Burned Out or Excited? Either way, you may be suffering.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I remember thinking that this would be a time where people around the globe would become closer from having a shared experience. What I understand now: we each bring our own thoughts, feelings, assumptions and reactions that create and shape our experiences. 

As the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is appearing, depending on your experience, you may find that you are either suddenly feeling burned out or fired up (or both!). 

While this is normal in any time of transition – both feelings can cause you suffering – and that is not good! 

My use of the word “suffering” has roots in the buddhist belief that the means to find liberation from suffering is always available to us.  Whether you are feeling a lack of balance in your life, a pulling to make a change of some kind and not knowing what to do, or noticing rising self-doubt, the secret is not only to be aware of what you’re feeling, but why.  What are the underlying internal causes for why you feel the way you do?   

Is your suffering arising from hidden self-judgements of the past?  False assumptions about what is and is not possible in the future?  Outdated measures of what success looks like for you? Or an overall lack of understanding about the value of your impact when you are feeling joy?  When I was at my own crossroad moment 5 years ago, and as I coach successful leaders across the country through the pandemic, the answer to many of these questions has been:  yes!

If you are feeling something less than joy in the present moment, the following REFLECTION QUESTIONS are offered to help you begin to gather the often hidden self-intel needed, to help you curate your own path forward.   

I’m excited!

  • It’s great to be back in the office, seeing people in real life, finally able to make plans for the future!
  • I feel so productive, I’m back doing what I know how to do, and it feels great!
  • There is so much to be done to ensure that everything happens well in the Fall!  So many opportunities! So much fun to be had!  So many people to help!

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Why am I excited about being “back”?  What aspect of my leadership feels valued, and why does that feel so good to me? Why?  Am I motivated by a need to prove, strive, grasp? Is my pace sustainable? Am I willing to take a vacation right now? (If not, look deeply about why that really is.)

I’m burned out and/or anxious.

  • Getting through the pandemic was exhausting.  I just don’t have the energy to launch into a new effort to come back.
  • I notice myself hesitating about going back into the office, but am worried I’ll miss out on opportunities if I work remotely.
  • I’m done.  I wasn’t happy before the pandemic, I know I want to make a change, but don’t think this is the best time to apply for new jobs.
  • I loved having time with my family.  I don’t want to give that up – but does that mean I have to give up on advancing in my career?

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: If I could wave a magic wand, what would make me really happy? Why? What are the assumptions about what is, or is not, true or possible – about myself or my situation – that I am making? What if I’m mistaken, and it is possible?

I invite you to play and become an expert on your amazing self!  As always, I love hearing from you and knowing how YOU are mindfully curating the life and leadership scenario of your dreams. 

To your success,


Next Chapter Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM

P.S. – This time of year can be challenging if you’re at a Crossroad Moment, trying to figure out what to do, what is possible, what you (really) want, and what you should do next.  If this is YOU or someone you know, I’ve opened up times on my calender to get on the phone for a confidential call.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *