Let’s Talk About Burnout and Self-Kindness

Today I want to write about burnout. Because I’m in the middle of it, big time. May was my one-year business and coaching anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year, and at the same time hard to believe it’s ONLY been a year. In this year I have done SO much! I’m going to list some of it just to make myself feel better (which is a good idea for all of us, by the way. Listing my accomplishments is something I learned to do from life coach Barbara Sher’s book Refuse to Choose).

Just some of the new things I’ve done in the past year:

  • Took a 6-month business class called Business Kickstart, taught by Visionary Mom coach Lisa Work
  • Trained over 100 hours in coaching through the Coaches Training Institute
  • Started my business Lisa Zahn Life Coaching…coaching for clarity and joy
  • Purchased my domain name and web hosting and launched this beautiful website
  • Learned how to use MailChimp and started an email subscription list and my newsletter, From the Heart: Inspiration for Joy-filled Living
  • Learned how to use MailChimp Autoresponders to send out a free gift to new subscribers
  • Wrote and formatted my free ecourse Stop Being Mean to Yourself: Four Commitments to Self-Kindness
  • Joined Cigdem Kobu’s business mentoring group, The Progress Lounge, connecting with women in business and learning many new things through Cigdem’s classes and informative posts
  • Joined a local networking group, the Business Resource Group, and have been attending their weekly meetings, to learn to market and present my business locally (through speaking not just in writing)
  • Wrote and tested a retreat curriculum called Joy, Delight and Ease: A Day-treat for Women
  • Started and have been maintaining Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter business pages
  • Consulted with many colleagues and friends who want to know how I’m doing it all and how they can do it too (hint: none of us are ‘doing it all’!)
  • And let’s not forget a most important thing: I have coached over 25 people in the past year!
  • All of this while homeschooling my two children who have special neurological, mental and physical needs

Okay, this isn’t even an exhaustive list and already I’m near tears because I can see why I’m so exhausted. And you know what really exhausts me? These old sabotaging voices in my head that say these things:

It’s not enough.
You’re lazy.
You sit around doing nothing too much.
You’re a quitter.
You aren’t making enough money.
You suck at earning money.
You’ll never amount to anything.
You’re just playing at this business stuff and it’s not going to go anywhere.

Yep, that’s what I’m faced with most days of my life. These voices have been inside and outside of my head since childhood. Do you wonder why I teach people to stop being mean to themselves? To pause, notice and love themselves more? Because it’s what I most need to learn! We teach what we need to learn.

The most important thing for me to learn right now is that burnout and exhaustion are normal. They are not the end of things. They do not mean something is wrong with me, that I don’t have this in me, and that I need to quit.

I don’t want to quit this. I love what I’m doing. My business will likely change and transform over time as I re-clarify my purpose and the best use(s) of my energy, but I am a coach. This is me. I am also a writer, and I am going to keep writing and coaching and drawing on the well of knowledge, wisdom and love that are in me. It helps my clients. It helps my readers. And it helps me too. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t get something for myself out of it. I get joy and a sense of purpose, for sure, from this work of shining a light on our self-worth. It’s been my calling for a long time.

As for those negative voices, they shrivel up when I listen to my own deep wisdom which knows of my worthiness. They also shrink and go away when my friends and mentors like Cigdem Kobu, and my healers like my homeopath, tell me that what I’m feeling is okay and normal and there is nothing wrong with me. I am so grateful for their graceful presence in my life!

What I need right now is to take a break. Thank goodness it’s summer and vacation is coming up. I have some wonderful summer activities planned, and I plan to make the most of it. (In a relaxing way!) I will still be around, coaching a few clients, writing a bit on my blog and sending out my newsletter. You will see me on Facebook, and Pinterest and Twitter too. I’m not going away, but I am taking a much-needed break from a lot of this stuff and re-grouping myself.

What is it you need right now? I encourage you to listen to your inner wisdom, which always knows of your worthiness. Here’s one of my favorite, grace-filled quotes for living:

Kintla Lake Seneca quote for blog

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10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Burnout and Self-Kindness

  1. Oh yes — I am feeling some burnout right now myself, after a long semester of MA classes, various volunteering, editing work, and parenting. I’m grateful we have a nice vacation planned in about a month! Because I don’t want to stop doing any of those things… just maybe a little less at once with a little more life balance.

  2. Well I left a comment and then my internet went away so I’m back to leave it again! Lisa I love this post; so much wisdom and self awareness here, and wowser you’ve done a lot in the past year! Wishing you all the rest and recharging you need. xx

  3. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished this past year!!! I am healing (physically/emotionally), homeschooling/parenting and studying part time and just these things hard. I’ve loved following your blog and even though I don’t know you want you to feel so proud of your courage to step out and pursue your dream and to push past the ugly voices which try to hold you back (I can relate!). Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Thanks for that, Kika! I am so glad to hear you are taking the time to heal. What we all do is a lot. Don’t shortchange yourself for one second.

  5. Ah yes, those darn voices in our heads. I think we all have them, to some degree. I share the same ones you have Lisa. And working at home is NOT the easy, idealistic romantic notion we often think of when we think of it. It’s hard. Hard to find balance, hard to know when to stop “working.” It’s so easy to think, oh, just this one thing…or to have it staring you in the face all the time. Creating boundaries is challenging and so vital. And you are doing so much good! Congratulations to you! (oh, and responding at 2:12am to a comment? hmmm : ) ) Take good care of you.

  6. Thanks, Laura! And that was 6:12 am probably, as I was definitely not awake at 2:12 am, thankfully!

  7. Beautiful blogpost… I see myself in your words and I resonate with your message and I also see that much of this burnout is out of a passion and love for what you do. Have a restful and nourishing time xx

  8. Thanks so much for your comment and kind wishes, Lisa. I’m delighted to have you stop by here…I adore your art!

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