4 Signs Of Burnout: When “Digging Your Heels In” Just Doesn’t Work

Natalie MacNeil talks about how to combat burnout

As entrepreneurs we often believe that persistence can pay off and when we face an obstacle or a challenge, our years of making it on our own have taught us: we can blast through this.

But…I believe there are times when it’s not in our best interest to force something to happen.

It can cause major burnout, and suck your valuable time and energy away from projects that really light you up and can be of great service to the world.

So, when is the right moment to wave your white flag and surrender? When is it a good time to step away, close the door, and say, “It’s time to start something new”?

Today’s episode is all about when perseverance should end… and when to say, with love, that it’s time to stop doing something.

We’ll also talk about:

  • 4 crucial signs that it might be time to quit
  • My 12-week schedule for combating burnout
  • The stress of having too many “have tos” and a simple (and super effective) way to reduce it


You’re an entrepreneur – and that means YOU call the shots. So if something is burning you out, have the courage to honor yourself and make that change.

Knowing when to say “I surrender” can be just as courageous and wise as saying “I will make this happen.” (Click to Tweet)

My action item for you today is just to STOP.

Step away from your computer screen and go outside. Take in a sunset. Breathe in some fresh air. Head to a beach or a lake if you’re near one, or just sit on your back porch with a book and watch the stars come out. Go for a favorite meal with a friend or partner. Watch a great movie.

Whatever it is you love to do, turn your phone off (or just put it on silent), close your laptop, and go do it. Relax. Recharge. You’ve totally earned it.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you’re going to do to recharge today.

Thanks for watching this episode and I hope you’ll share this message because I think a lot of entrepreneurs, and non-entrepreneur types too, need to hear it from time to time.

Cosmic hugs,

Natalie MacNeil's Signature


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13 thoughts on “4 Signs Of Burnout: When “Digging Your Heels In” Just Doesn’t Work

  1. Thanks, Natalie! Great advice. This week, I took a day off to visit with a client’s wife while he was in meetings all day. I blew off work completely and BOY did it pay off. I feel rested, rejuvenated, and Bonus! I made a brand new friend in her!

  2. Well said. Natalue, in a world where we are constantly being pressed to do more.

    Some of my happiest times have been during post-burnout spells, when I have been forced to look after myself. Eventually, I learned that we don’t need to go through burnout to reach those happy times – we can choose to live like that all the time.

    “Active Patience” by NC Harley is a gem of a little book on this theme that I have just read. It talks about creative writing but applies to just about any pursuit. It’s about getting more done through being easy on ourselves instead of pushing.

  3. Hi Natalie! I really needed this video! I’m juggling two different businesses at the moment. One of them is absolutely my passion, the second one takes a majority of my time and it doesn’t bring the results it should bring by now. As a result, I start feeling a bit burnt out. I love the idea of your 12-week schedule. I will try that, but also keeping the journal of things “I like/ don’t like doing” could help me clarify what my next steps should be.

  4. I have been feeling this resistance for a long time so this video is really timely for me. I feel it in all my online work. I am just so overwhelmed and stuck and everything seems like a chore. I am juggling too many commitments and have too many hats. My biggest challenge seems to be deciding which commitments to let go of and which to keep. Luckily I am going away from the computer for 3 days. I will be thinking about my why in more detail because just saying” to help others and give others helpful information” is not really enough to keep me motivated anymore.

    1. Good luck with your digital sabbatical Lesley – I hope it yields clarity for you. I’d love for you to stop back here when you’re online again and let me know how it went.

  5. I have to admit that taking a break is always extra hard for me. My mind seems to be busy even when I try to take a break. Still, I do yoga, and meditate. They seem to always help me. Today I spent time away from it all as suggested, spending time away for a bit with the family. Tonight I’m just going to have ME time. Watch a movie, do some yoga and relax. Thanks for the suggestion Natalie! You’re the best!

  6. Thank you for this. It was just what I needed to hear today. I have definitely felt burnt out recently. What you said: you are an entrepreneur – you can change your situation and decide what you do (at least, that was the essence I gathered!) really spoke to me. So, today I took a break and took my little daughter out for coffee with friends for a playfste for her, and then truly took the afternoon and evening off with my husband when he came home from a work trip. (As a type A personality, overachiever, it is dreadfully hard for me to truly put away all of work and take a break – your SoulSeconds are helping me with that!) Thank you for all you do.

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