Find It Only Here On Friday: 5 Questions You Need To Ask About Burnout
Scott Couchenour has become a certified executive coach
with a passion to help leaders conquer burnout.
Not only does he believe burnout can be prevented,
it can be virtually eliminated through a life rhythm executed on a weekly basis.

He felt the call to coaching in 2003 and sensed a clear calling in November 2007
to focus primarily on church leaders along the lines of burnout and self-care.
Since then, he has been privileged to coach dozens of clients over hundreds of coaching hours.
Additionally, as a member of the faculty of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute,
Scott also has the awesome opportunity to teach and train future coaches.

As an aside, his main obsession is third wave coffee.
You can read more about that at

Scott is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday.”
His Café exclusive “5 Questions You Need To Ask About Burnout” can be found below . .
BUT FIRST . . the Café thought you just might want to know
how an Encouragement Leader like Scott Couchenour
has himself been encouraged in his own faith recently.In his own words…

At Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the way the people who I know have encouraged me.
Their belief in me and how they stick by me is amazing.
No surprise God designed it that way. We were made to lift each other up.

Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“5 Questions You Need To Ask About Burnout”
by Scott Couchenour


What is burnout?

Burnout is physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. It occurs when the work to be performed is difficult or is done in a difficult manner. Signs of burnout include fatigue, lack of appetite, low opinion of self or circumstances, and most prevalent, a loss of hope that it will get any better.


How can I get burned out?

The same way a car runs out of gas. By not refueling. Rhythm is everywhere around us if we take the time to notice it. The sun rises and sets. We get hungry and eat, then get full. We sleep and we wake. The stock market opens and closes. Sunday leads to Saturday and starts over.

Rhythm is like gravity. It just is. Try to violate it and there will be consequences. The problem with burnout as opposed to a car running out of gas is that we can be fooled into thinking we can do more than we actually can. Success, for example, breeds a sense of energy that lifts our step and boosts our outlook. We feel good. So, we keep going. But we don’t realize we are headed straight for the wall.


How do I know if I’m burned out?

Common signs of burnout include a dissatisfaction with what normally would bring satisfaction, and a feeling as though you’re going not just through a dark season, but you’re experiencing a dark life. Every day is bad, not just a bad day. You start to feel that whatever you put your hand to won’t work. You look inward and prefer a dark room.

As far as your connection to other people, you begin to withdraw. Others are always having more “fun” than you. It’s painful to see others succeeding when you’re not. You’d just rather be alone with your feelings.

If I’m burned out, how do I recover?

Many have experienced burnout and have recovered. You can too. One example is Carey Nieuwhof. He’s written a blog post titled, “How I Recovered From Burnout: 12 Keys to Getting Back”. CLICK to go to the post. Carey points out one key in particular and I believe it’s head and shoulders above all steps to recovering from burnout: Don’t do anything drastic or stupid. Read what Carey writes,

“Underline this. Because my illness involved my mind,
I was tempted to do all kinds of things that could have ruined my life.
I felt like abandoning my calling, running away from everyone I knew
and everything I knew, even my wife and kids.
In my worst moments, thoughts of ending it all crossed my mind.
I am so thankful I didn’t succumb to any of those impulses.
Some days I just said to myself ‘don’t do anything stupid today.’
And if I didn’t, that was progress.
I’m so thankful I didn’t do anything rash or irresponsible.”

Be ready for a process in recovering from burnout, not a transaction. There isn’t a miracle drug or cure (aside from what God could do that is within his understanding.) After I finally took back control from my male ego, which was telling me I could overcome it on my own, I called the doctor and set an appointment. He prescribed medicine to help me, but it wasn’t until about two weeks in (results vary) that I began to sense the cloud lifting off my shoulders.


If I’m not in burnout, how do I stay strong?

  • Learn your early warning signs. What triggers you to start down the path of burnout? Especially if you’ve gone through burnout before, this is incredibly important.
  • Be proactive. Exercise, eat vegetables and a healthy diet, and sleep. Very few things are more important to conquering burnout than a good night’s sleep. It’s counterintuitive, but absolutely necessary to pull away and get rest.
  • Join a community of colleagues who are serving in a similar profession. Bounce ideas off of them. Hold them accountable and ask them to do the same.

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About the author : Scott Couchenour

Scott Couchenour

Scott Couchenour married a preacher’s kid over 27 years ago. God gave them two incredible children who are both pursuing God's unique call on their lives.

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