Why do Coaching & Counseling Careers Cause Burnout?

  Monday, November 8, 2021

If you're a life coach, counselor, or someone from the mammoth industry of mental health and its services, you will probably relate to this article more than anything. This industry has risen from ground zero over the past fifty years, all the while encompassing broader terms, job descriptions, and labor or workforce. Unlike traditional therapy, you can consider counseling or coaching to be its younger, livelier, more enthusiastic sibling that wears glitter. Not to say that we should not take it seriously, but most coaches and counselors come to work with an "anything can happen" attitude. Facilitated by a "we will make it happen" type of spirit. 

Professional counselors and life coaches have a relationship that is frequently compared to that of stepsiblings. They're just distantly related because they have the same surname, "helpful professional." Those outside the "family" may associate the two because of the name (like it or not). Counselors and life coaches, like conventional stepsiblings, are familiar with each other and even share some comparable characteristics. One such characteristic is their shared energy to put in the work to help their clients improve their lives justifiably. 

What Does It Take To Be A Good Life Coach or Counselor?

While life coaches come from various experiences, and no particular background or former career field distinguishes some from others, some skills can be gained or strengthened to improve the effectiveness of a life coach.

Approachable, personable, friendly, and helpful life coaches are essential. They should be energetic, sympathetic, and patient, as well as have a sense of humor. These skills are critical in assisting coaches in gaining new consumers as well as new business relationships. Business colleague networking is increasingly a regular practice. This can be done virtually through online social networking, forums, and the like, but it can also be done in the real world through 'conventional' face-to-face interactions. Regular activities, such as luncheons or breakfasts, social gatherings, and so on, may bring together business people in a particular town.

All these personality traits are part of the job description. Hence, a life coach can only help you if their life is together. Unfortunately, it is ubiquitous for people to face disdain from their work, especially in the medical and mental health field. You can take the era of COVID as an example. This is translated into something called burnout.

What Is Burnout?

Herbert Freudenberger, an American psychologist, created the word "burnout" in the 1970s. He used it to illustrate the effects of lofty aspirations and excessive stress in "helping" professions. He believed the following things contributed to their burnout:

  • having a solid commitment to their work
  • tasks that necessitate a great deal of emotional labor and empathy, as well as personal commitment and intrinsic motivation
  • underpaying yourself

A stressful lifestyle can put people under extreme pressure, to the point that they feel exhausted, empty, burned out, and unable to cope. Stress at work can also cause physical and mental symptoms. Possible causes include feeling either permanently overworked or under-challenged, under time pressure, or having conflicts with colleagues. The extreme commitment that results in people neglecting their own needs may also be at the root of it. 

Doctors and nurses, for example, who put themselves in harm's way for others are frequently "burned out" – tired, listless, and unable to cope. 

This now includes counselors and life coaches as well. The term is now used to describe more than just these helping professions or the dark side of self-sacrifice. It can impact everyone, from busy employees and homemakers to stressed-out career-driven professionals and celebrities.

Much of orthodox medicine now recognizes burnout as an actual medical condition. Many of the signs and symptoms of burnout are similar to depression, such as intense exhaustion, a lack of passion, and increased cynicism and negativity.

Does Counseling and Life Coaching Cause Burnout?

As your life coaching or counseling business, or any business for that matter, grows, you may begin to feel burned out. Even if you adore your company and the people you serve, there will be times when you feel as if you have too many duties tugging at your attention and not enough time to complete them all!

Many life coaches experience overwhelm and exhaustion several times during their entrepreneurial journey – your business grows, and you must learn to stretch, grow, and expand with it. The goal, though, is to avoid becoming stranded in this location. Some life coaches, for example, are burnt out in their personal lives and companies.

You don't want to be that person, do you? It ultimately serves neither you, your clients, nor your global objective. After all, clients probably come to you to relieve themselves of their burnout and shouldn't be treating people for things you can not figure out for yourself. 

How Common Is The Burnout? 

Burnout is reported by more than half of mental health professionals as moderate or severe. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), the three most stressful mental health jobs are psychiatric nurse, health care social worker, therapist (counselor).

The following are the most prevalent burnout symptoms:

  • Compassion Fatigue: Feeling emotional exhaustion at work
  • Depersonalization: Having a pessimistic attitude toward one's career.
  • Lower Self-Evaluation: Feelings of personal accomplishment are diminished.

If you're a mental health practitioner, you're more prone to burn out if you:

  • Have a limited work history
  • They are insecure about their abilities.
  • You don't have a social support system.
  • Do not erect barriers.
  • Perfectionism is a personality trait.
  • Make use of self-deprecating humor.

Tips & Tricks To Avoid Burning Out 

These potent but straightforward methods will help you avoid burnout and keep your energy, inspiration, and love for helping your customers and expanding your life coaching business.

  • Remember Why You Started In the First Place 

Ground yourself whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by stress or worry about your business by remembering why you became a life coach in the first place. Because you care strongly about people and want to impact the world significantly, you decided to start and expand a life coaching business.

All other concerns fade away when you remember the love and honesty that lead you down this path. Your energy and vitality will stay sparked as long as you come from a place of gratitude and never lose sight of why you started your business in the first place.

  • Boundaries Are Important 

It's all too easy for your working life to become entwined with your personal life, primarily if you work from home. Working unnecessarily long hours and overextending oneself might easily result from this. Instead, set up limits for yourself that separate your professional and personal time.

You should be able to leave your workstation at the end of the day as a mental cue that the day's job is complete. When you're done working for the day, you can change into your leisure clothing. Another excellent idea is to keep your computer out of your bedroom, primarily used for sleeping.

  • Keep Your Routine Flexible 

Changing your routine produces new neural pathways in your brain, which will re-energize you and help you perform better in your career. For starters, you can use a method known as priming, which is making modifications to your environment that have an impact on your thinking. You might also try adjusting your physical position to change your mood.

  • Remember That Success Isn't Instant. 

Many entrepreneurs experience exhaustion or burnout due to what I refer to as "push energy" — trying to force results faster than they may occur naturally. These entrepreneurs may believe that within the first year or two, they will have made a significant impact and generate a large sum of money.

They'll be disappointed when the results they're looking for taking longer than expected. Rather than setting yourself up for disappointment, accept that your efforts to build the life coaching business you desire will take time.

  • Listen To Your Inner Voice 

We can assure you that the approaches I've just discussed above are highly effective in preventing burnout in the workplace. We also advise you to pay attention to your inner voice.

Is it asking you to take it easy and relax? Do you want to switch gears? Trust your gut, stay focused on your goal, and trim your sails as necessary. Being your most colorful, inspired, and energized self will benefit you and the clients you are here to serve.

What tactics or techniques have proven effective for you in terms of self-care and avoiding burnout in your personal or professional life? What are your methods for recharging your batteries? We'd love to hear more about your thoughts in the comments box below.

Health Disclaimer

JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.

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