Join us today for Part 1 of the Interview with Dr. Sharon Grossman, author of the 7E Solution to Burnout...
This is Part 1 of the interview I had with speaker, author, and coach Dr. Sharron Grossman.
In today’s interview with Dr. Sharon Grossman, I ask Sharon to explain what burnout really is and how it’s linked to mindset. I also ask her to talk about how COVID has affected us and burnout. Sharon also helps us understand the link between stress, burnout, and self-care.
Join in on the Chat below.
Episode 916: Invest in Yourself - Interview with Sharon Grossman author of the 7E solution to burnout - Part 1
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: [00:00:00] Thanks for joining us on episode 916 of the inspired stewardship podcast.
[00:00:08] Sharon Grossman: [00:00:08] I'm Dr. Sharon Grossman. I challenge you to invest in yourself. Invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to avoid burning out is key.
[00:00:26] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer
[00:00:35]because there are people like you who are over-reliant or over responsible and they take on more than maybe they need to. And so if you're out there listening to this episode and that's, you. Then take note, because sometimes we tell ourselves these stories that I it's everything's up to me. No one else is going to do this.
[00:00:58] I can't depend on [00:01:00] anybody.
[00:01:00] Scott Maderer: [00:01:00] Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling. In the inspired stewardship podcast, we'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world
[00:01:27]in today's interview with Dr. Sharon Grossman, I asked Sharon to explain what burnout really is and how it's linked to my mind. I also asked her to talk about how COVID has affected us and affected burnout. And Sharon also helps us understand the link between stress burnout. And self-care one reason I like to bring you great interviews.
[00:01:52] Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from [00:02:00] others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible.
[00:02:11] Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.
[00:02:38] Dr. Sharon Grossman is the Arthur of the international bestseller. The seven easy solution to burnout, transforming high achievers from exhausted to extraordinary. She's the founder of the exhausted to extraordinary model. And over the past 19 years has helped over 500 physicians, entrepreneurs and executives [00:03:00] reshape their thinking and go from fried and frazzled to energized and exhilarated.
[00:03:05] Welcome to the show. Thanks so
[00:03:07] Sharon Grossman: [00:03:07] much for having
[00:03:08] Scott Maderer: [00:03:08] me. It's great to have you here, and I'm really looking forward this is a topic that is pretty near and dear, to me, it's something that I've struggled with at various points in my life. So we just talked a little bit in the intro. You describe yourself as a mindset coach as a burnout expert.
[00:03:26] So what is the link here between mindset and burnout and what you do? Unpack it a little bit for me.
[00:03:35] Sharon Grossman: [00:03:35] Yeah. So actually burnout is something that we experience. And that's a little bit different for everybody, but it's of like when we feel stressed or anxious or anything. Yeah. It's unexperienced that we have internally.
[00:03:51] And so much of we feel is a product of our mindset and the way we think. And so the two are very much linked, even [00:04:00] though a lot of the solutions are focusing externally on how to help you be more efficient and time management and, How to, I don't know, do all kinds of things that will help you have
[00:04:13] Scott Maderer: [00:04:13] less on your plate.
[00:04:16]Sharon Grossman: [00:04:16] I think ultimately it's that inner journey that's going to make the biggest difference in your experience.
[00:04:23] Scott Maderer: [00:04:23] So if you had to give it a definition, how would you define burnout?
[00:04:28] Sharon Grossman: [00:04:28] The way I define burnout is that it's chronic stress that builds over time. And we've, we're all familiar with what stress feels like.
[00:04:38] And it's maybe a little bit different for everybody, but we know that. It's typically in the way I actually like to define burnout is to start by defining stress. Even though these are terms we use all the time. So the way I think of stress and the way it's been described in the literature is actually when you perceive the demands [00:05:00] of your circumstances to exceed your resources.
[00:05:04] So when you think this is too much for me, I can't handle it, then you feel stressed, but if you're in that same exact situation, And you say, oh, I totally got this. Then you don't feel stressed so we can all handle these kinds of situations. Even the ones where we're feeling stressed. If they don't last very long, right?
[00:05:26] So you're on your way. Home from work. There's a lot of traffic. You have an appointment you're running late and it feels stressful. But as soon as you get to your appointment, the stress is over because there's no more traffic like you're done. But imagine if you have a situation at work where every time you're in that situation, day in and day out, you feel stressed that accumulation of stress.
[00:05:52] Leads to burn out where things start to break down.
[00:05:57] Scott Maderer: [00:05:57] And so now let's relate that back [00:06:00] to the mindset part, because you described stress is when you perceive that your demands exceed your resources. Is that perception, are we creating reality or is that, what does that mean when you say perceives.
[00:06:16]Sharon Grossman: [00:06:16] Everything's really about our perception, right? It's all about how, like the story that we tell ourselves, it's how we think about the things that are happening that either creates a sense of stress or. Produces a feeling of confidence and calm. So it's always about that inner dialogue and what's happening between your ears.
[00:06:38] And that's why I spent so much of my work focusing on helping people really become more mindful of the types of thoughts that they have of thinking patterns. And just how to shift out of the things that are keeping them stuck.
[00:06:55] Scott Maderer: [00:06:56] I think the obvious thing to, to talk about is [00:07:00] we've been. Year and a half under COVID there's parts of the world that are still in lockdowns. There's other parts that are coming out and much more active, the vaccines now coming out, but there's still a lot of uncertainty. There's still a lot of anxiety around it.
[00:07:16] There's still a lot. Conflict, get vaccinated, don't get vaccinated, wear masks, don't wear a mask around it. How can people deal with anxiety and stress and those normal stressors that maybe we all deal with? Like you were talking about the traffic or, the situation at work when times are so uncertain.
[00:07:35]Sharon Grossman: [00:07:35] If you think about it, even the anxiety. That we feel in uncertain times has to do with the thoughts that we have. So let's take COVID as an example, we all experienced COVID on some level, we're all subject to these conditions of quarantining and limitations and having to do things in a new [00:08:00] way.
[00:08:01] And yet some people were. Almost traumatized by this change. Just paralyzed by fear. Whereas other people use this opportunity to reinvent themselves and said, this is the best thing that's happened to them. People are moving across the country. People are making all kinds of changes that maybe weren't possible before.
[00:08:23] And really why is that? Why is it that some people are struggling so much? Others are thriving. If we're all dealing with the exact same circumstance and the answer to that is because of what you make it mean. And I think so many times we are searching for the familiar and we are afraid of things that aren't, that we become really anxious.
[00:08:50] We become really panicked and we shut down where we. Actually have the [00:09:00] opportunity to embrace the change and think about what, what lies in that for us. And as we've seen it, maybe took some people a bit of time, but then they caught up to the fact that, Hey, Now I can work from anywhere, so I don't have to live in the city anymore.
[00:09:16] I can go live in Hawaii. I can live on the beach. I can be anywhere. And so people are starting to realize that there is actually some freedom in this change. Horrible pandemic, there's actually some sort of silver lining for some people. So I think it's always about that perception. It always comes back to that.
[00:09:39] Scott Maderer: [00:09:39] And I think one of the most common things that. We talk about, a, you're talking about mental self-talk and the lens that we look at the world, where does self care fit in to this puzzle? When we talk about T people taking a break and taking self care, how does that fit in for people's wellbeing and, [00:10:00] getting rid of some of this stress and,
[00:10:03]Sharon Grossman: [00:10:03] I think self care is always an important component of wellbeing.
[00:10:10] We often put it on the back burner because we don't value ourselves as much as we probably should. We're putting things like work and other people had of ourselves. And then we suffer because it catches up with us. When you have stress in your life, if you do not do something to de-stress, then that's going to build into.
[00:10:35] That chronic condition that then becomes burnout. So if you were in a really stressful situation and you did engage in self care, maybe that is a burnout prevention strategy. Maybe you don't allow the buildup to happen to the point where it's so chronic that you're starting to break down, trying to think of an analogy, but the thing I typically [00:11:00] use when I'm talking about self care, just to give people a new way of thinking about themselves and the importance of this.
[00:11:08] Is I'll relate it to your cell phone. Cause we all have cell phones and we all are really obsessed with our phones and we're always using them. And so we want to make sure that they're charged. The thing about your cell phone, which helps you to know when to plug it in is that it's got this little meter and it tells you, it's 20% charge or 80% charge.
[00:11:32] You can gauge oh, if it's at 80, like I don't need to plug it in. I can leave the house. I don't have to worry about it at the last may when when it's down to 8%, you have a very different approach. And the problem is that we don't have that sort of external meter. That gives us a sense of where we're at.
[00:11:52] And so we don't take that approach with ourselves. We don't ask the right questions. And one of the things that I encourage [00:12:00] people to do is actually ask yourself if you were a phone, if you had that meter on you, what percentage would you give your energy right now? Would you say you're at 8% or 80% w where are you?
[00:12:15] And that'll give you the answer as to what you need to do right now. Do you need to go for a walk? Do you need to lie on the couch? It really is going to depend on what you're going for. If you need more energy, if you have stress and you need to release the stress, like it's really what it really comes down to is energy management.
[00:12:38]Scott Maderer: [00:12:38] And it sounds like, the, again, there's a bit of a, self-awareness here of being aware of that. That's why you're asking the question of what's my energy level so that you know where you're at, somebody is hearing this and going, okay, great. We're talking about stress and burnout and mindset and all of this, I'm stressed out, I'm burned, I'm on the road to burn out and, I don't really [00:13:00] know what I can even do about it.
[00:13:02] What are some of the. Resources that you would recommend? I know you've got a great book that we mentioned in the intro as well, but going beyond that, what are some practical tips or some techniques or some resources that folks can use if they're feeling themselves in that situation?
[00:13:20]Sharon Grossman: [00:13:20] I think the first step is that you can self identify as being burned out. And like I said, We sometimes use, we throw these terms around, but it's really important to understand what is burnout and how is it different from just like I'm feeling stressed or I'm feeling tired. So I like to just start with defining that term so you can self-identify and once you've self identify, then we can talk about what you need to do next.
[00:13:48] So the way the way that burnout shows up is. It's typically mental exhaustion and you know that [00:14:00] you are mentally exhausted and not necessarily physically exhausted in that when you're at work or when you think about work, you just feel drained. Like you're dragging your feet. And then when you leave work, all of a sudden you have all this energy and you're just cruising and things are great.
[00:14:19] So if you haven't noticed that when you're shifting your mind away from work, the energy totally changes. That's a big sign that something's going on. Because you know that when you're physically exhausted, it doesn't matter what you're doing. You just don't have the energy no matter what. So this is really about just when I think about work, it drains me.
[00:14:40] And when I think about going out with my friends, I get all excited and I have all the energy that I need. The other thing that we notice when people are burning out is their attitude starts to change. So if you're burned out because of work, then you might become really cynical at work about what [00:15:00] you're doing and what the purpose is.
[00:15:02] And you just feel icky about being there in the first place. So the attitude becomes really negative. And then ultimately what we see is your performance starts to decline. And that's really not that big of a surprise, considering that you don't have the mental energy, which means that you're not focusing as well, that your attitude has now become so negative.
[00:15:25] You're not going to be as invested. You're not going to be as productive. So when that, when your outcome. Have declined, what can then happen? Which continues the spiral is that you start to think there's something wrong with you that
[00:15:43] Scott Maderer: [00:15:43] how should I say
[00:15:44] Sharon Grossman: [00:15:44] it just, it can actually negatively affect your confidence and that can create more of that self doubt and.
[00:15:55] Lead to even less performance, if that makes sense. So it's [00:16:00] you
[00:16:00] Scott Maderer: [00:16:00] feel bad, so you do bad, which makes you feel worse. So you do worse kind of, yeah, exactly.
[00:16:07] Sharon Grossman: [00:16:07] Yeah. So once you understand that this is what you're dealing with, that you actually are burning out, then you need to do something about it.
[00:16:18]Even here. I would say it really depends because people burn out for different reasons. And so whatever your reason is, then you find the right solution for that. In my book, I actually highlight the main reasons why people burn out. And I think in most circumstances with the exception of maybe one, it usually comes down to the same thing, even though there could be like six different reasons why people burn out What it usually boils down to is the kind of dialogue as you mentioned, that goes on in your mind.
[00:16:53] So when you have all these kinds of toxic thoughts, you're going to feel really toxic. And then you're going to [00:17:00] sabotage. You're going to not be as productive. You're not going to do as good work. That all is a product of the way that you think about your circumstances. So the circumstances essentially are.
[00:17:12] Are leading to the burnout and the circumstances are different, but really it's the thoughts that you have about those circumstances that are creating that result? The one exception to that I would say is if you are in a job that really is just a poor fit for you, that no matter what you do, it's never going to work.
[00:17:36] So normally what I tell people when they're burning out is that rather than jump ship and leave your job and go find something else that you figure out how to make it work at least enough, that that this is an internal issue that you can solve. And then if you really don't love it at that point, you can go and find [00:18:00] another job.
[00:18:02] I really try to advise people not to abandon ship every time there's a problem, because then you're always just avoiding problems. And then you take yourself everywhere you go. The exception to that I would say is if it really is just a bad fit, then. It's not just about a mindset issue at that point, then it could be like a bigger issue, like lifestyle or values or something else.
[00:18:25] So I'll give you an example of that. So I work with a lot of physicians and some of them work. In the ER, and they have these long shifts and they have overnight shifts and that screws up their circadian rhythm and they've got children and they're trying to come home and be parents and do all these things.
[00:18:45] And it's just too much. And that's where we get beyond. Just like the mental fatigue that happens as part of burnout. That's when we're actually seeing like physical fatigue, because they're not sleeping and they have all these demands on them. So it really is a complicated [00:19:00] system. And if it's not your cup of tea to be working these long shifts and overnights and things like that.
[00:19:06] Then you could do mindset work all day long, but you probably should be finding another job.
[00:19:11]Scott Maderer: [00:19:11] Yeah. Cause it won't fix it. Part of it is identifying what the real problem is the problem around in, mindset and this, or is the problem. Is it really something that's more, you've gone down the road because the emergency room using that as an example, that could even just be a phase of life thing.
[00:19:28] Cause again, when you've got young kids at home is a very different phase than when you're in your twenties and don't have any kids or when you're in your or when you're in an empty nester situation, for instance. So I would imagine that it can even change,
[00:19:40] Sharon Grossman: [00:19:40] exactly.
[00:19:41] Yeah, exactly.
[00:19:43] Scott Maderer: [00:19:43] Yeah. So do you, when you mentioned doing some of that internal dialogue and mindset work can you give us an example of what that looks like for somebody or what that I know you can't, without a real person, you can't go into a detailed example, [00:20:00] but can you use an example of kind of what that might look like for somebody or what that might entail?
[00:20:06] Sharon Grossman: [00:20:06] Sure. Let me ask you this. Have you. Ever experienced burnout yourself. Oh yes, absolutely. Okay. Is this something that you experienced now or is it like something in the past, can you go back and remember the kinds of thoughts that you had back then? I think so. Okay. So I don't know if that's something that you want to share on the
[00:20:27] Scott Maderer: [00:20:27] show.
[00:20:28] Yeah, no, I it's. Things I've talked about before. There's nothing. I don't, I'm pretty open.
[00:20:33] Sharon Grossman: [00:20:33] Okay. So let's just dissect that for a second and maybe that'll help illustrate how this all works. When you think back to your situation, what did you tell yourself was the reason why you were burning out?
[00:20:45]Scott Maderer: [00:20:45] That I was working too many hours. I was, I felt like it was. The time I was putting into it was excessive. And that, even though I was putting in many hours, I didn't feel like I was getting recognized or rewarded [00:21:00] or was having success. It was, I was beating my head against a wall.
[00:21:06] Sharon Grossman: [00:21:06] Okay. So I heard a couple of things in there. Not knowing your situation, it could be a few different issues that were happening. So it could be that. You truly, weren't getting that recognition. And then you felt like, what is the point of me doing all this work? And then that can lead to burnout.
[00:21:26] It could be that you just worked too many hours and then you didn't really have that work-life balance. You weren't doing that. Self-care that we talked about. And so that could have just depleted your energy and led to burnout. It could also be that you. Are the kind of person who really needs that external validation.
[00:21:47] And maybe you work so hard because that is the thing in your mind, that's going to give it to you. And so you are willing to sacrifice in order to have [00:22:00] people feel really proud of your work or pat you on the back. So it could be a whole variety of different things. And that, that could be a whole other conversation about why people overwork.
[00:22:12] But I think in your case, we know the circumstance we know the behavior anyway, the behavior was, I was overworking. The question is how are you feeling that led you to overwork?
[00:22:25]Scott Maderer: [00:22:25] So basically that I was feeling that it was all on me to fix the person.
[00:22:32] Sharon Grossman: [00:22:32] So
[00:22:33] Scott Maderer: [00:22:33] that's a thought taking on responsibility for.
[00:22:36] Fixing the whole kitten, caboodle, everything was on my back. So
[00:22:41] Sharon Grossman: [00:22:41] it
[00:22:41] Scott Maderer: [00:22:41] wasn't, by the way, just to be clear,
[00:22:46] Sharon Grossman: [00:22:46] it's a really good point because there are people like you who are over-reliant or over responsible and they take on more than maybe they need to. And so if you're. Out there listening to this [00:23:00] episode.
[00:23:00] And that's you then take note because sometimes we tell ourselves these stories that I it's everything's up to me. No one else is going to do this. I can't depend on anybody. And I usually say that I'm not always, but a lot of the time, if you have that story in your head, it's probably not just at work.
[00:23:20]If you look at other areas in your life, your relationships and whatnot, Yeah. Are you finding that to be a theme where you're constantly taking on all the things where you are really, maybe even enabling other people not to do as much because you want to do it all. And I'm a little bit guilty of that, especially when it comes to like cooking.
[00:23:45] So my kids will come into the kitchen and they'll say oh, can we help? And they're trying to have a good fun experience and I just want quiet and I want to focus and I want to get dinner ready. I would rather than [00:24:00] leave and like I do all the work, then them come in and actually help me out in some way.
[00:24:05]And so think about that. Are you somebody who is overly reliant, are you somebody who doesn't trust other people to do their part? And it could be like a control issue? There's a whole variety of reasons why we end up in this situation. Those are the kinds of things that you might want to investigate, because then you're going to be creating these scenarios everywhere you go, not just at this current job.
[00:24:27] And that's where the work actually begins. When you have that insight into what is creating the issue for you. And you're not just pointing the fingers outside, but you're actually looking within, that's going to give you the biggest opportunity to make some shifts that will make. Difference in your life
[00:24:46] Scott Maderer: [00:24:46] now.
[00:24:46]And to, just for a little bit of the rest of the story, that, that job, where I was feeling that level of burnout and stress I stayed in. And yeah. To a place where that I [00:25:00] wasn't suffering from burnout in it anymore. In other words, I didn't quit the job or leave the job. And it was by doing exactly what you're talking about, self identifying and figuring out, okay, wait, why are you feeling this way?
[00:25:11]Is this a true story that you're telling yourself? Or is it false and, working through some of that. I'm not going to claim to be. Cured of trying to take on the responsibilities of the world, but I have gotten better at noticing when I'm doing it and going, wait a minute, stop doing that.
[00:25:29] You don't need to take on that particular burden. That's not yours,
[00:25:31]Sharon Grossman: [00:25:31] Yeah. And that's actually one of the seven ease in my book, right? So my book is called the seven east solution and the first one is emotional intelligence. And if you break down what emotional intelligence actually is, it's what you just said is having that self-awareness of what is the story that I'm telling myself and then.
[00:25:49] Self-management to be able to say, when I think that it makes me feel this and I don't want to feel this, and actually that's not even true. And then challenging the thought coming up with something [00:26:00] that is either more accurate or more helpful, and then completely shifting your experience at work.
[00:26:08] So you go from burnout to feeling. Totally fine. Doing the exact same work at the exact same place. And I think that is the biggest lesson for people that are burning out that I can share because too often people are looking for a quick fix and they're just like, oh, if I just change this thing outside of me, then I'll have the experience that I want.
[00:26:31] And that's just a trap,
[00:26:33] Scott Maderer: [00:26:33] right. If I quit this job and go get another job, it'll be perfect. It's probably won't, especially if it's still an internal problem, because guess what? In the new job you're still there. If it's a mindset thing
[00:26:47] Sharon Grossman: [00:26:47] that's right.
[00:26:48]Scott Maderer: [00:26:48] You can find out more about Sharon over on her website at Dr. Sharon grossman.com. There you can take a free quiz. You can set up a call to find out more. [00:27:00] Her coaching you can find out her podcast and more about our upcoming speaking events webinars and other events like that. Obviously there's more information as well about the book and a teachable course as well, built around that 70 solution for burnout.
[00:27:15] Of course, I'll have links to all of that in the show notes. Sharon, is there anything else that you'd like to share with the listener?
[00:27:23]Sharon Grossman: [00:27:23] I know that sometimes when you listen to podcasts, You feel like it's a website of conversation. And so what I encourage you to do is take some of the things that you've heard, if they resonate and think about what you're going to do with that information, because the transformation happens as a result of taking action.
[00:27:45] As a result of having more information. So I want you to really sit down and think about what am I going to take away and what am I going to start implementing so that I can start to see the shifts in my life. And if you do that and you have [00:28:00] some results, I would love to hear from you. So feel free to contact me on my website and let me know about your story.
[00:28:08] I would love to hear it and even share it.
[00:28:10]Scott Maderer: [00:28:10] thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listened, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate.
[00:28:38] All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence [00:29:00] and impact the world. .
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There are people who are over-responsible and they take on more than they need to. If that's you take note cause we tell ourselves stories that everything is up to me.... - Sharon Grossman
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