by | May 2, 2023 | Anxiety, Burnout, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Shame

In today’s episode we continue our conversation with Sean Nemecek, author of The Weary Leader’s Guide to Burnout. In Part 2 we dig into how anxiety and shame fuel burnout, and then we outline a practical pathway toward recovery.

You can listen to the episode here

Here is the video version.


  1. In chapter four of your book, you state that most burnout is caused by two interior faults: Anxiety and shame. Can you enlarge on that statement?
    • Burnout starts with a dysfunctional workplace.
    • It’s the internal response to that type of workplace that can lead to burnout.
    • Burnout has to do more with anxiety than overwork.
    • Deep anxiety and deep shame are evil twins.
    • When I respond to my anxiety with shame, it becomes a vortex that leads me toward burnout.
  2. What is the pathway out?
    • Talk to us about the power of community in burnout recovery.
      1. In order to overcome shame, we need someone safe (a friend perhaps) who can listen with empathy and speak back to you the truth.
      2. You cannot recover from burnout on your own. You may need to hire a counselor, a coach, and/or a mentor.
      3. Safe person – somebody who will listen without formulating a response in their head. They let you struggle. They let you know they’re with you. They understand and practice confidentiality. They love you for who you are, not what you can offer to them.
    • How does identity impact our recovery trajectory?
      1. Digging deeply into what God says about us.
      2. Understanding how secure we are in God’s love.
      3. Identity is formed by the above two behaviors.
    • Explain mindfulness. How does practicing it help with recovery?
      1. Mindfulness begins with being aware of what’s going on around you. It starts with information.
      2. It impacts our behavior.
      3. It then changes our heart (hopefully). This takes time.
    • Setting and enforcing healthy boundaries
      1. What is a boundary? The limit that allows you to define your freedom. It tells you where God has made you to be.
      2. How do we set and enforce them? We start with values . . . define and prioritize them. From a foundation of values, we set and enforce boundaries. Not allowing other people’s emotions to affect mine.
    • How does nurturing our walk with God help?
      1. Walking closely with God in a healthy community of believers lessens our risk of burnout.