Page 11 - BusinessWest December 12, 2022
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Continued from page 9
how I am compared to when I’m at my desk.”
Elaborating, Young said people and can and often do have bad days, bad weeks, and bad months. But burnout is longer-term. It’s a persistent feeling of simply not feeling like yourself, accom- panied by some physical symptoms.
These can include indigestion, lower back pain, and other ailments that cannot be easily explained, he said, adding that these problems equate to stress building up in the body — stress that, if not relieved, will lead to deeper issues.
It’s incumbent upon individuals, and especially men, because often, they don’t listen to what their body is telling them, Young went on, adding that, if they listen hard enough — and he eventually did — they will come to understand that the problem might be burnout.
“I suffered in silence and tried to tough it out. The problem is, the hole kept getting deeper.”
And this brings us to the next step in this assignment — deciding what to do about it, be it taking time off, finding a new job or career, seeking counseling or coaching, or some mix of the above.
“And that often depends on how crispy you are,” said Young. “Some peo- ple, when they’ve had an extreme case of burnout, really need to decompress; I’ve dealt with people who have had
to take long-term leave and just not
do anything for a while, but that’s not something that a lot of people can do.
“For me, when I started looking
at how I defeated burnout and what
I wanted to share with others, there’s
a ton of practical advice that you can Google; it will talk about exercise, it will talk about diet, it will talk about shift- ing your work schedule and maybe even changing jobs. Those are all valid things to do; however, they’re just put- ting Band-Aids on symptoms. They’re not actually getting to the root cause.”
Elaborating, he said the biggest problem he had with burnout — and the problem that most people have — is the isolation and the feeling that he had to deal with it alone.
“When I pulled back all he covers, when I rewound the story, I realized that the thing that got me out of burn- out was to stop isolating myself and create intimate connections in all areas ofmylifesoIalwayshadaplacetogo when my stress was built up,” he told BusinessWest, adding that this is a dif- ficult assignment for many men.
How do they get over that hurdle? “I think the answer to that is to look
at our shame, which is not a word that guys want to talk about, but it’s there,” said Young, who related his own expe- riences to drive home that point. “If the reason I got into burnout was because I kept comparing myself to the men around me, to my peers, to the people who were a few steps ahead of me on the path, and feeling that I don’t mea- sure up, then I have to double down; I have to outwork everyone. I definitely can’t ask for help; I can’t reveal any of that to anyone because then I’m going to really hear it from the guys. And that’s not OK.
“So I suffered in silence and tried to tough it out,” he went on. “The prob-
lem is, the hole kept getting deeper, and so, when I wrote the book, I knew
I wanted to write about burnout, because it was a horrible experience for me, but I also knew I wanted to write about intimacy and intimate con- nections in every area of my life, which was actually the real antidote that got to the root cause. But I didn’t realize that I was going to see shame come
up so prominently; as I interviewed dozens of men about it, I got the same story — the fear of being called out
by other guys because we’re not man enough to deal with our business and we got burned out is a huge obstacle.”
Bottom Line
Clearing this obstacle is difficult, Young said in conclusion, but it is the first big step toward defeating burnout and moving on from it.
It’s the first step toward picking one- self up off the floor — figuratively, or, as we saw in Young’s own case, and prob- ably many others, quite literally. u
George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]
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