How coaching can help you to prevent or recover from Burnout

How coaching can help you prevent or recover from Burnout

Why are there are very high levels of burnout in the fashion industry?

If you are reading this because you feel you have symptoms of burnout you are not alone. The industry is one of the most competitive, fast paced and uncompromising sectors. It also has a unique set of pressures that resulted in high levels of burnout particularly amongst designers and creatives.

Burnout results from the industry’s workplace culture, expectations, behaviours and patterns of working.

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Unsustainable workloads
  • Insecure nature of the industry

All these and more are identified as factors contributing to burnout. In addition the beliefs you hold about yourself can also contribute to you being vulnerable to burnout. For instance, the need to succeed, to feel the need to constantly exceed expectations or gain recognition for your work. This is compounded by the pressures you as a designer put on yourself to succeed in an industry you have always dreamt of being a part of.

So what is burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. It’s the result of sustained levels of workplace stress that greatly diminishes your immune system and adrenal glands that help regulate your response to stress.

Burnout symptoms tend to creep up on you so it is not always easy to identify.

It is very important to clarify that burnout is not an illness.  Your body is telling you that your capacity to respond to stress is overloaded.

Paying attention to your symptoms is paramount in recognising you are suffering burnout. Symptoms of Burnout

  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Self-doubt and feel like giving up
  • Feel overwhelmed, hopeless or resentful
  • Feel detached from others
  • Lack motivation and not enjoying your work
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Experience physical symptoms. Headaches, sore throats, stomach problems, anxiety and panic attacks

What happens if you don’t address the symptoms of burnout?

I know from my personal experience that if you do not address burnout then the symptoms just get worse and it becomes a viscous cycle.

You may think it’s best to take time away from work to rest and recover. As a result you may feel more like yourself again as the things that caused your burnout symptoms are temporarily removed. However when you return to your work environment you will still be exposed to the things that caused you burnout in the first place. Subsequently you will experience the same symptoms as the cycle has not been permanently broken. It requires more than just rest. It requires understanding as to why it’s happening and why you are responding in this way. Subsequently armed with this knowledge you can begin to work on your recovery

I know it takes courage to ask for help and people often put off seeking help initially because they keep telling themselves:

  • I should be able to sort this out myself
  • I’m too busy
  • I feel too scared or anxious to ask for help
  • Maybe I’m just not up to the job or the industry

Above all it’s important to take immediate action to prevent burnout symptoms getting worse or to stop burnout occurring again in the future.

How coaching can help you to prevent or recover from burnout

The symptoms won’t go away on their own and they can be very distressing and scary.

If you are a freelance designer/creative, own a small business or employed you can feel be very isolated when you are suffering from burnout. Having a coach to support you 1:1 can make a real difference and be life changing.

I believe that coaching can help break the cycle of burnout and it enables you to:

1. Have a chance to step back and take a look at what is really going on for you

You will have time to think and be listened to in complete confidence without judgement. Feeling able to share how you feel can make a significant difference to how you perceive what’s happening to you.

2. Understand how stressful or difficult situations affect you physically, mentally and emotionally

When you are  conscious of what is happening to you and the impact it has on you, you can learn strategies to help you respond to difficult challenges or situations rather than react in a way that causes you distress. This enables you to feel more in control and empowered.

3. Explore your boundaries and how to make them work for you

Are you a people pleaser?

Do you find it difficult to say no?

Do you feel responsible to help others even when you are exhausted yourself?

If you answered yes to these questions then you are more likely to take on too much and regularly work longer hours.

Coaching can help you think about why you feel uncomfortable or what worries you about saying no or asking others to help you.

You will learn how to establish boundaries to enable you to work at your best, place more value on yourself and your ability.

Setting boundaries prevents you from allowing yourself to be put into situations you find overwhelming or feel out of control.

4. Be aware of your beliefs and behaviours and how they impact you at work

You will be able to work on a very powerful understanding of how your beliefs, values and behaviours impact you in your working environment and culture.

Consequently when you understand your belief system and values you will be able to clarify any changes that would benefit your approach to work, look after your wellbeing and make better use of your time and energy.

5. Explore what work environment will best support you and your overall wellbeing

Your working culture can cause you stress and affect how you react to difficult situations. This is where coaching can help you to look at what will set you up for success at work.

We will focus on exploring what you need to thrive and achieve a balance where you can best use your skills and maximise any opportunities you want to explore.

6. Develop communication skills that will help you to create a healthier way of working

Communication is a key skill that is crucial when it comes to managing burnout. Creative people often feel they are not valued for their skills and feel insecure as a result. This can result in not speaking out when you need support.

Designers often remark that they feel they are seen as sensitive or dramatic and not taken seriously. This is an annoyingly perpetuated stereotyped view of a fashion designer and in my experience totally incorrect. I find most designers and creatives I coach or have worked with to be highly resilient.

You will learn to communicate so you will be perceived in the way you want and be confident to act sooner to find solutions to challenges.

However it is very important to clarify that you can do something to stop Burnout happening. This is where coaching can help you to find ways that will support you to find ways of stopping and preventing burnout. The sooner you take action the sooner you will feel so much better and back in control of your life.

Act Now! Because if you do nothing then nothing will change

If any of this resonates with you don’t delay in contacting me. I am very happy to have an informal, friendly cha about how I might help you.

You can book a no-obligation call at kate@finerthinking.com or message me on Linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/kate-darbyshire-evans

Attitude changes everything

Attitude changes everything – it can change your life

Attitude changes everything. Change your attitude and you can change your life. You cannot always control what happens to you in life but you can always control how you respond to the challenges or difficult situations you encounter. The attitude you approach anything with is entirely your choice. The way you choose to respond mirrors your attitude and so by changing your attitude you can change your perspective and change your life. Your attitude reflects the way you see the world and how you live in it. It affects every aspect of your life, your happiness, relationships, health, wellbeing and success. Developing a positive attitude that you apply with action can change the way you live your life regardless of the challenges or adversity you face. In this post I want to share with you some of the ways attitude can change the way you live your life.

 

“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

The attitude you choose will determine the outcome

Select the most useful attitude that will help you with the challenges you face. The attitude you choose will determine how successful you will manage the challenge or situation. Consider how that attitude will determine what you say, your behaviour and action and what will be the outcome.

Always take action with a purpose

Before you take any action, decide how it will serve your greater goals. Act with thought and consideration when choosing an attitude that will help you take the actions that will manage the challenges you face.

Move out of your comfort zone

If you stay stuck in your comfort zone, it may seem safe and familiar but if you don’t challenge yourself nothing will ever change. If you don’t stretch yourself every day, you will never find out what you are truly capable of. Have a go, take a risk and transition from your comfort zone into your growth zone where you will gain purpose, live your dreams, set goals and overcome the obstacles that have been holding you back.

Take action without expecting success

Change happens and confidence grows from taking action. It’s where you learn most about yourself and build resilience. Of course you have to make decisions and plan your actions to achieve the results you want, but it’s a big mistake to expect those results and then be upset or downhearted when you don’t get them. Take the best action you can but don’t fixate about the result.

Use setbacks or disappointments to learn from and to build resilience

Rather than feeling bad if you fail, reflect on your actions and see what you can do to better or learn what to do next. Growth comes from failing and learning, again and again. Seek out those who share your positive attitude. It’s a known fact that your brain automatically copies the behaviours of the people around you. Therefore, it makes sense to surround yourself with people who have a positive and proactive attitude and move away those who are unduly negative or drain your energy.

Practice gratitude more frequently

Achieving an “attitude of gratitude” entails more than simply recognising what’s wonderful in your own life. Take action by thanking other people for their gifts or kindness to you, even if that gift is something as simple as a smile or an acknowledgement. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you want to be happier nurture the ability to laugh at yourself. It will help to balance your drive and purpose with a dash of gentle humour and fun.

If you are facing a challenge or difficulty today what attitude will you choose to help yourself?

What action will you take as a result?

If this post has been helpful please share it with other women who may benefit from reading it.

Connect with me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-darbyshire-evans

and go to www.finerthinking.com and you can sign up on the homepage for a COMPLEMENTARY BREAKTHROUGH SESSION to discover how you can learn to change your attitude and change your life so you can thrive not just survive and be fulfilled and enjoy the industry you love.

5 Ways To Replace Self-Doubt With Confidence

5 Ways To Replace Self-Doubt With Confidence

“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” – Cicero

It’s common for us all to experience self-doubt at times, especially when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It can hold us back and prevent us from expressing whom we really are and what we want to do because we fear of failure or rejection. Comparing ourselves to others can exacerbate self-doubt. Finding our true voice and purpose isn’t always easy. It means having to confront our own vulnerability, but this is where we can start to build our inner strength and resilience.

I spent too much time my first job, in the fashion industry, in a persistent state of fear and self-doubt. Having only just graduated from university, I was given the responsibility for totally re-branding and designing all the collections. The responsibility was enormous and the pressure intense. I started to doubt my ability to produce what was required. I often worked sixty or seventy hours a week trying to prove I could live up to the company’s expectations and climb what I believed to be the ladder of success. I never thought of the consequences on my health and wellbeing until I was overwhelmed with stress and physical and mental fatigue.

What I learnt from my experience was that I needed to change the way I responded to my self-limiting thoughts. I took a step back and allowed myself to be vulnerable, which was not an easy thing for me to do. The first thing I did was to ask for help. I then started to explore and learn how I could find ways of overcoming my self-doubt. The biggest step for me was to be realistic in acknowledging my abilities and capabilities. I was scared of admitting I couldn’t handle the huge workload. Instead I had pushed myself to do the work of 2 or 3 people and this was unsustainable.

Self-doubt and entrepreneurs

Many clients I have worked with have experienced self-doubt and the resulting negative impact it has had on them. I work with female entrepreneurs and they often feel they have to be good at so many different things to get their business started or to grow their business. They often doubt their abilities to handle all the responsibility and this can lead to them feeling stressed and overwhelmed. If left unchecked this can result in them feeling paralysed when having to make decisions.

But the good news is that Self-doubt is not always negative.

The nervous energy you feel from the stress and anxiety caused by self-doubt can work for you. If you can harness that energy in a positive way it can help you to motivate yourself and to take action. It will also help you to be more resilient.

Here are 5 ways that can help you to replace self-doubt with confidence 

1. Is your self-doubt realistic or unrealistic?

Realistic self-doubt is when you can acknowledge that you have set out to do something that is more than you feel you can achieve at the moment. That’s okay as it makes sense. By owning it you can then act on this realistic knowledge and make a decision about what action to take in order to make it more achievable. For example, perhaps you could take a course or ask an expert in that field for their help.

Unrealistic self-doubt is when you know you have got the resources and skills to achieve what you are trying to do. Change the way you respond by thinking about something you may have done similar before. It may be challenging, but you know it’s achievable with effort and commitment. In this case your initial feelings of self-doubt are likely to be untrue and there is no real reason to doubt your capability.

2. Trust yourself

If you have a decision to make you may ruminate on it too long and that just feeds your self-doubt. Self-doubt can lead to you look for reassurance from others. The best way is to trust yourself and go with your first reaction. How many times have you chosen to follow someone else’s suggestion and then realised that you should have listened to your gut instinct and gone with that. Make a decision and trust yourself that you know what’s the best course of action for you. This is a great way to build your confidence.

3. Clarify your values and what matters to you

When you decide what really matters to you and you find your purpose and meaning in life, your self-doubt will diminish. This will help you to connect to yourself and to others, and will help you manage the challenges and decisions you have to make. Ask yourself is your purpose aligned to your values and strengths?

4. Treat yourself with self-compassion

I remind myself daily to practice self-compassion. If you constantly judge yourself or are seeking to be perfect at everything you do self-doubt or your inner critic will creep in as a form of protection. Imagine how you would respond to a close friend who is struggling with the feelings of self-doubt and respond to yourself with the same words you would say to your friend. Stress experienced from self-doubt can be exhausting so take a break, spend some time with friends or just go for a walk or a run. Self-care is the number one priority and builds your confidence physically and mentally.

5. Don’t compare your accomplishments to others

Comparing yourself with others serves no purpose. Everyone is an individual and on their own journey. What matters is that you are following the path that serves you well. Are you doing what really matters to you, what works for you and is personally fulfilling? Gain confidence through doing what you love and enjoy. This is what makes you feel good about yourself and it doesn’t matter if it is different to what someone else is doing.

Let’s talk

If any of this has resonated with you and you would like to find out more about how to replace self-doubt with confidence please contact kate@finerthinking.com or call 07736 649584. Let’s talk.