Burnout, Beliefs & Boundaries: Executive Coaching Video Interview

Written by Guy Reichard

December 14, 2023

Understanding the Blocks to Growth, Success & Fulfillment

In a recent video interview with Nicole Attias, Sales Strategist and founder of Prospect2Win, we explored executive coaching for personal and professional development. Our conversation touched upon several areas that are near and dear to my heart and to many of my executive coaching clients – the painful, limiting patterns that hold us back from being who we really, and rob us of calm, clarity, confidence and more.

Recognizing Burnout

The discussion began by highlighting the subtle signs of burnout – exhaustion, negativity, decreased productivity and a loss of spirit or sense of Self. We talked about the importance of working with the whole person in coaching, and tackling limiting beliefs across various interconnected domains of life.

  • “They’re exhausted, completely drained, lost that spirit and life force… not as productive or efficient with their work anymore. It’s disturbing, upsetting, and we’re talking about ways to recognize that.”

The Challenge with Boundaries and Assertiveness

We explored the importance and significance of both setting, and asserting boundaries. We talked about how understanding, defining, and asserting boundaries can be very challenging for many leaders no matter how high up the org chart they may be. Boundaries are a vital component for protecting and maintaining our energy, self esteem, motivation, and engagement in both personal and professional spheres.

  • “It’s such an important topic… You can’t separate anything. In business, we want to separate the two, but you’re one person; you’re not like two people. Boundaries are challenging, and it’s hard to know what those are.”

Exploring Limiting Beliefs, Perfectionism & People-Pleasing Patterns

We dug deeper into the concept of limiting beliefs and their origins in past experiences that shaped us and how we learned to get by in the world through adaptations. I shared the all-too-common fear caused by limiting belief that many of us have, that setting boundaries always results in disapproval and rejection. We acknowledged the adaptive/survival qualities of perfectionism rooted in past traumas but also highlighted its limitations.

We talked about how Perfectionism and People-Pleasing tendencies are often linked to limiting beliefs. Perfectionism arises from the belief that mistakes are unacceptable and that one must always strive for flawlessness, and how People-Pleasers tend to prioritize others’ needs over their own, often neglecting their own wellbeing.

It’s essential to recognize that these patterns can have both positive and negative consequences. While they may have served as coping mechanisms in the past, they can become impediments to growth in adulthood. Acknowledging these behaviors and their origins is the first step toward change.

  • “Sometimes we made a promise to ourselves like never again. I mean never doing that. Those promises, those vows that we made, they do stick, and it ends up blocking us from so much.”
  • “If I set a boundary, if I am assertive, people won’t like me. It’s an automatic very quick judgment inside, as if it’s for sure going to happen. They don’t even recognize that’s a belief; it’s just a fact. It’s automatic and really, really scary.”

Building Trust and a Sense of Safety Within

Breaking ingrained patterns and beliefs is a formidable challenge. A sense of psychological safety and trust-building in the coaching process was underscored as crucial for facilitating gradual and meaningful change. I shared the importance of consistent self-reflection, promoting awareness and acceptance of our patterns of how we think and behave, learning to offer ourselves greater self-compassion and understanding.

  • “Trust really has to come in, right? They have to trust themselves in this space and to know that nothing is forced. We’re going to take our time with it. Better to have understanding and compassion for yourself and take a small meaningful step than to try to force and fake something.”

Values-Based Coaching for Meaningful Growth

I shared a concept from ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training) that I offer my clients – that coaching facilitates a transformative process, focusing on small, meaningful steps and building on positive experiences. That we’re always either making Towards Moves or Away Moves – towards our values, the kind of person we want to be and the kind of life we want to create. Or – away from our values and the kind of person we want to be because we’re moving away from perceived discomfort. We need to make those small meaningful, uncomfortable moves in order to grow and build new beliefs.

  • “Little meaningful moves may not seem like a big deal, but it is a big deal because we make that move. We get a fuller feeling – a sense of fulfillment. You feel good about it. It’s a relief to just be who you are, and it’s something you want to build on.”

Watch the Full Interview and when you’re done, you can watch Part 2 about Cracking the code Self Love through Self Leadership

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