Ten years ago, Danny van der Linden, senior manager at large multinationals, was facing burnout. He decided to do some digging: what were his pitfalls and why did he keep landing in them? Now, he teaches others how to steer well clear of them.
Danny: “Having studied business economics, I worked as a manager at top firms such as Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee and Unilever,” says Danny as he shares his story. “In those roles, I was massively passionate about people and their personal development. But at the same time, I was struggling. I was working too hard, was extremely sensitive and constantly pulled into helping other people. I was wasting energy, both at work and in my personal life and was constantly tired. Time and time again, I was getting stuck in the same pattern and pushed my boundaries regularly. And although I did want things to be different, I just wasn’t able to change my behaviour. I got the signs that I had done enough and needed to set a boundary, but carried on working. My heart said ‘stop’ but my head said ‘carry on’.”
In search of pitfalls
Danny decided to seek out what exactly his pitfalls were. “During the four-year 4-Dimensional Bodywork and Art of Living, I learned that through being aware of your behaviour and energy, you can not only avoid pitfalls, but also change your behaviour and put more energy into your job. I also realised that we often live from within our heads and forget about our body. By doing a lot of bodywork, breathing better and resting when I needed it, I found that the insights just came to me. I saw the reasons behind my un-boundaried behaviour and perfectionism. I began to understand why I set the bar so high. Finally I got answers to my questions and found a solution to my condition. In helping myself in this way, I became motivated and inspired to help others encountering the same issues.” Last year, Danny stopped his role as manager to dedicate himself fully to helping people get to the true source of their questions and issues as a coach and trainer at Landen in je Lijf, with Puurenkuur’s ‘Coming Home’ weekends , amongst others.
Why do I set the bar so high?
“Extreme tiredness, physical complaints perhaps in the shoulders, head and lower back, poor sleep, low tolerance, edgy…” Danny effortlessly lists the symptoms of a burnout. “You suddenly snap at work or to your partner or kids, when you really don’t want to. Everything is an effort. You loose perspective, remarks can be misinterpreted, you won’t drop anything. By half eight you’re on the sofa and have nothing left in you. That sense of feeling seriously exhausted is a clear sign that you’ve asked too much of yourself. That you’re empty – quite literally. The only solution is to rest. Sleep is the best way to recharge those batteries. Taking good care of yourself, healthy living, things that energise you. But also, seeking out help: lots of people go back to work after having taken some time out to recover, without having figured out the reason for the burnout. Which only leads them to go through it again. The help of a coach or trainer will help you discover how it got to that point. Why can’t you lay down boundaries? Why can’t you say ‘no’? Why can’t you be who you want to be, or make your own choices? Only once you’ve managed to break through that pattern will you avoid another burnout.”
Pleasers, perfectionists and the highly sensitive
'People who become overworked can be divided roughly into the following three groups. It is the hard workers and pleasers who demand a lot of themselves and find it hard to say ‘no’. Plus, those who set the bar high and are perfectionists, and lastly, those who are very sensitive and find it hard to lay down boundaries. And yet, in my experience, they all know when things are going wrong. They have all noticed signs from their bodies; felt as though they needed to do more exercise as it would do them good. They’ve known that they should have gone to bed earlier some nights. Have realised they need to eat healthier, and sometimes leave work earlier to get home. But they didn’t listen to the signs. Why? Because in these kinds of situations, head wins over heart. The pattern dictates, and is usually bigger than us. The signs are is overridden because we feel we need to prove ourselves, keep all the balls juggling up in the air, that we aren’t allowed to put ourselves first, etc. etc. Listening to yourself and recognising the signs that things aren’t going great can help to avoid a burnout. It helps break the patterns and avoid falling into those common pitfalls.'
First aid for burnouts
Do you feel as though something in your life needs to change? Danny’s tip: “Ask yourself: which three things would you change if you didn’t have to take your job, partner or children into account? In my experience, everyone can provide an unerring answer to this: a few days off, do something nice with the family, go to the sauna, book a holiday, eat healthily over the next few days. . . Next, ask yourself how you can implement this directly in your life whilst you are still working.”
Who is Danny?
Alongside his career as senior manager for large multinationals, Danny van der Linden trained in 4-Dimensional Bodywork and the Art of Living . This further fuelled his passion for how people behave and why they do what they do. “I believe that people can break through their patterns, can change and can un-learn behaviours that lead them into pitfalls, giving them more energy and greater joy in life.” Danny combines his knowledge of eastern medicine and Shiatsu with his business experience then trains and coaches people, so that they feel more energised and able to resolve their issues.
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