Yesterday I met a successful lawyer whose thoughts were so scattered that he could barely put a complete sentence together – it was clear his mind was rushing from one subject to the next and he had trouble keeping up.
Lawyers, like many professional in the “caring” business, are prime candidates for burn out.
The person described his situation perfectly. He explained: “How can I stop working when I am faced with a deadline the next day and if I miss it, my client will suffer?”
He is not alone.
This sense of responsibility is so common among all caring professions (Doctors, social workers, parents and the likes). It is commendable but it comes at a cost.
When I asked my client what he did for himself, what brought him joy on a daily basis, it was like I punched him. He decomposed in front of my eyes and said: “Nothing, not anymore! How can I, when there is so much to do. Sometimes I wish I was not so successful.”
When I asked him if he had help, he regained his composure and strongly explained that young people these days (his words) did not want to work anymore. They didn’t want to do the leg work and they were not reliable…
I had to smile.
It is so common for people to find that they themselves are the only one to be able to do a decent job.
But it is so limiting, really!
So I went on to challenge this particular point of view. He explained agitatedly that his clients came to HIM because they were personally recommended. People wanted to work with HIM, not some second class lawyer that would not be HIM. And it was his responsibility to see to every client personally.
I know a fair number of lawyers and I could cast my mind to all my friends, they all have at least an intern and a paralegal around, to support them and do some of the leg work. Some even share work among the partners in the firm, each lawyer having their own speciality but being available to the team in moment of need.
When I mentioned that idea, my clients deflated once again, yes he has a “small” team around him, but he shook his head sadly, they are either were not competent enough or they tend to leave him because they find better opportunities elsewhere.
It touched me more than I could say to see that successful man feeling so powerless and so close to burning out.
I explained to him the different phases of burnout and the reasons for each phase. He listened intently and sighed heavily at the end of the explanation: So is there something I can do, now?
And we got to work. Will it be a quick and easy turn around?
No. Bad habits die hard.
But I know I can help this person like I have helped many others in the past. Because I speak from experience. People I work with know that I know exactly where they are at. I can understand what their family and friends cannot. Not because they don’t care, but because its hard for most people to grasp the whole concept of burnout, of being helpless and without hope that anything can save them.
Why work with a coach when you are burning out?
My techniques are not complicated, even EFT or tapping can be learned in a few minutes, but working with a coach will offer you the chance to have somebody in your corner. A cheerleader for Team You, a person to call out Your “BS” when you need it, a person to challenge You beyond Your comfort zone and toward success.
So if you find yourself thinking that you are burning out, then reach out and ask for help.
Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice – The Burnout Expert.
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