I work in sales.  Insurance sales.  It’s not physically dangerous like being a soldier, fireman or policeman.  But mentally it’s brutal.  Staying positive is not something I was born doing.  I’m not an optimist.

So working on my attitude is crucial to my ability to keep going in the face of so many no’s.  And when clients turn on us, even when the policies are clear what is covered, it really bothers me.  I hate being treated like I’m the “ass hole.”  Because I really am on their side.

But I can move past all that after my initial annoyance.  I have years of reading positive books, taking transformational courses, and listening to motivational speakers.

What causes burn-out and thoughts of resigning are when my own company doesn’t seem to be on my side.  When they jump to a negative conclusion instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt.  Acting as if “I” am the stupid one.  That is where I’m pushed over the edge.

Because then all of my victim thoughts kick in:  I can’t win.  I’m all alone.  No one cares.  Nothing matters.  Why bother?

It doesn’t usually happen when we are all hitting our numbers.  Life is good.  Everyone is happy.  

I’ve seen it before in other companies, too.  When the numbers aren’t good, the higher ups start asking questions, generating more reports, and the craziness comes downhill.   We have to stop selling in order to fill out reports, answer questions, get on webinars, get excited about the “great new solution of the day,”and “defend” our projections.

Not to mention the new “system” that they put in.  The new people love it because they didn’t know the old one.  

But I did.  It’s not that I don’t like change.  But spending 4 hours on a call with the help desk, only to learn that I can’t write the policy because there’s a bug, gets me REALLY FRUSTRATED.  Especially knowing that on the old system that they are “retiring,” it would have taken 5 minutes.   

I could accept all this I think, if the “corporate people” could just validate my frustration.  They just don’t seem to remember that we are on commission.  They are paid by the hour.  The time I’m spending on the help desk call is time not making money.

So when they act like I’m just an annoying person one who always complains, it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.  

And if I’m honest, I will admit that sometimes I have lost my cool with the help desk.  I am not proud of it, but it has happened.  And then I feel like even more of a jerk.  And I feel like it’s just not worth all of this aggravation.

Despite all my training in being present, etc., it sometimes takes me a few hours before I can find the wherewithal to stop beating myself up and realize this is just a small bump in the road of progress.   And I eventually get back to my positive attitude, but I know I’ve wasted time being unproductive.

So, what is burnout?  My first thought was too many hours, too little pay.  One friend told me it’s lack of a common vision.  Another told me it’s impossible for him to do what his bosses want giving his time and lack of resources.

For me, as much as I hate admitting this, it’s the feeling of frustration:  I just can’t win.  I’m all alone.  No one cares or understands, and it’s just not worth the effort. 


  • Hilary Arnow Burns

    Hilary Arnow Burns, Creating Life in the Present Moment

    Graduated from Wharton Business School, Hilary pursued a career in management consulting, ending up on Wall Street during the 1989 crash. "It was certainly exciting," she says about her time at Drexel Burnham Lambert. From there she found her way to many entrepreneurial ventures, ending up as a District Sales Coordinator at AFLAC. She has always loved to entertain, empower and acknowledge people and does so through her writing and speaking. She specializes in memoir and poems which tell a person's unique gifts and story.   She has published her first book, "The Second Piece of French Toast," available on Amazon.com. Her website: GettingRealwithHilary connects you to her YouTube channel and blog.