#straightfromcait: The Most Transformative Emotion for Burnout Recovery and Boundaries
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
In this week’s episode of FRIED: The Burnout Podcast, you’re getting a #straightfromcait episode about my favorite emotion and my favorite topic. I often say that things are my favorite topic because there are so many things I love to talk about (I was BORN to podcast, even if it didn’t exist yet back then ;)). But this one really takes the cake. Because I said it’s my favorite emotion, you might think I’m talking Gratitude, or JOY, Happiness, or Humorous. I love all of those too, but there’s one that I ReALLY love and I love it for it’s transformative properties. I love it because no one else talks about it. I love it because working with it is SO SO SO Powerful. So, what’s my favorite emotion? Resentment! Some of you may have guessed that because I do have a course that helps you transform Resentment - it’s called The Resentment Journal mini course and you can save yourself years of wasted energy and become a boundary building master by getting it asap. If you spend a lot of time on social media, you might feel inundated with messages that let you know that any emotion outside of joy and gratitude is BAD for you. You might have also been told that if you simply follow your passion, everything will work out and you’ll be swimming in pools of money like Scrooge McDuck before long. As an entrepreneur with any sort of experience, you’ll know that the range of emotions that you experience over the course of one day is wide, never mind over a week or a month. The excitement when a new sale comes in, the disappointment when a refund request hits your email, the relief of hiring a VA to take some of that admin work off your back are all examples of the emotional roller coaster ride that being an entrepreneur can be. That spiritual guru that you follow, however, makes sure that you make note of 3 to 5 things that you’re grateful for before you go to bed lest you forget how lucky you are. It is no secret that gratitude journals have been useful for people, however, in a meta-analysis study published in The Journal of Counseling Psychology, the researchers found that gratitude only slightly outperformed or matched other practices and called for more in-depth research.
So, if gratitude won’t necessarily save you from burning out, what will?
You’ll find the answer in resentment. Clients often find this surprising and it is common that the conversation around resentment starts with a statement about how this particular client doesn’t have any resentment, but once we get rolling, the words start coming out.
If you challenge yourself to do The Resentment Journal Mini Course you’ll notice some patterns pop up. You’ll see that you’re feeling resentful toward your friend who is texting you in the middle of the day because your automatic response is, “don’t they understand that I don’t have time for this right now?!?!”. You’ll start to notice that every time you get an email from customer X (we all know the one) your body tenses up and you think, “What could he possibly want NOW? I’ve already given everything I’ve got!”. Collect these moments. They are the key to reversing your burnout and then afterward, keeping it at bay. The course gives you all the tools you need to transform resentment, to USE it to better your life instead of letting it eat away at your energy. A course taker recently wrote: “Cait, I downloaded the Resentment Journal at the weekend and have already had a few revelations. The most significant being that I spend SO MUCH time and energy anticipating the needs of others, and get resentful when it isn’t reciprocated (facepalm emoji) I’ve already started to work on changing this!” I was really happy when I read that because this is totally it - finding these places where you expect behaviors that aren’t happening and then spend your time and energy being upset about them will keep you in burnout mode longer than you need to be there. A few moments later I got a text from someone who said she’s been resistant to start the course because she’s a little protective of her resentments, she doesn’t really want to let them go - she understands that they’re wasting her energy, but she feels like holding on - what gives? She asked.
I LOVED this question so much and here’s the answer:
The biggest resentments in our lives are about things that WE are doing CORRECTLY and OTHER PEOPLE are doing WRONG. In our minds, of course. There’s no one way to do anything, but we all have internalized visions of the ‘right way’ to act in certain situations and we try to act according to those rules… the problem is we expect other people to act according to our internalized rules not really realizing that they have their own list of ‘right ways’ of doing things that is diferent than ours. So, for instance, we resent our partners for not emptying the dishwasher even though we know they know it’s clean because they opened it to put sometihng dirty in it and then put said dirty thing in the sink and walked away. Then, annoyed, we go empty the dishwasher ourselves. Enter resentment: I’m doing this chore again, no one else does it and they don’t thank me when it’s done. Why I am the only person who does this? WHy is this my job? Follow that up with Righteousness - “I mean really, they don’t think that the dishwasher empties itself do they? They saw that it was clean, when the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, it needs to be emptied. That’s the natural progression, right? Just take responsibility and empty the damn thing!” SO, we want to keep our resentments out of a sense of RIGHTEOUSNESS. We’re correct. We feel like we’re doing the right thing and we want other people to do it too! Because our view is the RIGHT view, it’s easy to want to HOLD onto resentment because it feels like letting it go means that you were wrong...
But the big trick is, there’s not a perfect right or wrong for most situations. There’s a lot of gray area. There’s a lot of beliefs. There’s a lot of patterns. There’s a lot of subconscious shit, cultural rules, family imprinting - and none of them are the absolute RIGHT thing to do. I re close a clean dishwasher on the regular because I don’t feel like emptying it. Would it be a great idea to empty it right away when I noticed.. Probably, but I just don’t find it that important and it’ll get done. Eventually. I don’t care if dishes pile up for the day. It doesn’t bother me (until day 2, then I get annoyed... ). Everyone’s needs, wants, and desires are different. You’re right - for yourself, but only for yourself ;) So my big challenge to you this week is to grab The Resentment Journal mini course, release your sense of righteousness and allow yourself to reclaim wasted mental and emotional energy. You’ll be so glad you did. You’ll find the resentment journal at www.caitdonovan.com/resentment-journal
Can’t wait to hear your transformations!
Until next time!
C P.S. I talked about my acupuncture practice in this episode! You can find more info and book an appointment here: https://www.caitdonovan.com/acupuncture