When Everything Came Crashing Down…

Carolyn Rubenstein, PhD

Licensed psychologist and wellness consultant

When everything came crashing down … How I learned to live beyond burnout

Have you ever felt like you’re running on a treadmill that’s just a bit too fast, your dreams and aspirations propelling you forward, yet an invisible weight seems to be holding you back? If this resonates with you, I want to share a personal story — a journey through challenges that may mirror your own, and the transformation that follows.

Picture this: a young, bright-eyed graduate student walking the halls of Harvard in 2018. That was me, full of pride and a sense that I had finally arrived at a long-awaited destination. The world seemed filled with endless possibilities, and my heart was ablaze with the ambition to seize them all.

But, as life often does, it threw me a curveball. My dream of “doing it all” quickly turned into a struggle to keep up. The harder I tried, the more I realized that I was stretching myself too thin. Ignoring the many signs of burnout, I kept pushing, driven by fear of failure and the unknown.

It didn’t take long for the fantasy I had imagined to come crashing down — for reality to slap me in the face. I quickly learned that doing it all would require absolutely everything from me, and then some. And so I tried my very best. And it was never enough.

Then, the turning point.

On a snowy day, with a make-or-break presentation looming, last-minute negative feedback pushed me over the edge. I couldn’t do it. I retreated to my bed, trying to escape a life that was falling apart at the seams. I stayed there for about a week until my family helped me to face reality head on.

What followed was a period of deep introspection and change. I took a break from school. I sought help, engaged in intense therapy, and explored creative outlets. This was a time for me to listen to my inner voice, something I had neglected for too long.

It wasn’t a quick fix. Redefining my life to move beyond burnout (and stay that way) took years and is a continual process. But the transformation has been profound. I’ve reshaped my life into something I’m immensely proud of, surpassing what I could have achieved had I continued on my previous path. And importantly, I’ve steered clear of burnout ever since.

This experience, both harrowing and enlightening, has become the cornerstone of my work as a psychologist. The empathy and understanding born from my own burnout are what I now bring to my clients. I know the signs, the feelings of being trapped, and the courage it takes to seek change.

Imagine waking up feeling energized, with a clear sense of purpose and a balance between your work and personal life. Imagine having the resilience to face life’s challenges without fear of falling back into burnout. This is not just a possibility; it’s a path that many have walked and succeeded in, guided by the lessons and strategies honed from my own experiences.

I hope to offer you a mirror to see your own challenges and aspirations. My journey, like yours, was filled with moments of doubt and despair, but also resilience and discovery. 

I love this work, but I see more people struggling with burnout than I could ever offer therapy sessions to.

So, I want to try something new. I’m creating a program that lets me extend my support to anyone grappling with burnout or overwhelm.

If you’re struggling with these patterns, I think trying out my methods can redefine how the rest of 2024 unfolds for you. 

Click here to learn more. (This program has been closed, but the link will take you to the burnout recovery system my students participated in!).

I added a special offer that ends soon and has limited spots, so join now if you’re ready to take action to make the shift in your life.

I hope to see you in there.

All my love,

Dr. Carolyn

PS If you have any questions, reach out to hello@carolynrubenstein.com and I’ll respond to you personally!

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