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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Jim Young: Men and Burnout: Creating Intimacy and Breaking the Shame Barrier

Updated: Mar 7

In this episode, Jim Young, a burnout recovery coach, explores the topic of burnout in men and the importance of building intimate connections. He shares his personal journey of burnout and highlights the lack of resources specifically tailored to men's experiences. Jim emphasizes the need for deeper connections, not just in romantic relationships, but also in friendships and other areas of life. He delves into the societal expectations placed on men and the shame they often feel when they don't meet those expectations. Through vulnerability and breaking the shame barrier, Jim discusses how men can recover from burnout and cultivate a more fulfilling life.

Show Notes:

[00:16:57] Introduction to the topic of burnout in men

Jim shares his personal burnout journey and the lack of resources for men's experiences

The unique challenges men face when it comes to burnout

[00:17:38] Importance of creating intimate connections

Jim discusses the significance of developing deeper connections in various aspects of life

Highlighting the value of friendship and rebuilding social connections during burnout recovery

[00:18:58] Recognizing the role of intimacy in burnout recovery

Jim reflects on his own recovery and identifies creating intimate connections as a key factor

The misconception of intimacy being solely focused on romantic relationships

[00:19:25] Breaking the traditional male experience

Challenging the societal expectations for men to handle emotions alone and not ask for help

The importance of breaking free from the shame associated with seeking support

[00:23:13] Integration versus segmentation

Discussing the continuum of boundaries and the importance of finding balance

Breaking the pattern of building walls and opening gates to healthy connections

[00:26:00] Overcoming shame and seeking support

Addressing the shame men feel regarding their provider role and societal expectations

The transformative power of sharing vulnerability and breaking through shame

[00:28:45] Introduction to Jim's group program for men dealing with burnout

Jim announces the launch of the Expansive Success program

Focusing on holistic success in different areas of life, including relationships, health, and purpose

[00:31:56] The structure of the group program

An eight-week interactive course facilitated by Jim

Weekly meetings, curriculum, exercises, and facilitated conversations

[00:35:00] The power of community and impactful change

Recognizing the ripple effect of personal growth on organizations and relationships

Building new friendships, networks, and supports through group experiences

[00:37:11] Going beyond expectations

The significance of providing more than expected in coaching programs

Guiding individuals towards their true needs and potential

[00:40:00] Inclusivity and serving all people

Emphasizing the goal of helping all individuals through the lens of serving men

Creating safe and expansive spaces for everyone

Jim Young's work focuses on addressing burnout in men by emphasizing the importance of building intimate connections and breaking the shame barrier. Through his group program, Expansive Success, he guides men in recovering from burnout and achieving holistic success in various areas of life. By fostering vulnerability, community, and personal growth, Jim aims to create spaces that benefit individuals of all genders.

Resources: Jim’s Upcoming Mastermind:

Jim’s Book:

YNAB (You Need a Budget)


FRIED. The Burnout Podcast was created and is hosted by Cait Donovan, burnout recovery specialist.

Cait is on a mission to #endburnoutculture. She does this through

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FRIED (You’re already here 🙂) Writing (Snag a copy of Cait’s book here)


[00:00:04] Cait Donovan: Hello fried fam today. We have the wonderful joy, or at least I have the wonderful joy. I won't speak for everybody. Hello. Spending time with Jim Young. Again, Jim Young has been on the podcast before. He was one of the first men that came on the podcast to share his story. Since then, he has released a book called Expansive Intimacy, and there's just been a lot of things evolving from when the time we spoke and a lot of things that you're doing around community building for men at the moment and in the burnout space.

[00:00:40] Let's just be honest about the fact that. We're mostly talking to women. Most of the time we, I say we as the collective burnout people in the world, and that doesn't leave a lot of space to diminish the shame, blame, guilt, and judgment that men are sitting with, with their burnout. So today, Jim is going [00:01:00] to tell you a re burnout story because you know, Sometimes we go there more than once, and then we're gonna jump into something that Jim has created to create space for men, for healing, for connection, for community, et cetera.

[00:01:14] So Jim, welcome back to the show,

[00:01:18] Jim Young: Cait, it's always a pleasure and I just love your show so much. It's been such a great source for me to continue to understand my burnout and also to share with other folks. So thanks again for opening up the space.

[00:01:29] Cait Donovan: Of course, when we, when we got on just before I said. You know, we kind of have heard your burnout story, but just give us a synopsis and you're like, no, no,

[00:01:38] Jim Young: I'm a recidivist,

[00:01:41] Cait Donovan: so let's jump into it.

[00:01:43] Jim Young: Yeah. The story I told last time I was on the show was what I think of as my burnout crater moment, you know, kind of the, the, the low point. And I was an executive at a company and really just hit full on burnout and I left the company and I [00:02:00] was kind of the end of that story. Well, I went on to another organization after that.

[00:02:05] I was playing with the idea of going out and doing self-employed work, but I wasn't really ready, so I kind of found a lily pad. As I think of it these days, I got this job at this organization. People I know in my network had warned me. They said The culture there is really challenging. And I was like, I'm fine.

[00:02:26] I can totally handle it. And I got there and I saw what they meant and I was able to make some really positive change. I was leading a small team. We were kind of at this core part of the business running the IT function of this business and. Kind of brought this scrappy group together, really worked with my peers, put in, you know, for 6, 8, 10 months, you know, a bunch of really great work to just get everybody back on board and feeling good again.

[00:02:58] And [00:03:00] then I started, I think started to change. Mm, and, and with the lens of history and the work that I've done, the research and learning I've done around burnout, I went back through and I looked at the factors that contribute to burnout. My workload wasn't crazy at this job. It was actually a pretty easy job.

[00:03:21] I could almost put my feet up on the desk and we could get a lot of shit done and do it pretty well. So, So it wasn't that I had this workload issue, which I think gets conflated with burnout a lot of times. Like, oh, you're just crazy busy. You have too much work to do, and, and you're stressed out. That wasn't it.

[00:03:38] I was getting paid. All right. The benefits were all right. I, so that part of reward was okay, but I wasn't getting real support from. Kinda the people up above me in the organization. So there were some reward issues there. And then values and fairness. There was this total mismatch for [00:04:00] me around some of the values.

[00:04:01] It was really a, an organization whose primary focus was to help people create shareholder wealth. And that's not at all resonant for me. I think it's a, a, a big old trap in our, our current culture and economy, but for another day And, and while I had some community, I had some peers or actually it was more direct reports and people at, at, at that layer of the organization that I felt some good community with.

[00:04:30] But on the peer level and certainly above me in the organizational structure, I didn't feel like I belonged. I didn't feel a sense of community. And the, and there were fairness issues as well. There was definitely favoritism and, and it, it all came to a head one day when I recognized like, Hey, I've been doing really good work here, and actually because I don't have, I, I have bandwidth, I don't have this workload issue and I saw greater needs.

[00:04:55] I said, you know what? I'd really like to up my game. I'd like to take [00:05:00] on a higher level strategic role at more of an executive level in this organization. I already had executive experience before that. And I, I wrote up a little proposal. I sent it to my boss and set, set up a meeting to discuss it. And I remember, you know, we'd go to meet and we usually would just meet in her office and she's like, we're gonna meet in the conference room.

[00:05:19] And I'm like, okay, cool. Maybe she's got some big ideas she wants to expand upon. And she ended up threatening my job. Like basically saying like, you need to stay in your place and I don't know why you're doing this. And it really blew my mind and all of the goodwill that had been built up over the course of those previous whatever, eight, 10 months just evaporated in an instant.

[00:05:47] And I was back to being really resentful and really just feeling like this treatment is not okay. I lasted maybe another six months before. [00:06:00] I pulled the plug and resigned with no plan and went on to figure out, you know what, what the next steps were without a net a little bit. So, you know, from the outside it probably looked like Jim's got this cake job.

[00:06:14] It's really easy. He's having a lot of success, and the personal experience of misalignment and the treatment, that just didn't feel like I was really part of something. Despite all this, this apparent success, it was just like, okay, I'm right back into the frying pan.

[00:06:30] Cait Donovan: Yeah. And then you have all these people, as I mean, and, and women especially, who are afraid to speak up and say, Hey, I'd love to see this change.

[00:06:38] Hey, I'd love to. And we wonder why.

[00:06:42] Jim Young: Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. It's, it, it very much was a toxic work culture and a toxic masculine work culture. And I won't even pretend to try and unpack that cuz I assume your listener is already there and we take questions offline [00:07:00] about that. But it was really interesting because.

[00:07:02] When we talk about toxic masculinity or toxic patriarchy, I think oftentimes it's people who look just like me, who have the bullseye put on their forehead, and for good reason, it was the system was designed by people like me and it benefits people like me, which, you know, for people who are just listening to this, I am a white, straight able, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender male, like whatever all the qualifications are of like the top percent, the privileged guy.

[00:07:28] I'm, I'm the guy, I'm the privileged guy. Yeah. Hell yes, absolutely. And a lot of the actors in that organization who were promoting that culture and keeping it running were women. Mm-hmm. Right. And it was the, their way to stay ahead in the system and get what they needed personally. And it, it was the system that was perpetuating.

[00:07:50] Yeah. There were actually very few men. Who are present on a regular basis. You know, the one who's most powerful, the CEO kind of drop in every so often, right? [00:08:00] And you know, really,

[00:08:01] Cait Donovan: but the culture was the culture. And if you wanna survive somewhere, you get into the culture because that's how you create a false sense of, but a false sense of belonging.

[00:08:14] Jim Young: Yeah. For me it's the phrase go along to get along, yeah. Comes up. And it was really, it's interesting. I, I didn't connect that until this moment, that that was probably one of the first times in my life where I said, I'm not gonna go along to get along. I had recognized probably from my prior burnout experience, like where this is gonna lead if I just continue to play by the rules.

[00:08:39] And I had a little bit easier of a time I'll acknowledge to speak up and say, Hey, this isn't cool. It still didn't change anything. So I said, yeah, okay. I'm leaving. Yeah.

[00:08:50] Cait Donovan: And I think this is one of the things that we talk about a lot on fried is this need to keep data points. And this is not an idea of like [00:09:00] collect everything people do wrong against you.

[00:09:02] No, no, no. Yeah. But collecting good. And bad data points along the way so that when you do come to a place where you have to make a decision about should I quit or should I grit? Am I staying or am I going that you can, we often find ourselves in this really emotional place about it, and then we're thinking, well, should I be listening to my emotions?

[00:09:22] Like my head says, you need some, you have some bills to pay, sister. Like, what am I gonna do here? And having this kind of. Documented side of, Hey, I, well I went to this person, I saw this problem, there were these other problems lined up. I spoke up about this problem and I got shot down. Mm-hmm. That gets like five extra points on the go list and learning how to decipher those of us that didn't grow up with safety, have a hard time deciphering if communities and cultures are safe for us.

[00:09:54] Mm-hmm. So you have to externalize it and make it uber [00:10:00] obvious, like, is this place safe for me? And if you can't quit your job tomorrow, and like just sort of hope something happens. Cool. But start creating an exit plan if what you're noticing is that there's a real seesaw effect on your chart and like there's one side that's just holding down towards the ground and you're up on the other side, flopping your legs around without any control over what's going on in your world.

[00:10:24] Mm-hmm. Look at the data. Yeah. Make it a concrete thing that says, listen, I can't be successful here. And I've made all of the efforts and had the conversations and done the things that I would need to do in order to feel successful here. And it's not, I'm not getting the support. I'm not getting the, I'm not getting, I'm not getting.

[00:10:43] This is something that I find happens really often in the return to work. Scenario. People take a break, they go back to work, and it turns out that the culture was terrible all the time. You might have even done some self-care and some healing along the way and realize, I can [00:11:00] do boundaries and I can do this and I can do that, but it might not be enough to combat the shit you're in.

[00:11:06] Jim Young: Yeah. When that system is so powerful and it, that momentum has been rolling for years or decades and everybody knows the playbook. You can speak truth to power, you can advocate and you can stand up for what you need and you might get steamrolled. Yeah, that definitely was my experience and I'm glad you named the privilege that I had to walk away and like, it wasn't like a, an easy move.

[00:11:34] I think I had like three or four months of savings that I could live off of, which is absolutely privileged. A lot of people don't have anything close to that. And so if you do find yourself in that situation, I love that advice of start defining what the exit plan is. There always is a better way. It might take longer than than in my story,

[00:11:56] Cait Donovan: and there are people that will fight with me on that.[00:12:00]

[00:12:00] Yeah. There's not a lot of jobs where I live. There's not this, there's not that. And yet over and over and over again, I hear stories of people that were able to find a different. Way, a different path, a different, an unexpected, a different perspective. And this is why I mean, self pitch and also pitch for all coaches everywhere.

[00:12:23] Working with someone else when you're in this space that helps you to see perspective is absolutely critical because sometimes you look around and there's walls on both sides of you and there's like you, you can look up and you're at like the bottom of a well and you're like, there's nothing else here.

[00:12:39] Mm-hmm. Meanwhile, a coach can throw you a rope that you can climb up the well and be like, oh my God, there's this whole world out there. I didn't even know. Yeah. And sometimes you really do need that, and it's not your fault that you need, that When you are burnt out, your ability to see perspective changes.

[00:12:55] Mm-hmm. You lose the ability to see options and possibility. It makes you [00:13:00] feel more stuck on a neurological level. This is not your fault, right. But you might need somebody that says, Hey, you know what, actually this is this is possible. And one more thing that I wanna place here just as a, as a placeholder for a moment.

[00:13:17] This is something that I suggest to my clients a lot and haven't spoken about on the podcast. If you don't have a feeling of safety in your financial world, getting really clear on what your budget is and how it functions and where the money's going and when it's coming in, et cetera, et cetera. Will increase your overall feelings of safety both in your life and in your physical body.

[00:13:44] Yeah. This day I am not getting paid for this. I'm getting nothing from this. The tool that I use for this is called Y. You need a budget and the website is W is Y n a Just the letters, Y nab y n a, and it allows [00:14:00] you to gain a sense of control and influence over what's happening with your money.

[00:14:05] That might really help you just anchor down a little bit, that level of anxiety that you have, and you might not think that you have the ability to buy yourself three or four months, but you might find out that you do.

[00:14:19] Jim Young: I love that so practical in restoring some of our agency and our ability to say, wait, what are the strategies?

[00:14:28] Because when we are at that place where it just feels like our head is barely bobbing above the water. Yeah. We're not in a position to make big moves and, and come up with a new plan. And I do, I just want to echo because it's so experiential for me. And again, same caveat of like, yeah, I'm a coach, so really trying not to like pitch like you should hire a coach.

[00:14:50] Oh, I'm

[00:14:51] Cait Donovan: totally pitching that.

[00:14:53] Jim Young: Great. Fine. I'm gonna back off of that. But when I had my, my first burnout story where I [00:15:00] really just cratered completely and I said, okay, I gotta get out of this job. And I'm like, I'm gonna go. Be, I'm gonna go do my own thing. I'm gonna go into self-employment. And I started that business and I tried to do it.

[00:15:12] I did a little bit of pro bono work to kind of get a little bit of traction and then I gave up because I didn't know what to do. Things started to get scary. Mm. And then the second time around when I said, okay, I really need to leave this time. I really think the key move that I made was hiring a coach right away.

[00:15:32] I was like, I need somebody who can see in me what I don't see in myself, and who can also point out the, you know, the different opportunities that. I just can't identify by asking me great questions, really helping me see who I was and get connected with, with my values and my purpose and all those things that coaches love to talk about, cuz they mean a lot.

[00:15:54] When we're aligned, then those opportunities just start showing up and you're like, where was that all the time? And it [00:16:00] might have been right in front of your nose, you just couldn't see it. Yeah. So that was a huge, huge difference between my two big burnout experiences.

[00:16:08] Cait Donovan: Yeah. Now I wanna spend a little bit of time on the book.

[00:16:12] Hmm. The book writing the book was a journey for you. Yeah. And releasing the book was a journey for you. And for those of you, I mean, I guess none of you really know this, but Jim and I talk at least once a month, so I have quite a bit of insight into this, into the behind the scenes process here. Hm.

[00:16:34] First, tell everybody. What expansive intimacy is about. The word intimacy often scares people and, and makes them go the wrong place. So let's first talk about what that, what the book is about.

[00:16:47] Jim Young: To give the full title, excuse me. It's expansive Intimacy, how tough guys Defeat burnout. Tough Guys Being in quotes.

[00:16:57] What the book is about. What it started off [00:17:00] about was my burnout journey because of what you named at the top of the episode is that there is a lot going on in the world in the last few years, especially around burnout conversations and burnout resources, and I started to really connect to that and notice then it was.

[00:17:18] Very female focused, or at least general population focused. And there weren't specific resources that I could see that were out there for men's experience of burnout. And I felt it was a little bit different, not in outcome and experience of actually being burned out, but the path. Way in the, the unique door that we might go in or set of doors.

[00:17:38] So I wanted to write about that and I had reached a point where I was no longer, I hadn't been in burnout for at least a couple of years, and I thought, how did I do it? Because I want to help other people, other guys in particular with that. And as I rewound the tapes, I realized that it was creating [00:18:00] intimate connections in every area of my life.

[00:18:02] So not the intimate, romantic, sexual relationship that we oftentimes pigeonhole intimacy into, but. Renewed sense of intimacy with my kids and, and deeper connection with them and really being present for what was going on in their lives emotionally and experientially. Friendship. I had really lost a lot of friendship during my burnout years, and I also divorced it during that phase of time, rebuilding close social connections, who I could really lean into and I could talk about the things I was excited about and also what I was worried about and everything in between as well as all the other forms of intimacy, whether that's with.

[00:18:43] I have intimate relationships with colleagues. I count you as one of those people, Kate. We talk about some serious stuff when we get together, and I know that if something's going on, I can get in touch with you and you're gonna be there for me. Yeah. So soothing to me to know that I have all these resources.

[00:18:58] And so that was my [00:19:00] aha moment, was recognizing that by creating more connection and intimacy in my life, I was able to move out of burnout, recover from burnout, and. So far anyways, burnout proof my life because when things come up, I have places to take them. I don't have to stay alone with them, which is part of the the male experience.

[00:19:25] I think the traditional male experience of, I'm gonna go at a alone, I need to be successful. I can't reveal what emotions that I'm having, can't ask for help. These rules that have been silently codified for men, that's what I'm trying to

[00:19:40] Cait Donovan: break. What I love about this so much is that when we, the conversation around boundaries that's currently really popular mm-hmm.

[00:19:52] Is that you've gotta put boundaries up and keep things out. Mm-hmm. Learn to say no, learn to [00:20:00] push things away, learn to step back. Learn to Right. And we talk about that a lot on Friday, but when you read boundary research, boundary researchers have a very particular way of describing boundaries that they call a continuum.

[00:20:14] And that continuum goes from integration to segmentation. And there's no ideal space on this continuum. And different parts of your life might live in different parts of this continuum. In In different times. At different times, yeah. Right. So what you are saying right now is that, Instead of building walls, you opened gates.

[00:20:37] Jim Young: Yes. And I also learned to build walls because I grew up as a people pleaser. Mm-hmm. As a perfectionist. Mm-hmm. And so I would oftentimes cross my own boundaries. Yeah. To try to make other people accept me and feel better about myself and feel successful. And I learned one of the. One of the many, many nuggets of wisdom that I took [00:21:00] from several years that I spent actively working the Al-Anon 12 step program for friends and families of alcoholics was that boundaries are like drawbridges.

[00:21:10] Yes. Sometimes they need to be open and sometimes they need to be closed. Yeah. And learning myself well enough to know what are the scenarios in which I need to protect myself. Yeah. Versus I need to extend myself.

[00:21:24] Cait Donovan: Yeah. And this to me, the same, the drawbridge analogy fits for me. This to me is, is a gate.

[00:21:29] Mm-hmm. You can control whether a gate is locked, if it's open, if it's closed, if it's left open sort of inadvertently. And anybody can waltz in if it's only opened by a code. If there's a, there's so many ways to control this process that sometimes boundaries are about letting people in and in our Yes.

[00:21:50] Patriarchy. Yes. One of the things that you learn as a ma, as a woman is take care of everybody, their emotional needs and, and sort [00:22:00] of physical needs, make sure they're fed. And as a man what you learn is you are the protector. If they are not financially stable and physically safe, you are failing. Yes. And you cannot ask anyone for that because you are the man of the

[00:22:14] Jim Young: house.

[00:22:15] Mm-hmm. Yeah. And all the stress that that condition puts on a person. I'm gonna speak to the male side of that. Yeah. Cause it's the one I know. It takes up so much of a man's oxygen that they may have the desire, just even an inkling that they want to be a nurturer for their family and, and be more active in providing care to people in their lives.

[00:22:41] And yet it's like, I don't have the, the time for that or the room for that, and it's someone else's job. Like if we follow the, the norm, so we put it on the woman. Yeah. We reinforce that and, and it can become really comfortable for a man to be like, well, I don't have to worry about, you know, thinking about when the kids', doctors' appointments are gonna be scheduled [00:23:00] or how we're gonna navigate the week in our household, or what our romantic life is like, or any of those other things that we traditionally throw over the fence and say the women in my life will take care of that.

[00:23:11] Yeah. Yeah, that's not integration.

[00:23:13] Cait Donovan: No, it's not. And, and in some places, segmentation is the proper choice, not necessarily this one. So this book is about how men can allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to allow more integration. Yeah. Is that a fair?

[00:23:32] Jim Young: Yeah. That's a great description. And, and the other thing I wanna name in there, because it, it surprised me in the writing process and it became, it grew from a small comment from my developmental editor into one of the three parts of the book.

[00:23:46] And it sits right in between burnout and intimacy and it's shame, and I know you talk about it on every episode, you bring up shame and the shame. That men feel around that provider role or around [00:24:00] even the, the, the perception of how well they're providing? Cuz it's not an objective measure. You know, there are guys out there who are doing fabulously well as a provider, as a financial success story and they're still striving.

[00:24:17] Because somebody else has more, somebody else has higher status. And there's this shame factor for men that if I am not measuring up in whatever way my little mind has come up with, to, to see how I fit in the hierarchy. I, I can't tell anybody about this cuz that would be, I'd be weak and I'd be, that reinforces the shame.

[00:24:38] So I just have to double down and I have to work harder and I have to keep striving. I have to keep doing better and more. And that leads to burnout. And if we believe the hypothesis that I put into the book that having robust social support is a, an essential element of recovering from and preventing burnout, [00:25:00] then shame also blocks that.

[00:25:02] Because if I say I can't reach out and tell people vulnerably how I'm actually doing, how I'm worried that I'm not really measuring up. Then I'm sitting in that shame. And yet when we do break the shame and I'm, you know, gonna reference Brene Brown here cause it's where I learned a lot of, of, of my understanding of shame is, and, and I've then experienced it personally.

[00:25:25] When I do take that, that brave step to share with somebody, somebody who I trust already, like, Hey, this is what's going on for me, that the shame begins to evaporate because they typically, I. Assuming it's, you know, I'm going to the right person, they will validate me like, oh, that sounds really rough. Do you need anything?

[00:25:48] Or, yeah, that happened to me too. That's the worst. And it's like, oh, I'm not defective. I'm just dealing [00:26:00] with a, my own stuff, whatever that is. My people pleasing imper perfectionism, just to use a couple of my own qualifiers or factors. And I'm in a system that's encouraging me to strive in a way that's unhealthy for me.

[00:26:15] And so that shame piece, it, it, I think it gets guys into burnout. It keeps them stuck in burnout until. They find the way to break through and share it with somebody, and now we start to open up all these other possibilities that, that person in the well analogy you used before. Like now the rope starts to get lowered and we're like, oh, cool.

[00:26:33] I can, I can breathe a little easier. There's a rope. There is,

[00:26:38] Cait Donovan: yeah. And I think this shame piece is just so critical for everyone that experiences. Not just burnout, but mental health issues. And we could go on, I mean, we could go on a whole tangent about how, how often that shows up. The, and like you're saying, sometimes the reasons behind it are different, but the mechanism and the reality of it is the same.

[00:26:58] I was just at a [00:27:00] a big conference in Texas and. It was, of course, I'm talking about burnout. And so the, there were groups of people at tables and they were having conversations about the workshop. We, during the workshop, you know, so it was like, Hey, let's talk about this thing and now I'm gonna leave you at your tables so you can discuss.

[00:27:19] And somebody wrote to me after and said, you know, I experienced burnout. I had a really terrible time. And it turns out I'm not alone because I just had all these vulnerable conversations at the table. And who like, who knew? And I was like, well, I mean I knew, but this is what I keep trying to tell everybody.

[00:27:36] This podcast is nearing 25,000 downloads a month. You're definitely not the only person facing burnout.

[00:27:44] Jim Young: Right. There are a lot of podcasts to listen to. Right? Right. 25,000 people are saying, I wanna at list, listen to burnout stuff. What does that tell you? Great marker. And, and, and the studies that are out there, and there's been lots of them.

[00:27:55] Right. But the, the latest one that I keep seeing is 40 ish percent of, [00:28:00] of workers. Yeah. And that was the, the lens of it. So if you, if you're in a corporate setting and you look around it, a meeting room with 10 people in it, that means four of them are likely dealing with burnout. Yeah. On some part of the spectrum.

[00:28:13] Cait Donovan: Like this is way

[00:28:14] Jim Young: more normal than not. Yeah. Yeah. So why be ashamed? I. Of that, or you know, to your point, earlier point of, of any mental health condition in the crazy world that we live in today. Yeah. Of course we have anxiety. Of course we have depression. It, it's, it's, I, I'm, I'm hopeful that we're getting to a point by having more of these conversations that we're normalizing that this is part of the human experience.

[00:28:39] Yeah. And that we can say, okay, great. Now what?

[00:28:42] Cait Donovan: Exactly. Yeah. Well, and that's a really good segue, Jim. Thanks for that. Now, what, so one of the things, the reason that I really wanted to talk to you today, now that we're a half hour in, is that you have a group program opening soon for men dealing with [00:29:00] burnout One.

[00:29:00] What's, tell, tell me, tell me all the things. This is actually you guys, something that I don't know a lot about. So the questions that I'm gonna be asking are very honest, because I don't know

[00:29:10] Jim Young: things. Yeah, this has been in the hopper for a little bit. We haven't talked in a couple months and I've been doing a lot of design work.

[00:29:16] It, it launches in September and it's the expansive Success program for men. So I know that word intimacy is a little too bit of, too much of a stretch sometimes for folks. And really what I looked at as I started to deconstruct what is it that guys are after when they're in that. A place where they're chasing it and they're getting into burnout.

[00:29:37] It's to be successful. And ultimately success gets defined for us if we follow the, you know, what society and culture tells us and it leaves out so many of the parts that we want. A lot of the guys that come to me in my coaching practice, one of the questions I always ask them is like, so tell me about your social life?

[00:29:57] And they're like, yeah, I don't have one. I don't really have any [00:30:00] connection with friends. Okay. You know, what's going on in your marriage? What's the temperature of your marriage? About 42 degrees, right? Like not really closely connected. How's that for those in

[00:30:10] Cait Donovan: Europe? That was 42 degrees Celsius, which is actually pretty cold.

[00:30:14] It's like six degrees cel, 42 degrees Farenheit, four degrees Fahrenheit. Yes. That's like six degrees Celsius. So just, yeah, we're talking cold. Forget about the global audience here. Yeah. 42 can be real hot depending on where you

[00:30:25] Jim Young: are. Yeah, no, that's where we wanna get to. Perhaps we wanna flip from Fahrenheit, Celsius.

[00:30:31] We want you to have all of that. But really, if I consider the Wheel of Life, How's my financial status and how's my, my romantic relationship and if I'm a dad, how's my parenting and how's my career and how's my health? All of those factors are measures of success, and yet the, the culture that we're in tells us to really focus on just a narrow selection of those, [00:31:00] and that's what I keep seeing in the guys that I'm working with.

[00:31:02] So a lot of the work I've done over the last 12 years, Is to redesign my life in a way that I can check off, you know, a pretty high score in all of those areas of life. And that's what I wanna be making available to more guys. So,

[00:31:17] Cait Donovan: What I love about that, the Wheel of Life is a pretty common life coaching exercise.

[00:31:22] And if you, if you're out there and you're like, what exercise? Let me know, I'll send it to you. The Wheel of Life is this really common exercise and, and you have a wheel and there's, you know, all these sections and they have headings and you're supposed to fill in as much of the wheel as you feel like.

[00:31:37] You have in that part of your life. And then you're supposed to outline the whole thing to see how like cro your, your, your wheel is. And I think the important part about understanding that I. As you go through life, different parts of your wheel are gonna go up and down and it's not about getting to like an eight all around and then just like maintaining an eight.

[00:31:56] It's about understanding that if you have [00:32:00] a a 75 to 80% sort of all around, most of the time, then if one thing really drops, you can source from other areas in order to support that while it's off. Yeah, like sometimes we don't control that health things happen to ourselves or to our family members.

[00:32:16] Sometimes we don't control that. We're suddenly thrust into a caregiver role. Sometimes covid happens and like what? So having, doing what you can on a regular basis to sort of keep your wheel as round as possible ensures that you have places to pull from if something goes sideways.

[00:32:34] Jim Young: Yeah. And, and ultimately a lot of the work to me is starts with understanding who I am and where I'm at.

[00:32:41] Mm-hmm. And a Wheel of Life exercise and there's others can just help us get that quick inventory. Yeah. Like literally in five minutes, like, okay, here's where I'm at, here's where I wanna prioritize growing in my life and, and what I wanna change. And then really deeply connecting with like, okay, I've gone along for however long.[00:33:00]

[00:33:00] Recognize that, oh, I've arrived at this point where things aren't exactly how I wanted them. So how do I want them and what, what matters to me? I'm a big fan of purpose work. I just keep coming across that. I've been doing a lot of work with Conscious capitalism book by Raj Sisodia, that especially for business owners, that's a lot of who I work with.

[00:33:18] Just presents a model that allows for that. Traditional level of success. I've got a client who I started working with a year ago. He, he runs a 25 million company and he is stressed out cuz he's not on track to get to 50 and a hundred. And I said, well, what do you want? And he says, I want that and I want to also be able to spend time with my family and not be super stressed out all the time.

[00:33:42] And I said, okay, you know what you want. Now let's define the strategies to get you there. You can't do it the way you've been doing it so we can. We can have the traditional markers of success of I grew this kick ass business and I did it in a way that supported me. My as a person, my [00:34:00] family, the people I love, created opportunities for other people.

[00:34:03] Those are the things that get me so jazzed up about doing this work is when we start to dig down, we can. See that there's not this false choice of I either succeed as a guy or I get to have the things that I want with my family and my friends, and all it's, it's, it's just not true. It's an old set of beliefs and let's rewire those.

[00:34:25] Cait Donovan: What is the group gonna look like? Are you, are you doing weekly meetings? Is there a, is it Facebook? What's the, what's the

[00:34:31] Jim Young: scoop? Yeah, I'm not much of a Facebook fan. I use it as sparingly as I need to for some community connections. It's an, it's an eight week interactive course that I facilitate, so we meet.

[00:34:45] Once a week for eight weeks. There's a, a curriculum that we walk through that, you know, kind of goes from inventory all the way through action plan, and all the things that are in between. There's some tools and exercises that kind of help us really get into the, you know, the meat of it. But a lot of it is the [00:35:00] facilitated conversations where I lead a group and it's about I'm, I'm still.

[00:35:03] I still haven't decided what the cap is. It's either eight or 10 men at, at most because I wanna make sure that we're, it is probably gonna be eight, so I wanna make sure that each guy is getting the individual support that they need. And the reason, one of the other reasons I'm so passionate about this work is I have run some men's groups or some, some groups experiences have been.

[00:35:25] All populated by men in the past. And I've been a part of a lot of group experiences where I'm learning alongside other people who are in the same boat as me, but with some different circumstances. And I invariably learn. I. A ton from my peers and I develop new relationships. Some of my, my favorite relationships that I have over the past several years have come from those experiences.

[00:35:49] So I wanna pass that along as well and, and pay that forward that people are building the new friendships, the new networks, the new supports in their life, so that when they get done with the eight weeks, they. [00:36:00] They're often running, hopefully, and they also have peers that are often running with them, and they can start to troubleshoot.

[00:36:06] And, you know, I, I remain available to them through, I'm still defining what the community piece of that's gonna be, but making sure that, you know, they have what they need to actually make that change.

[00:36:17] Cait Donovan: And it gives them the opportunity to practice, to practice expansive intimacy.

[00:36:21] Jim Young: Yeah, exactly. And that's the part that is, it's not bait and switch, it's just that here's the thing you didn't know that you wanted and needed that.

[00:36:30] Once you get a taste of it, you realize like, oh, that was the essential ingredient.

[00:36:35] Cait Donovan: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's true for almost every coaching program that's worth its weight in salt is and, and for all of you out there that don't know anything about marketing courses, you are about to learn something.

[00:36:49] You give people what they think they want. You tell people that it is what they think they want. You give them what they think they want, and then you give them what you know they need. There's an extra [00:37:00] layer, so name it the way that it makes sense to them and that they'll get it. Give them the thing that they actually want.

[00:37:05] Actually provide that thing that you say you're providing and then up the ante.

[00:37:11] Jim Young: Yes, because there's always another level. There's

[00:37:13] Cait Donovan: always another level. Yeah. Give them more than they expected so that they can go further than they knew. Yeah. I love that.

[00:37:21] Jim Young: Yeah. And it's hard as a guide to sell services that are based on things like consciousness and intimacy, which are really at the foundation of what has created this amazingly rich life that I get to experience.

[00:37:33] Yeah. Like I want y'all to have it cuz it's so amazing that you, you don't even know. And, and see if you, if you don't, if you're not, you know if you're not there yet. You'll get there. Yeah. Just come join the group and, yes, exactly. We'll, we'll see. After you do your, your your, your left brain plan and all that stuff, that's, that's also important.

[00:37:53] Cait Donovan: Do you have a start date or is that

[00:37:56] Jim Young: coming? It's mid-September. I haven't picked the formal date. It's gonna [00:38:00] depend on the enrollment and all the, you know, kind of getting the schedule wrangled. But it'll be mid-September run for eight weeks and then we're just gonna keep running 'em you know, cool.

[00:38:09] Keep keep getting more men through that. And, you know, ideally I'm. I'm hoping to, to populate it with as many guys who own and run small businesses. That's really the guys that I work with the best because there's such a ripple effect. You know, when they change, and I've seen it in numerous clients that I've worked with, when they make that progression, they unlock so much potential in their organizations.

[00:38:31] They create some happier people who are going home to their families. And so I'm after Impact, as you know, from all our conversations. Yeah. And so if I can work with, you know, people who then have the amplifier effect that's. That's a gem. I'm

[00:38:45] Cait Donovan: into it. Fried fam. We have talked a lot over the years about how community matters and I, [00:39:00] I feel like this conversation was possibly the first time that we really, truly dove into why and, and how.

[00:39:11] Community matters so much. I mean, we talk about community mattering because the research says so, but the actual like intentional building of it, which when you're deep, deep, deep into burnout is like not the time to do it because you're not connecting with people. So this is part of a, a little bit of a later process, but this is at such a critical piece.

[00:39:29] And the description that you gave on like. What that really means and how that breaks down the shame and how to let down the drawbridges when you need to, but pick 'em back up when you need to too. I think will really hit home for everyone that listens. She, he, they, yeah. Or other. So I'm really grateful to have.

[00:39:53] Space for that. And as per use, I'm super grateful that you exist, and I'm so glad that [00:40:00] there's a space that that can be offered to people in this community that might not always feel like things are set up for them, because we do talk to women most of the time. So thank you for opening that space and making it a little wider and a little more welcoming, and a little more invi, invi, innovative.

[00:40:22] I'll go with that. You know what I mean? Sure. I'm just gonna make up words, you guys.

[00:40:25] Jim Young: Yeah, I, I, I so appreciate that. And just one other thing I want to drop in there is I love that you noted some pronouns there and expanded the list. So one of the things I want people to know about my work is I talk about serving men.

[00:40:42] Because it's the experience that I know and because I know how much, how many of the keys that we hold to how the world runs these days, and the real reason I do it, I was just working on some purpose statement work recently, and I revised it to make sure that it is, that my purpose is [00:41:00] to help all people.

[00:41:02] My mission, my strategy is to do that through men because of that power structure and that dynamic. I have three kids, one who's non-binary, one who identifies as male, one who identifies as female. I love them all just as much as the other. That's true, guys. There's no favorite. And, and, and I just, you know, I want there to be space for all of us.

[00:41:26] And if guys can help unlock some of that space by being more expansively, intimate, which I think they can then, then we all win. It becomes

[00:41:36] Cait Donovan: safer for everybody. Yeah. Yeah. Jim, thanks for cracking down the walls of toxic masculinity for us.

[00:41:44] Jim Young: One little chip at a time. I'm, I'm working on it. Thanks for for having me on the show again.


[00:41:49] Cait Donovan: Fried fam. Soak this up please. Let us know what you're thinking and the links for everything you need will be in the show notes. So if you're thinking about, [00:42:00] if you're listening and you're like, I kind of need Jim's group, you'll find it in the show notes. I'll see you next time.

[00:42:08] ​


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