Discussion #3905

Self-Care and Burnout

25 min - Discussion


How do you adapt to change and what do you do to avoid burnout with your business? In this discussion, Jared Kaplan and Kristi Cooper ask these tough questions in the follow up to their previous video, Walk the Walk. They focus on longevity as a teacher and the traits that they see in people who are successful with this.
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Nov 24, 2019
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Hey guys, thanks for watching Christie. And my second conversation. So we last talked about how to walk the walk and it was a discussion around alignment and your practice and some self care to prevent burnout. So what I wanted to start us with today, and thank you for joining me in this, my pleasure, thank you for coming back is a little bit of a conversation around longevity. So in this industry, burnout is real. We've talked about it, we've seen it, we know people who've stopped, shutdown their studios, whatever the case may be. So let's just talk about longevity. To start, I'm curious, Christie, like you've had multiple roles between being a teacher and with Plaza and time, and you've obviously seen lots of people in the industry. Who do you see that's doing it well? Like killing it for the long haul?

What are they doing that you think that you can conjecture has set them up for success in terms of longevity? I can think of a lot of people. I don't know if I would limit it to this particular industry, but in this industry I think it's change. I think it's adaptability. I think it, um, I think there's a saying, I don't know if it was Ron Fletcher or Justin [inaudible] or someone along the way. I hear that, um, Pele's is around the ability to adapt, to change, adapt to the unexpected. And I think that's sort of the mentality that I see underneath the, the success of a lot of people is the ability to go, right, I set out to do this thing and now it's this other thing. And so I'm going to, I'm going to adjust and I'm going to adapt to the current conditions. I think that's a big part of it.

So if a spine is flexible, it's gonna maybe last longer. So someone's business practices flexible, adaptable. Maybe it's gonna last a little longer. Yeah. Well I can phone analogy all day, apparently. You can see. Yeah, I do think that though. I think if you're flexible and if you don't get caught in what you believe it's going to be too much. I mean, you know, there's the, the fine line between manifesting what you know, you can do or want to do and being steadfast with what I set out to do and yet it's not working, but I'm going to keep doing it. So there's this, there's a flexibility in the people that I see the big picture kind of enough.

Yeah. And uh, so that rigidity then that you're talking about, like my experience of that is when you're too rigid, you end up repeating the same mistakes. I think we all do that as humans, but I think in the industry we also can latch on to models that may not serve us anymore or maybe studio things or we assume that, Oh well they did it, so I should do the same thing. And if that doesn't work, like not listening to that feedback early enough. And then [inaudible] you said something in one of your videos, um, in this segment that the rigor is real. And I, that just perked me up because I do think it, it's, it's rigorous. It is. Um, it's a state of, of somehow channeling what you originally set out to do, even though it might not follow exactly the original plan. The rigor. Israel. Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. The rigor is different than being rigid. Absolutely. And rigor is, the variables can change and then we all know it physically. But then in the business practice, which I've said is like, how can you stay consistent with a high level standard but then still be attentive to practice with discipline, with rigor, without being rigid because you can adapt with still showing up and being present and working. It's, it's, it's strenuous. You know, it's, it's the sustainability is strenuous. You know, sometimes I think some people think if I just set it up well, which matters, I'm sure sometimes you get where you are and how do I keep it going?

However you got there, it's, it is rigorous. It is, you know, sustainability is, um, an arduous task. Sometimes you have to plan for that. It doesn't just happen and yet the plans don't always go as you wish. So, so the rigor is real really stood out for me today. And I think it's absolutely true. I think it's, um, you set out for a plan, you get wherever you do, however you do, and then get ready to stay in the game when it's not exactly as you planned. The rigor is you have to kind of, that's like the one thing you can count on.

Yes. I, that's absolutely what I would say. And I'm curious from your perspective, and I can talk about mine, what do you think the pitfalls are? Like where do you see people falling off the wagon or getting off track because either they're not rigorous enough or like what are the things that they're not doing and then burning out or crashing or things just being a mess? Like what are those examples? That's a good question. I think there's probably a lot of them. I think, um, attachment to, again, the original plan or attachment to the way things always were. And now, you know, industries change, studios change, um, stock markets change, you know, all of a sudden things have to be adaptable enough and you can go from having a really great business to it getting harder. All of a sudden, nothing else changed. So I think that's the pitfall is, is this rigidity, not the rigor or rigidity.

So then out of curiosity, what can you do? What can we do to practice to get ready to buffer? And I get that habit prepared so that you are adaptive in your practices or in your business model or in your platform. Like what do you do to so hard enough to just make the thing happen in the first and get it off the ground and get clients. You guys all know this, but like what is it that we can all do to stay nimble? For me, and this has not been an easy lesson for me because it's, this streaming online has changed a lot in 10 years.

PyLadies online has changed a lot in 10 years. And um, for me it is, it seems to be coming back to over and over again. Remembering why I got into it, the vision, what is my purpose in doing this at all? Um, that kind of brings me back to, okay, so what do I have to do now? Because I can get very caught in now there's two website, now there's 20 people and now I'm responsible and know my, you know, I can get very contracted and if I can't see the point, it's hard to adapt. All I'm doing is, and again, something you said was react, I react, I react and that that can send you down a rabbit hole of not good, um, quick. So I think when, I think he just needs to be able to have a check every now and again when you've, whether it's a feeling in your body or it's just all of a sudden you hate going to work or never happened, never happened. Um, but you know, where it just feels like the pressure is so great. That's how I actually do it. I'm a, I'm a feeler and so I need to go. Right, okay. You're in that place again. Why, why are you here at all? And, and I don't mean it existentially. I mean it, what is my point in this business. Yeah. And that helps me go, so what do I have to do now? That's it.

Yeah. So navigate what I'm hearing is like navigating things, checking in with yourself and having some structure or practice to do that. And then accountability in terms of standards, making sure that you're checking in either with yourself or the business itself. Yes, definitely. Um, I was gonna I just thought of another thing. And it is, it is, it's gonna sound cliche, but it is in, in doing the practice itself because inevitably my body translates it. And again, I, that's how I learn is I got to see it, feel it, touch it, don't. Um, so when I go in and I can't breathe, you know, it's like, why can't I breathe? I've done the a hundred, you know, however many times. So, so that's a clue tube. Yeah.

Interesting. Yeah, I wouldn't have thought it makes total sense that the physical practices as much as a key component to running a physical business. And if you fall out of that, I mean it makes sense, but you probably don't hear any business coaches like, Hey, make sure that you have a physio practice. Like we know that. And then in running successful fitness practices, like you actually have to practice the fitness. I actually did get a business coach that does that. [inaudible] I did. No, she's like, so did you move before here? No, cause I'm busy. Right. And we become our clients. I think.

I think one of the surprises for me in the battle for longevity is like, Oh my God, I actually became my clients. Those people that ran a business and they were stressed out. So their one hour with me was their saving grace to like put all that stuff aside, have someone pay attention to you to ground, figure out all the things, notice where you're not breathing, improve, have your me time. But then we become that person or can our worse. In other words, like they're at least going, you know, I keep thinking I'll, no, I, I'm back in, but you can [inaudible] anytime. Oh no joke. Oh you're going to midnight. I'm, I need it.

Right. So, but yeah, I think there, there are those times where I'm like, no, no, I know how to do it. I can do it and I will. But you do have to plan that. I mean, that's the thing that I definitely think and I, I sometimes, you know, feel like there's some elite ism around. If you don't do it four days a week, you're not real as a police teacher. And, um, maybe, but I definitely do think that you have to practice something regularly in order to know how you are different on the planet each day. Yeah. Man, how's it gonna adjust with your work? Yeah. And that separation too of professional stuff, personal stuff gets us into like boundaries, setting them, not being able to set them in my head. [inaudible] this may not have a whole lot to say here. [inaudible] we'll see. Uh, my hypothesis has been simply that caregivers, people that love working with others physically, all of us, I think in this field who fall in love with it and love the work and love the physical problem solving either for ourselves or to help others through it because we tend to be caregivers that the boundaries are kind of tricky because we tend to go out in terms of attention, in terms of energy, in terms of touch, in terms of really, Oh, pay attention to what that person because I can help them and I can do something for them. Right? And I can actualize, I see how I can get this person to do this thing. Like that's all external, right? Some of us maybe most not as good as focusing on this person to say, Hey, here's what I actually need. Here are the things that I need to take care of myself before I go and teach eight sessions a day before I go and teach this thing before I make sure my studio's run well to actually take care of your needs, whether it's at midnight taking applies anytime class or whether it's hiring a business coach or scheduling your own workout with an amazing teacher that you already know, like the boundary thing gets really interesting, especially in a physical industry.

I think. So I would add that and I'm not totally sure where what you're defining as a, I mean I know what a boundary is, but are you saying like we'll give up ourselves and teach 10 hours because someone said they needed it versus okay. Cause cause there's also boundaries within a work situation. Both, both that. And I think when you work with a whole bunch of people who are just as you described, they want to give, they do give and then um, they're your friends too. You know, it gets, that has its own trickiness when you're a studio owner or when you're a, and anyone in any business. Again, but it's like it's just tricky, you know? Cause then any, any of those changes you make that affect those. But that's challenging as well.

Yeah. So I think what you're also pointing out, there's sort of like physical boundaries in terms of the work practice and the technical things we do in space in terms of protocol and health concerns, like all of that. But there's also the professional boundaries setting. Some of that's just like simple expectations and then there's the blurring the lines of the human part, which is involved with both of those. Yeah. And where those things actually intersect and tricky, especially in an environment where we're asking people to be vulnerable and to open up and to trust someone as a coach or a guide or a teacher, that there's a power dynamic involved in that. And it goes both ways. For someone to actually understand that they're a teacher and leading someone through a thing that person's open with it and stuff gets kicked up, bodies can store a lot, people can be embedded in really interesting ways that you never saw coming. And then trying to teach at a level where you can actually caretake that while wanting to really help them and can kind of pull you off your own.

So center. Yeah. Yeah. That's a whole other thing. But in terms of boundaries setting, it's, it's, um, I see that people, their businesses reflect who they are and how they run their studio. How we run our practices can sometimes reflect the best of us and also the worst of us if you are lacking in whatever the thing is, it kind of shows up in the practice. It shows up in the class schedule. It shows up on not being on time or not offering what you said you are or things change, whatever the things may be. And that's a, it's a different kind of boundary, but on the big picture, then it goes to integrity and being able to understand, Hey, like this is what I said, this is what I was willing to go, and then be able to say no, when it doesn't come back, this is what you're here for. This is what I'm here to give you. And that's that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

To the best of your ability to achieve the highest accomplishments in all walks of life. Please quote, I mean even that, like even some of the quotes that you were sort of indoctrinated with, they kind of con I'll do everything I can to make your life better. Make you live with more joy, more [inaudible], more vitality, more zest. Cause I'm your teacher. But you know what I mean? You can get confused by some of this stuff. Yeah, it's seductive. Yeah. It's super seductive to be that person. Is that what you meant by kind of power too?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. It's tricky and I think we fall into it on unaware. That's kind of the mental we're taking up. Then we own that mental and it's like, Oh, it feels really good and we're leading people and they come to us seeking it and they bring us all their things and it's like, Oh, I can deal with that. And then it gets into that funny little dance.

Yes, I do like dancing. [inaudible]. So I'm also curious then about how we show up and one of the things that we're doing that allow us with standards that we expect. We talked about earlier, boundaries, however, like cogent we are or not, then what are the things that we do to allow us to show up and be present? I think there's really interesting conversations happening in our culture now about vulnerability and presence and not being the rigid thing, but being able to be soft yet still have standards and clear boundaries. Like there's a whole sort of, um, rich complex thing to think about with that.

But the, the vulnerability piece in terms of a physical space, in terms of being present with someone and really giving them the best of your energy, your attention, your skills, but also being flexible and fluid with it so that it's not just a one way street and vulnerability implies that you're letting someone in. How do you do that as a business professional? I don't honestly feel like I know any other way. I'm not sure it's a good idea. You know, it's really, ah, yeah, I think so. I mean, I don't, that's what I'm saying. I don't really know another option. Um, I don't think I've always been that way. Um, but I, I, some time ago did just, I woke up to a certain way of how I wanted to be in the world and it was be an N in it and be with the people you're with and be, you know, um, the vulnerability in teaching is that that was for me was, um, I don't know, you know, just being able to truly confidently say, I have no idea if that came from your right shoulder down to your sows dental, which I used to love the puzzles. So that's like a very simple example. Well, but the day I gave that up, or when someone would say, well, why can't I breathe? And I'd be like, I don't know why. Okay, I'll try, try a little bit this, try a little of that. And like you said, stuff comes out. Okay. So there's a, there is an exchange of vulnerable. Yeah, I think, um, and I'm not, I'm not sure how to answer the question, but I think professionally, um, vulnerability comes up if you're present because you, you can't always, you don't have the right answer all the time there either. Um, or you can't always do the exact thing you want in the way you want when you're connected with a bunch of other people. So, um, I think it, it really [inaudible] for me, it's like if I'm going to live in my own integrity, that means I got to tell you what I want.

That means I gotta tell you what I see. I means I gotta tell you that that's not okay. And that is very vulnerable to me, but it doesn't feel like it challenges the actual role that I'm in. It just feels like otherwise I'm like, I'm not doing anything that I could. I'm not here. I'm making sure you're okay. I'm okay.

I'm padded because I don't want to hurt you or I don't want you to hurt me. But for me it's very much, I'm just making sure that I'm there and for me that means I got to say it, be there except it. That's a bad idea. That was a dumb idea. Why would you say that? Why would you do that? Okay. That's the question. I don't know.

So the, the idea of showing up and what you can do to bring yourself to be present every day. I mean maybe as much as our physical practices, like how do you actually allow yourself to show up and if it's on the mat, showing up as training for your life in terms of your business. I mean that's one physical Avenue in. Yeah, and I would say that some of the things I was talking about earlier is about being clear with identifying what your business standards are and identifying what you actually want to be. It might not be who you are right now. It might not be who you were yesterday, might not be the person that you want to be with your friends. It might be really different thing. Right. Um, and the idea we talked about earlier, how like having an avatar to show up to. So I'm going to do that. I never heard that before.

I talked Kristy earlier, uh, who Sasha fierce is. Do you know who Sasha fears is? Okay, cool. So if you don't know our favorite Beyonce. Okay. So we, well, education on plot is anytime teaching about Sasha fierce. I mean voguing I don't want a chair. We got y'all covered.

So Sasha fears very simply the sort of avatar that Beyonce puts on for her performances when she goes on stage. She's not Beyonce performing Sasha for years. There's other places you can look up for more information on that. But that simple idea in a funny way I think applies maybe usefully to how we can show up instead of, for me, I hit some issues with just like being Jared all the time and what people perceive that to be as Jared the trainer. And I fired Jared the trainer year and a half ago for a good reason because he wasn't serving me anymore. Cut them. Um, but literally what clients were experiencing from Jared, the trainer was in some ways dissonant.

And I only learned this when I stopped seeing clients. They were coming for different reasons. They were coming to engage with me either socially or for something different than what I actually thought I was offering. And then my social life was so wrapped up in that, I was like, Oh, like where'd all my friends go? Oh wait, those are my client. Like, whoops. That wasn't intentional, but they merged.

But how we can show up can also have some forethought and some practice as well. Not just about being vulnerable, but also like you don't have to be only the, like the closest version of yourself to teach professionally. And it's not to say you're not vulnerable, but there's like a professional avatar. You can wear it like, Hey, my standards to be this kind of a teacher and what that means to you in terms of values. And then you're going to attract people that have similar values. Perhaps we're aspire to the values that you're embodying. Yeah, I, I understand it. I don't know how to add to it honestly, but I do understand it and I think, I think I am going to have an avatar.

I can't wait to figure out her name because I, and I even think that I might, I might need a couple of avatars, whatever that tells you. Um, but yeah, you know, for example of the role here, it's, um, I'm in here as I am your caretaker and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you trust me. You know, when someone's filming in that case, she does a good job of that. And I'm not gonna lie either, you know? I mean, that's, that's a standard. Like I could, I could blow smoke and go, no, it was great, but it doesn't help anybody. Right. So that's, I don't know what her avatar is, but it's that kind of a thing. Yeah. There's, there's values that you decided matter in that role objectively and then how you can show up within that role. Maybe not how you show up in other areas of your life. Yeah, that's, that's clear to me now. Interesting. And then, I mean my curiosity then for all of us really is how do you set that up?

I don't, I don't have the answers either. Um, part of the reason I wanted to have this conversation was to start to kick up the dirt here and hopefully it's useful for all of you guys that are tuning in and walking these to like be part of this conversation and to look out for yourself and your practices. What are the things that are serving you? What are the things that are really are not serving you that you wish you could do away with and is there potential to look at how you want to set up standards for yourself that are more useful? I think that is the practice that is about being flexible and adaptive to be honest. Because my needs 10 years ago were really different than than what they are now. And the brutal truth was saying, Oh I need to acknowledge that and change things.

Not for anyone around me but for me. Do you think though, Jared, that there's like an overarching avatar overarching integrity or overarching theme for all of them that you adapt within it? Like, um, overarching theme for like what I was mentioning earlier, the vulnerability and for me it's about being present, showing up for that person when I'm teaching. But it's also the same thing I'm trying to do in case someone gets nervous, you know, I'm trying to remind them who they are and make them be present and make, so I feel like it's going to be the same theme throughout all the different ways I might have to show up to execute them. Um, it's just something I'll think about. I'm not sure I need an answer, but it feels to me like it's always going to come back to making, letting someone be closer to who they are, whether they're there doing the practice with me, guiding them, whether I'm doing my practice or whether I'm helping someone show something on camera. They're always the same ideas. Yeah. I think it's inescapable that how you show up with one is how you're also going to show up with other, and once you've gone there, you can't really go back because you've learned it about yourself.

The only way that you can teach it is if you know it. And that's for your business and running your accounts and running your studio as well as your client. Only if you embody it and know it physically can you offer it only, I mean, it can come from here, but it's gonna be a different experience. And once you've gone to that point where you're honest with yourself about things you, that's a muscle that you know how to contract. I'm going back to your metaphors now.

It's like if there's a physical thing where once you know it, it's hard to get away from that because it's a habit. Yeah. Our brain is wired that way. You set yourself up when you know you come into something that's that deeper important. Or you wake up one day and said, this is how I'm gonna be, then it's really hard to not be that. And then you have choice. Hopefully there's options. You can say, Hey, I need to be this person now. So that's being like the cutthroat bosses said, Hey this is yes or no.

You can go there if you know how to do it or if you need to be the compassionate mediator and figure out those skills. If that works. There's some choices. Yeah. I think, I think it's not, I'm going to be that person. I think it's, in my case, I, I think it's, this is the person, how am I going to make it work for the situation? In other words, I'm not gonna. I mean if I'm going to go on stage as Beyonce and I don't want to, unless I'm Sasha fears, I get it. Um, it solves some of the the noise. Yes. Right. Cause if you put on that role, it's a role and you know, it's not, you don't have to do all the work. Yeah. It's a thing that you're constructing, which then allows you to have choice, have adaptability. Cause it's not, you're not stuck with it. You can leave it there and you can leave work at work, maybe you're going to have to come back for lesson number three. Yeah, I'm working on that one.

I am too. But I think that's also, I think again, honestly one of the reasons that I am interested in these conversations and pushing to have this kind of content for us is because I'm practicing it and there are so much I don't know, and then it takes that I've made was I'm working all the time trying to get out of that. So there's some buffer, there's some social life. There is some personal time. Yeah. Those things which are important for me to know what's possible for me and to learn. If I don't do that and I'm constantly externally working, there's no feedback loop, there's no recovery, there's no integration, right? If you're constantly working out, working out, working and working out, you don't work in, you don't recover, like your tissue is going to suffer. We suffer when we do the same thing. So practicing it for ourselves, asking for help, like paying attention to it. Biggest first step.

Yes. Exclamation points. Awesome. Well. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being part of this conversation. Thank you for coming and really poking, stoking us. I'll keep talking if it's useful. Thanks everybody.

Tips for Teachers: Making Time for Self-Care


1 person likes this.
Wow! This conversation hit the mark. Thank you so much for acknowledging this very real “state” we experience. You both gave some helpful insights and suggestions and I’ll put them to use.
Zhanna S
1 person likes this.
Amazing content! I know a number of instructors who burnt out and I experienced it to certain extent myself. Nonetheless I love this profession and it comes to finding time for yourself to recover,  reconnect and re-balance. 
1 person likes this.
Very important subject which I am sure we have all experienced the issues discussed to some degree. 
I have scaled back on a number of classes...at the end of the day, it just isn't worth the price you pay in how you feel. Connecting with who you are , your spirit, why you are here, feeling calm and feeling peace is what life is about...living in ALL areas !
Myriam Kane
1 person likes this.
Wowsa...what a timely and excellent conversation! It's been an "interesting" adaptation from studio to home live streaming... and this genuineness that can really only shine from an upkept practice is of utmost importance now. As always...on point! Thank you, Kristi and Jared!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Myriam Kane  - 'interesting' indeed!    Authenticity, integrity, being genuine - none of those will ever go out of style, regardless of whether it's delivered in-person or digitally.
Maureen Zhanna Nathalie   Curious how you're applying things now?   Have you been able to scale back, recharge, or try some of the other ideas for boundaries and putting yourself first?

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