work and home. However, without discovering on a deeper level, you might very likely repeat the same cycle that I had in the past few years.  

Growing up, I have always been a huge fan of personality tests and all sorts of assessments that allow me to get to know myself. Before my Tech sales career at Google, I was an INFJ. On one of those nights being fully awake soul searching, I re-took all sorts of assessments again and found that I became an ENTJ- how confusing! 

In retrospect, it all makes sense why I was unfulfilled and exhausted. I’ve always been a “feeler” who values emotions and deep connections, somehow I pretended to be hyper-rational and bubbly in those years “to fit in”. I put on that mask for so long that I almost forgot who I was and how to nurture myself. 

For the longest time, I tried to hack this from my rational mind. It doesn’t matter how many time management tactics I learn, I felt depleted each day. Most high achieving professional women in Tech have brilliant minds. If you are reading this article, likely you too have an active mind trying to learn a strategy to feel better and reach your potential. The shadow side of it is overanalyzing, overthinking, and over planning, which can exhaust you even more. 

Pro Tip: The last thing you need to overcome exhaustion is a “productive whiteboard session”. 

You need to quiet your mind and turn inward. 

Grab a pen & journal

Take a big breath in and out

Close your eyes to ground your energy.

Let’s go inward. 

Simply allow your emotions and thoughts to flow and write whatever comes to your mind.

Try not to worry about whether this makes sense logically, or overanalyze your thoughts (which I’m sure you are already great at with a brilliant mind). 

  • What does success mean to YOU? (Not to your spouse, not to your parents, not your friends, not to society, or your leadership at work) Contemplate it and feel the feelings. 
  • What’s one thing you need to release or gain to achieve your definition of success? Be it an old belief (ex. I can never bring my authentic self to work, people can never be happy in the corporate world, etc.), a skill (ex. Yoga teacher certificate, Project Management, Photography, etc.), a strong emotion (ex. Anger towards a loved one, a previous manager, etc.)
  • What’s one thing you can do this coming week to get closer to your authentic self?

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Sha-Burnout Coach-Holistic Well-being

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I’m Sha! I've created this space for inner reflection, emotional healing, personal growth and inspiration. Enjoy a cup of tea and some transformational and practical wellbeing & personal growth tips here.

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