Beat Burnout, Part 3

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:14
Posted in category Fitness

“Also, develop a professional network,” McCaughey says, “In my training seminars it’s the first thing I insist new trainers do. You must develop resources for nutritional counseling, psychiatric counseling, sports medicine, OB-GYN medical professionals, physical therapists, and more. Giving advice in these areas is not only unprofessional, it could be dangerous not to mention illegal.”

Learn something new. Robert Bly, President of the Center for Technical Communications, states, “Life becomes dull when you stop learning.” It may be as simple as reading a book or going to a lecture. Stay diversified. One trainer does this by training in different locations and meeting new people at community functions. Many trainers also teach group fitness and receive certifications in disciplines other than Personal Training, such as cycling or kickboxing.
DO something new. One Professional found burnout relief by enrolling her dog in obedience classes. She said she found satisfaction in not having to “talk shop”, and surprisingly picked up pointers she could apply back at the club. Qualities like patience, tone of voice and body language are relevant in all teaching and learning environments.
Become more active in your field. Professionals who enter the fitness industry do so for a reason. There is a passion and a love for helping people that somehow got lost in the day-to-day grind of one-on-one training. Many Trainers join a professional society, such as IDEA, or join local organizations for small business owners. Many of the long term successful trainers are active in the community as well as the industry. Some help to sponsor events such as “Fun Runs” or athletic competitions such as martial arts or cheerleading or fitness events. Others give talks at community centers or get involved with programming for children.
Change jobs. This is certainly not something to consider if you are just having a bad day. However, if the feelings of anxiety and stress continue without relief despite what you do to alleviate them, it may be time to evaluate your career choice. The beauty of this industry is its diversification, as well as the people and business skills required of its professionals. These skills can cross over into a multitude of other choices if your burnout is indeed final.
Professionals spend at least a third of their waking hours at their jobs. For many Fitness Professionals it’s even more than that. Balance is the key to burnout recovery as well as the most important factor in preventing burn out from happening again. Re-establishing and maintaining contact with the support systems of friends and family are also critical elements. Your life’s work and the work of living need to complement each other. The qualities that make life enjoyable are the same qualities that make work enjoyable. The things that satisfy you in life will be the things that satisfy you in work.

Trainers, like many other successful professionals, sometimes have a difficult time separating who they are from what they do. If who you are is defined in the number of clients you train, or the types of programs you prescribe, you have limited yourself to linear growth.

The grace of living is realizing that nothing moves in a straight line for long. Diversify. Grow. And know that no matter what your career, you are a success because of who you are and the values you have.

There is a proverb that says, “Life is like a camel … it won’t go backwards.” Trust your ability to determine your own course and go forward.

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