How to Escape Burnout and Stuckness

Tutti Taygerly
5 min readApr 20, 2022
Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

How do you know if you’re experiencing an extreme, unsustainable level of burnout, stress, and stuckness or if it’s simply an unavoidable part of modern professional life? It can be hard to tell and I’m sharing some questions that might help you figure it out. I’m also sharing experiments & retreat spaces for finding a way through the burnout and stuckness.

One of my clients was a serial startup founder and came to me when he was on his third startup, this go-around as a first time CEO. We’d spent a year coaching together, covering topics such as creating sustainable high performance for his team, understanding his leadership style of high expectations, hiring up the right C-suite team, and supporting the team through a fundraising round. He kept going faster and faster, recognizing that he needed more space and perspective but not able to do anything different because the company was in the midst of raising their Series B. It took his body giving out with a stress-related health emergency—he’s now fine— to get him to pause and recognize that he was burned out and needed to do something different.

You don’t have to experience a serious health issue before recognizing that something needs to change. Instead, ask yourself these three questions to see if it’s the right time for you to do something different.

1. Can you name the patterns that are no longer healthy?

Often we fall into patterns that work well for us. Many leaders in tech have a hustle mentality and drive that gets us to achieve goals in our professional lives. We’ve learned how to work hard and keep going no matter what. We’ve learned how to demand the most of ourselves and our teams so that they deliver on our high expectations. This pattern serves us well in achieving professional success.

Patterns become unhealthy when they start to feel different. Rather than being exhilarated or energized by the work, we feel negative emotions. It can feel like:

  • Deja-vu: “Oh I’ve seen this story play out before. I know what will happen. And it’s not good.”
  • Exhaustion: “I’m physically and mentally completely drained. Not even the weekend helps.”
  • Lack of control: “I’m not sure that anything I do can or

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Tutti Taygerly

Leadership coach & champion of difficult people; designer of human experiences; ex-Facebook; surfer, traveller, mom; tuttitaygerly.com