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46. Cultivating resilience to avoid burnout with Dr. Asha Bauer

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Today’s guest discusses how to cultivate resilience to avoid burnout. Listen to my conversation with Dr. Asha Bauer to learn why everything happening in your body is happening for a very logical reason.

Asha Bauer is a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, and digital health consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is dedicated to helping high performing professionals and mission-driven entrepreneurs to lead with intention and grit and to cultivate values-driven lives and careers. Her research has focused on mindfulness, trauma, resilience, and the utilization of technology as a force for social good.

In this episode, we discuss her thoughts on embodied leadership and how it cultivates better work culture. Embodied leadership is the idea of listening to your body and feelings first instead of responding first. We discuss how burn out culture is pervasive here in the San Francisco Bay Area. As Asha reflects, “Someday we'll sleep, but it won't be today. And who knows when it will be. And they set that up as this is the culture of work that I'm forming a foundation[...] You just continue to be in this constant state of being on the brink of physical and emotional exhaustion and burnout.”

She found that the higher rates of suicide in startup founders were because people experienced incredible amounts of distress and mental health crises. The constant hustle, pressure and burnout were ingredients to their escalated negative feelings.

That’s why, today, she works with companies and founders to help them reconnect to their wealth of emotional wisdom that exists within them. She teaches the importance of resilience, acknowledging and processing anxiety and self-doubt. She says that imposter syndrome is your mind trying to keep you safe by succeeding and paying the bills on time. It needn’t necessarily be bad either. It propels you to become a better version of yourself everyday. These are emotions that guard you, protect you and your vision. Dr. Asha shares with us how she was able to break the pattern and allow her emotions to exist within her.

We also discuss the various challenges that leaders face today and how they are affecting them.

According to Dr. Asha, curious pauses are important because they could be hinting to your intuition. The key, therefore, is to accept your emotions through embodied practices. Shifting into learning, into curiosity will help build resilience in your body.

I absolutely loved the conversation we had today. It has me reconsidering how to befriend my emotions and be a better leader. Thank you for listening!

Show Notes:

Quotes from Dr. Asha Bauer:

“What embodiment means to me is the deep practice of being inside of your body and listening for the cues. These small emotional cues, sometimes they can be as little as a tiny bit of restlessness.”

“I think spiritual life without that curiosity can become dogma. It can become following a path without knowing why you're following it, or listening to things and overriding your own gut around things.”

“If you don't have the spiritual side of things, you can fall into being too focused on outcomes and not on process. You can become too focused on what is known and not what is unknown.”

“Being alive means there will be setbacks and curveballs because that is what life is. Life is not a predictable algorithm. And that's why it's so freaking beautiful. Because there are synchronicities. And there's these magical moments and things we would never want to give up.”

“Having the thought that we are a fraud associated with a feeling of fear, is really kind of bringing up a bit of, “well, I'm not where I want to be yet”. Which means that I have big places to go that I'm motivated to get to.”

“Fear is welcome. Because the fear is just saying, hey, I like being alive. And I like being able to feed myself. I like these things. I want to make sure I keep doing these things.”

“If we start with just curiosity of saying, okay, maybe I'm not willing to let go of my perhaps limiting beliefs around emotion long term, but I'm going to be willing to be curious and just give myself a window. Like, I'm willing to be curious for today, around emotions that come up. You start with a small, small step. And then any emotions that show up, you sort of greet them at the door. So the practice is to first feel what it feels like in the body.”

“The point of total exhaustion is no longer something that you wear as a badge of honor.”

“If anyone is in the startup space, take a deep breath, wherever you are. Because, yes, in that space, in particular, there's this collective story around, first we have to hustle, we have to get money, we have to think about the next step, the next step, and someday we will breathe.”

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