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The Truth About Burnout – Why Changing Your Environment Isn’t The Only Solution

Ellyn Schinke is a former scientist turned top coach and international speaker specializing in burnout and stress management. After burning out while pursuing her Ph.D., Ellyn was sick of all the cookie-cutter, BS burnout tips online and sought out the real, tangible tactics that would actually make a difference in her life.

 
Executive Contributor Ellyn Schinke

Ever heard the saying, "The environment where you burned out isn't the place where you'll recover"? 


Tired mid adult woman sitting at work in a warehouse

It’s common advice in burnout circles, implying that a change of scenery will magically fix everything. But for high achievers, that couldn’t be further from the truth.


Sure, sometimes the job or position is the issue. Toxic workplaces, unrealistic demands, and poor management can certainly contribute to burnout.


But for us high achievers, it’s often our very personalities that drive us toward burnout. We accidentally take on too much, constantly. It's like my MO in life: do too much, then realize, "Oops, probably shouldn’t have said yes to that."


I’ve learned this the hard way. I left my entire career behind, thinking entrepreneurship would be different. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. I burned out again by overcommitting to speaking engagements and excessive travel. The excitement and passion that drive us can also lead us astray. Whether it’s perfectionism, people-pleasing, or sheer enthusiasm, we keep saying yes.


And let's debunk a common myth: Passion prevents burnout

Gary Vee loves to say you won’t burn out if you love what you do. But that’s BS. Being passionate can actually make burnout more likely because we push ourselves too far.


When you’re passionate about your work, you’re more likely to blur the lines between work and personal life. You might stay up late, skip meals, or sacrifice weekends, all in the name of passion. But that’s a fast track to burnout, no matter how much you love what you do.


So, what’s the takeaway for high achievers? Recognize that while changing environments can help, it’s not a magic cure. Recovery involves setting boundaries, learning to say no, and being mindful of our limits, no matter how passionate we are.


In the end, the key to overcoming burnout isn’t just about where we work, but how we work and live. It’s about acknowledging our traits and making conscious efforts to balance our drive with sustainable practices. Only then can we achieve long-term well-being and success.


Embrace sustainable success

I've been working on a framework since the beginning of the year. I call it my sustainable success framework.


For high achievers, sustainable success is about more than just avoiding burnout. It’s about thriving in a way that’s healthy and balanced. It’s about creating a lifestyle that supports your goals without sacrificing your well-being.


And in my perspective, it has 3 components:


  1. Sustainable Systems

  2. Sustainable Self-Care

  3. Sustainable Mindset


Remember, it’s not just about changing your environment—it’s about changing your approach to ALL 3 of these things. By setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and learning to manage your workload, you can create a sustainable path to success.


So, the next time you feel burnout creeping in, take a step back. Reflect on your habits and commitments. Make the necessary changes to protect your well-being. Because at the end of the day, your health and happiness are just as important as your achievements.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Ellyn Schinke, Burnout & Stress Management Coach/Speaker

Ellyn Schinke is a former scientist turned top coach and international speaker specializing in burnout and stress management. After burning out while pursuing her Ph.D., Ellyn was sick of all the cookie-cutter, BS burnout tips online and sought out the real, tangible tactics that would actually make a difference in her life. As a result, burnout when from being her lifestyle to her passion. Now, she's focused on helping corporate professionals and businesses free themselves from burnout and take back their lives. Ellyn is the founder and CEO of Coach Ellyn LLC, one of the top burnout coaches on Google, host of the Burned Out to Badass podcast, and more. Her mission: Make burnout a choice.

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