How High Achievers Overcome Burnout

5 Minutes Read

Episode 129

Ever wondered how to overcome burnout? Do you constantly feel like you could and should be doing more? Maybe the thoughts are swarming your mind daily, and you can’t seem to shut them off – and it’s starting to make you nauseous. You’re in luck!

In this episode, we welcome Dr. Sharon Grossman, a success coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller, The 7E Solution to Burnout, who helps high achievers crack the code of their burnout to find tailored recovery solutions. If you’ve tried workshops and therapy and feel like nothing sticks, working with Dr. Sharon will show you how you can transform your relationship with your work by working on yourself instead of changing your job or career. She’s shared her grounded yet practical approach with numerous organizations, nonprofits, and universities. You can find her online at and on her weekly podcast, Decode Your Burnout.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the complete episode:

  1. Gain insight into how being a high achiever and burnout go hand in hand. 
  2. You will understand the effects stress and burnout have on your body and relationships.
  3. Get an inside look into how you can retrain yourself into a healthier mindset to combat burnout. 

Episode Highlights

Who is Dr. Sharon Grossman

    • Author of the international bestseller, The 7E Solution to Burnout: Transforming High Achievers From Exhausted to Extraordinary.
    • Founder of the Exhausted to Extraordinary model.
    • Dr. Grossman helped over 500 physicians, entrepreneurs and executives reshape their thinking and go from fried and frazzled to energized and exhilarated.
    • Residing in Miami Beach, Florida, and loving it.

Getting started in the world of psychology

    • She has been a psychologist for 20 years.
    • Dr. Grossman went through a period of her life where she was exploring different options.
    • She was fascinated by self-help, self-improvement, and understanding of what made people tick.
    • She tends to be very analytical.
    • It allows her to help people live their best life.

Being drawn to an interest in working with high achievers

    • Over the years, Dr. Grossman saw patients who were down and depressed and people who were killing it in their professional life.
    • The people she enjoys working with the most are the go-getters because they show up more motivated.
    • There’s an energetic difference between therapy and coaching.
    • When people come in for coaching, they are ready to roll. 
    • Dr. Grossman wants to help people, but she also wants them to be engaged in the process.

Differences between therapy and coaching

    • We think of therapy as when somebody is down in terms of their performance or distress levels. 
    • The idea of therapy is to get them back to functioning and lower their distress.
    • The idea behind coaching is someone might already be doing well, but you’re helping them go to the next level.
    • When you choose between therapy and coaching, you’re probably in different phases of your life.

High Achiever Backstory

    • Doesn’t have a succinct backstory.
    • Dr. Grossman has her own business and is always trying to do everything.
    • She can relate to high achievers because she wrote a book and has a program, Ph.D., and podcast.

Why high achievers have so much to do

    • Being a high achiever is part of someone’s identity and part of what gives them joy in life.
    • She is fascinated by learning and loves to understand concepts. 
    • Dr. Grossman loves learning from other people, absorbing information from different angles, and synthesizing all the information.
    • She knows she can use the information she has absorbed to share what’s pertinent to her client’s situation to help them through it.

Having an edge as a coach

    • She brings her psychologist background with her into her coaching.
    • She understands people know they’re struggling, but they don’t understand the issue’s root.
    • If a coach doesn’t have some psychological background, it’s harder for them to understand the root issue or what to do about it.
    • As a psychologist, Dr. Grossman is trained to look at underlying belief systems, where they come from, the patterns of behaviors, and what fuels those.
    • Dr. Grossman likes to go deep with people to have a real transformational experience.

Struggling as a high achiever

    • No matter how successful someone is, they will experience doubt, anxiety, and fear.
    • Dr. Grossman has worked with many super-high achievers with many different achievements.
    • Some people are overthinkers, perfectionists, and people pleasers.
    • These struggles lead achievers to give things away, and it leads to burnout.
    • While they are successful, they don’t know how to manage their emotions or relationships with other people.
    • They come to Dr. Grossman with success but physically and mentally falling apart.

How burnout manifests physically

    • High achievers tend to keep pushing and don’t listen to the signs.
    • We often burn out because we aren’t functioning from a place of balance.
    • Dr. Grossman’s clients come to her thinking it is normal to be bone tired.

What burnout is

    • Burnout is chronic stress.
    • Chronic, unrelenting stress is the ingredient for burnout.
    • If you feel stressed all the time, you are either in burnout or at risk for it.

Identifying when burnout is creeping in

    • One of the first things people describe is exhaustion.
    • Burnout causes distraction and brain fog. 
    • Someone with burnout cannot mentally do something they were ordinarily able to do, and they don’t understand what’s going on. 
    • When they shift the focus from work to something else, all of a sudden, they feel fine. 

How our upbringing relates to how we are wired

    • There’s a reason why we are the way we are, and it always comes back down to early life experiences.
    • We absorb our parents’, teachers’, or peers’ ideas about life.
    • We start to integrate what somebody significant in our life says and does into how we see the world.
    • In contrast, we can also have experiences where we go against the grain and do the complete opposite of the expected demands.

OCD and over achievement 

    • OCD is where you are very obsessive about things.
    • Dr. Grossman has clients who ruminate and have thoughts that they’re constantly thinking.
    • From a compulsive perspective, it is not about the thoughts but more about behaviors, and something is done to alleviate anxiety.
    • OCD is an attempt to get control over something external because we feel out of control. 
    • OCD and overachievement are compensatory solutions for having anxiety.

The entrepreneurial DNA and compulsiveness

    • There are three burnout profiles.
    • The “thinker” constantly overanalyzes who’s more likely to have those perfectionistic tendencies, can’t let things go, and is always thinking about things.

The importance of self-talk

    • Self-talk is a thought in your mind that sounds like somebody else is talking to you, and it’s usually a voice that represents somebody from your past.
    • It is essential to ask yourself powerful questions that help you start thinking about things differently.
    • Self-talk gives you more clarity.

When burnout sets in

    • We tend to be like our phones, and when we meet our capacity, we need to rest and recharge.
    • We need to spend more time asking questions that help us reflect on where we are and what we need, as our needs change daily.
    • You need to have a list of things that you can do to relieve your stress because something that helped you yesterday may not be able to help you today.

What Dr. Grossman wants to be remembered for

    • Dr. Grossman wants to be remembered for the contribution that she brings in terms of psychology to the space of burnout.

Powerful Quotes from this Episode

13:01 – “If you’re feeling stressed, and it’s not just for a short while, but it’s a long duration like it’s unrelenting, then yeah, you are at risk of burnout, essentially, that’s the ingredient for it.”

24:41 – “When you understand these relationships, and you can come in with a strategy or a way to regulate yourself, then you avoid a lot of the issue.”

26:04 – “If you cross the threshold where you’re starting to do too much, and then you’re burning out, then it’s an invitation to reassess. What are the biggest priorities? Why am I doing this? And what would happen if I didn’t do it?”

30:48 – “We are just like our phones, as I say. You know, we have a specific capacity in terms of energy, and when we run out, and we’re not plugging in to recharge, then it’s going to stop working.”


About Dr. Sharon Grossman

Dr. Sharon Grossman is the founder of the Exhausted to Extraordinary™ Method, a 3-step method to unblock your mind, reshape your thinking, and return the joy to your work in 90 days. As a psychologist, coach, and author of the international bestseller, The 7E Solution to Burnout, Dr. Sharon works with 6-figure executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals in high-stress industries struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout. She shares tips and strategies as a keynote speaker and on her weekly podcasts, Decode Your Burnout and The Women in Medicine Badass Radioshow. Visit her at


Mentioned Resources

Free Burnout Checklist


Connect with Dr. Sharon Grossman




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Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.