Burnout is typically detected by many people only when it’s too late. So before you reach the end of your rope and become completely exhausted, finding a balance between your work and life is essential. Joining Elizabeth Bachman to address this common yet rarely addressed challenge is professional coach Janná Giles. Together, they discuss the importance of putting your life on a pause, recollecting your thoughts, and taking a breath, all without losing your momentum to work towards your goals. Janná also uses the analogy of croissant-making with the natural healing process, reflecting her use of Ayurveda for her own coaching processes.
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Finding Balance Instead Of Burnout With Janná Giles
Life, Business And Croissants
I interviewed Janná Giles, who had many years in high-level advertising and tech world. She decided to become a burnout to balanced coach. Burnout is a major issue in our days. I asked Janná to talk to us about how to find better balance in our lives without the woo-woo or helpful sayings that we don’t read, but how to do it and take care of ourselves. Janná Giles is the burnout to balance coach. She brings true wellness to corporate women. Additionally, she’s a public speaker and a facilitator. She guides professional women in healing burnout, calming overwhelm, and creating the balance, energy, and presence they need to be at the top of their game and fully-engaged within all facets of life. In her past life, she worked in the crazy advertising industry with global brands spanning from Microsoft to glass artist, Dale Chihuly. She transitioned to coaching after experiencing the profound effects that deep life coaching, the science of Ayurveda, and mindfulness had on her life. Now, she brings an authentic, loving and contagious energy to giving her clients the support and guidance they need. I’m happy to have Janná Giles on the program. On to the interview.
Janná Giles, welcome to the show. I’m happy to have you here.
Elizabeth, thank you so much. I’m honored to be here.
I’m excited because this is a show swap. You interviewed me for your big summit. I’m interviewing you for the evergreen show. I’m excited about all of this. Before we get started on the actual questions, this is one of the things I ask everybody. Who would be your dream interview? If you could interview somebody who’s no longer with us, who would it be? What would you ask them? Who should be listening?
I would love to interview Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and ask her where she got that amazing resilience, that energy. She had to had structures in place to help her create balance in her life. She was such a passionate worker working for the law. It’s amazing to me.
I love that you asked this. I’m going to ask you a little bit more because a lot of people have said, “I would like to interview the Notorious RBG. I’m a big fan of hers. I’m wearing my pearls for her.” You’re the first person who thought about how she fit it all together. Tell me a little more what you would ask her about. If you were doing an interview in front of a crowd, what would you ask?
I would be fascinated to learn what her daily routine was like. What did she do for herself to be able to keep all that energy up for the long haul? What kind of food did she eat? What practices did she have in her life? I know she worked out with a trainer, and that’s huge but there had to been other support structures that she had in place for herself in order to have that passion and energy sustain her until she passed.
She survived cancer after cancer. That would be great. Who should be listening to that?
My audience is your audience. It is every single woman who is in the corporate arena, who’s a professional out there. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer. Our audience are trailblazers, whether they recognize that or not. It’s women your age, my age, and everyone that’s younger, and far and wide.
I often think about the suffragist. In 2020 we had the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment and how much they worked to do it. It took them 47 years, more than that. It took years to help them.
Now, if we could get the ERA ratified.
I remember that. People were talking about the ERA when I was in high school. Here’s another thing though. In those days and in the ‘70s, when women were talking about women’s liberation and such, there weren’t role models. One of the great things that Ruth Bader Ginsburg did was she offered a role model to younger women, train younger women, and mentored younger women, which is wonderful. I’m interesting that you’re saying that the corporate women that you and I work with are trailblazers themselves. You were saying that the corporate women you work with are trailblazers even if they don’t know it. Can you expand on that a little bit?The balancing process is layered like a croissant. Click To Tweet
The women in our audience feel like they have imposter syndrome. That is for a reason. That’s because they are pushing their edge. They’re reaching. They’re trying to create something to have a vision and most likely, it’s not a path that’s somebody else has created for them. How is that not trailblazing, whether it’s in any arena within STEM, business, innovation, society, we’re all pushing our edge in order to help create something new and innovative.
What you’re doing is talking about going from burnout to balance. You mentioned that there was one concept you’d like to share right away at the beginning. What’s that?
I want the women in our audience to hear me now. There is a different way of being instead of sustaining the grind. There is a way so that you will truly show up as your best self, so that you will be producing, leading, innovating at optimal levels. There’s a way so that you’re not slowly killing yourself.
Why are you focused on women in the corporate environment in this context?
I used to be them. I was in an intense advertising industry career for many years, and I had some time in tech as well. To be honest, I got slammed to the ground many times from stress. I was trying to be a superwoman, and kept taking on more and more, just ramping it up. I believe that the corporate environment has a lot to learn and change. There are segments of the corporate arena that are shifting in positive ways to help support their greatest resource, which is their people. I believe that we as women have to learn and do differently for ourselves. I believe that it is within the brilliance of women shining bright, feeling good, and thriving, having even-balanced, reliable energy, presence, and balance in their lives. That is where we are going to find the solutions that this world needs.
It’s interesting that you’re saying this. It reminds me of lessons that I got when I was in the opera. When I was directing operas, I was used to working hard and then taking breaks. You work until it’s done and then you rest. When I ran the Tyrolean Opera Program, I was working six days a week, fourteen hours a day, as well as getting up at 5:00 in the morning to do my thinking. It’s the only time when people would not talk to me. I got sick, and then the next year I got sick again, and then I got sick again. It finally dawned on me that job, which was the company I had built and the thing I loved was making me sick. In my 50s, I could not do the hours that I used to be able to do in my 30s. I had to learn. Is it ever possible to stop before you hit a wall? Most of the time, I have to be slapped upside the head to learn a lesson like that. Is it ever possible?
It is possible. I’ve been slammed to the ground a couple of times. You’ve hit several walls. I’m sure that the women in our audience can relate in one way or another, whether it’s witnessing other people, experiencing that or they see it coming for themselves. There is a way of identifying, seeing the little signs, starting to notice yourself. Are you recognizing yourself? Are you more agitated, annoyed more often than you’d like to be? Do you feel exhausted more than you’d like to admit? Do you wake up exhausted? Are you not sleeping well? These little signs is your body speaking to you, asking for compassion and help. There’s only so much that your body can do until you will get sick. When you get into that fight, flight, freeze response, that fight, flight response sends all of this energy to your brain and to your large muscles. If you imagine a zebra on the Savannah and there’s a lion coming at you, your brain and your body has to jump in to get to safety mode. All that energy is now being taken away from digesting the foods you’ve ingested to fuel your mind and body, and also things like immunity. It affects your entire life living in this ever-increasing, high-stress, layering on top existence. It does impact you.
Let’s go a little bit more into the warning signs because it’s easy to brush them off and say, “I’ll rest soon.” Except my kids are asking for this and all of that. How can we become aware enough to notice where there’s a problem? What can we do about it?
Giving yourself the gift of slowing down at least once a day to start for five minutes. Allow yourself to set an alarm on your phone, gentle chimes and breathe. Connect to your breath and the sensations of breathing deeply, relaxing your muscles for five minutes a day. Notice how your nervous system can drop a little bit more. You might be in that heightened state. If you’re starting to feel the contrast. You’re starting to recognize the contrast, “I’m going to try. Janná says try five minutes. I’m going to set an alarm on my phone, so I’m not watching the clock. I’m going to sit and breathe, or maybe it’s walk and breathe.” It’s even better to help you metabolize the stress hormones. Notice how you feel. Are you more clear when you do that? Are you feeling more easeful, more grounded, more focused? Notice. Give yourself a little A/B testing. How do I feel before? How do I feel after?
When you’ve taken time off, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. How do you pick up again?There is a different way of being instead of sustaining the grind. Click To Tweet
A great way to prepare yourself if you’ve taken time off, gone on a vacation, what have you is recognize your wins that you accomplished before the break. It’s speaking to the cells of your body. We accomplished something. Looking at and recognizing your wins, and then allowing yourself to get excited about the next small win. When we can shift from having, “I’ve got this goal,” and now I’ve ticked that off and I’m onto the next one because we’re goal-oriented beings in the community. If we can at least acknowledge those smaller milestones along the way, it will help energize us more, instead of thinking of the huge amount of work and task at hand that can feel overwhelming.
Taking the time to celebrate something or having an accountability buddy who will work with you to remind you, “What did you accomplish?” Instead of saying, “That’s done. It’s over. What am I not?” It’s easy to live in the, “There’s so much more to do,” and to focus on what you haven’t done instead of what you have.
That impacts your mood and how you approach everything. If your mindset is focused on the weight of it all versus, “Look at how far I’ve come. What’s my next milestone that I can get excited about and celebrate?” Even if it’s taking five minutes or a delicious cup of whatever, tea, bubbles of some sort or whatever it might be to acknowledge. The more we as women start to acknowledge within ourselves, then society will also start to do that. It has to start with us.
That’s also how you set boundaries. Quite often the boundaries that we think everybody expects us to have doing like this and this, much of that can be self-imposed. If you say, “I’m not going to work past 5:00 on this day,” people are beginning to understand that there’s something else I have to do that day. You have a unique program. What we’re talking about is balance, boundaries, and all of that. A lot of people talk about that. What you do is truly unique. Tell us how it is? What is it that you’re doing? Give us an example of someone for whom it worked.
Over the many years that I have been studying, practicing, doing trial and error and everything else, I created my PACE Coaching Methodology by interweaving transformational coaching with Ayurvedic consulting. You get this holistic approach and you’re also focusing on the deep-rooted concepts you’ve adopted, ideas or stories that maybe are no longer serving you and driving you, but then also supporting you, your physical body, your mental, emotional body. Allowing that holistic approach to help you slowly over time dial things in, so that you have rated health and wellness, and even energy, focus, presence, all of these things.
For those of our readers who are not familiar with Ayurvedic coaching, can you define that please?
It is a holistic healing modality from India, and it is said to be over 5,000 years old. Some of you might be a little more familiar with Chinese medicine. It’s akin to that. In Ayurveda, we look at your entire life. Your career, schedule, cultural heritage and how you compare to most within your familiar group. We look at how and when you eat, when you sleep, what you do to prepare for your day or end your day, everything in order to customize for you. It’s not a cookie-cutter templatized approach. It is fully-customized for you. My program is built to not overload and not overwhelm. It creates these thin layers. I love this analogy because it’s from my family, but my mom on weekend mornings would start making croissants. I don’t know if you know how to make it but you roll the dough, slather it with butter, fold it, roll it, put it in the fridge. She would do this all day to make those thin layers.
You have to roll the dough over and over again.
It’s a labor of love if you’re making it at home. I feel like it’s this gift that you get after making croissant like the women I work with when they start making these gentle and palatable habit shifts, mindset shifts, and changes throughout their life. It seems simple as we go, but it’s very impactful and powerful.
Janná, that’s a wonderful story about your mother making croissants. That’s a lot of work and it takes time. You said something about the coaching process or was it maybe the healing process being like a croissant. Tell us more about that.The solution the world needs can be found within the brilliance of women. Click To Tweet
Making croissants is such basic action, rolling, slathering with butter, flipping over, rolling again. They’re such easy, simple actions that in the end, over and over after hours of that process, makes something special and something that couldn’t have been made out of a can. Croissants rolls out of a squished can thing are not the same as fresh-made croissants. The healing process or the balancing process, not all the women that I work with are completely tied to a cinder yet, but they see that’s coming down the path. As long as they can easily adapt or adapt these simple patterns and habits that support them, you uniquely identified for them. We don’t have the negative effects of popping a prescriptive pill. I know that prescriptions are important and I’m not saying anything negative about taking your meds when you need them. If you can avoid having to rely on pharmaceuticals and do things in a more natural way, then you don’t have those negative effects or problems caused by popping a pill.
What you’re saying is it’s a process where we have to train ourselves, and teach ourselves it’s okay to pause. Would that be fair to say?
Absolutely. Also, one thing I hear often is, “We spent thousands of dollars on trying to resolve this thing for my child because it’s for my family. I’ve spent thousands of dollars,” and it has to be because and justification on why that much money was spent. The thing is we as women need to remember that it is important for us to take the time to invest in ourselves in order to get to the deep root of what’s driving us into the ground in the first place to figure out what habits we’ve adopted that are negatively impacting us. What can we do differently that will make us much more powerful as women?
Can you give us an example of somebody who came to you, or a situation of someone for whom this croissant technique worked?
I have a client who came to me who was completely overwhelmed. She’s a high achiever and a real go-getter. Her title was much higher than her age would normally match. She was having such a hard time with anxiety and also the pressure that she had placed on herself is impacting her in such negative ways. She also had a pattern with relationships that did not support her. By the end of us working together, she not only got a raise, she increased her level and title again. She also kicked the first guy to the curb and found an amazing new partner. She reconnected with her family in a deeper way because she was feeling better about herself more deeply. She also felt this freedom to go and do things that she dreamt of doing. She moved to New York. She was dreaming of living there and she did it. That’s exciting.
Janná Giles, this has been fascinating. If you could leave us with one thought of the first place to start, what would it be?
What is the inner critic or the mean girl saying to you on a regular basis? Consider if you would say that to your best friend? Consider how you speak to yourself.
Janná Giles, it has been wonderful to have you on the show. Where could we find out more?
Thank you so much. They can find me at JannaGiles.com. If this has resonated with them and if they would like to learn more on how they can make some massive shifts in their lives, they are welcome to a one-hour complimentary Resilient Rising Woman Strategy Session with me. We’ll look at what’s happening in their lives and what’s present in their life. Maybe discover some challenges, blocks or stories that are in their way as well as maybe some other habits from an Ayurvedic perspective that might be challenging their energy. I would offer them some three actionable, tangible suggestions, recommendations and discuss maybe how we can work together.
All of that in a free call. Janná, thank you so much for having been on the show. This is the show where we interview experts from around the world on how to be better people including to go from burnout to balance. As a reminder, if you’re curious of how your presentation skills are helping you, you can go to our free four-minute assessment at SpeakForResultsQuiz.com. That’s where you can find where your presentation skills are strong and working, and where a few tweaks, maybe a little bit of support could get you the results and the recognition you need.