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68. Turning Struggles into Strength: Using Teacher Burnout as a Catalyst for Change [Teacher Pep Talk]

Aug 22, 2023

Are you one of the millions of teachers who has felt burned out and fried?  What if you could turn that sizzle into a spark that transforms your classroom and your life?

One of the hardest things to overcome is our challenges, and some of us will spend the rest of our careers running from the pain.  What if we could use our pain as fuel for our fire?

Burnout: A Catalyst for Transformation

I want to clarify that while I believe experiencing burnout can be a catalyst for growth and transformation, I do not condone normalizing unhealthy coping skills or the suffering of teachers. My mission is to change the system of education and the way teachers are seen and respected.

I understand the difficulty of the beginning of the school year and the mindset of pushing through. As Glennon Doyle once said, "Life hurts for everyone and pain is necessary for growth."

In the grand theater of teaching, every curtain fall is just a prelude to a grander act. This episode is here to remind you that every lesson, every student, every challenge is a chance to choreograph a masterpiece.

Reframing Stress and Pain for Growth

In this episode, I discuss the concept of reframing stress and pain as catalysts for growth. Stress is not inherently negative. How we interpret and manage it determines its impact on our well-being. I suggest three strategies for turning distress into eustress:

  1. Seeing stressors as challenges rather than threats
  2. Adopting a stress-enhancing mindset
  3. Being aware of when we've reached our limit and taking necessary breaks

I share my personal experiences of overcoming burnout and encourage you to embrace pain as an opportunity for change and growth. I believe that facing and learning from pain is essential for personal development and building resilience.

In this episode, we explore the transformative potential of burnout. We discuss reframing negative experiences as opportunities for growth and resilience, and share strategies for embracing discomfort and stress as catalysts for positive change. Through personal stories and collective experiences, we aim to inspire unity and encourage teachers to make meaningful shifts in their lives. Ultimately, this episode serves as a reminder that you are a resilient teacher, and we are all in this together.


  • The beginning of the school year mindset [00:05:18] Discussion on the challenges and mindset shift needed at the start of the school year.

  • Seeing pain as a catalyst for growth [00:06:14] Exploration of the idea that pain and discomfort can lead to personal transformation and positive change.

  • Using pain as fuel for positive change [00:08:22] Personal story of using pain as motivation for weight loss and embracing discomfort as a stepping stone towards a healthier and happier life.

  • The Magic of Mindset [00:10:31] Exploring the relationship between mindset and stress, reframing stress as a positive force for growth and transformation.

  • Adopting a Stress-Enhancing Mindset [00:13:41] Discussing a study that shows the positive impact of adopting a stress-enhancing mindset on overall well-being and response to stress.

  • Using Pain as Fuel for Growth [00:18:21] Emphasizing the importance of facing and embracing pain as a catalyst for personal growth and positive change.

  • The catalyst for growth and transformation [00:21:16] Brittany discusses how experiencing burnout can lead to personal growth and the opportunity to help others.

  • Embracing pain and discomfort for growth [00:22:17] Brittany encourages teachers to view challenges as guideposts for becoming stronger and more resilient.

  • Making a difference through change [00:23:13] Brittany emphasizes the importance of making a change when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.






The Resilient Teacher Podcast is the show that will give overwhelmed educators the support, tools, and mindset to reduce teacher burnout and keep teaching sustainable. Each week, Brittany Blackwell, M.Ed. & her guests will share inspiration and actionable steps to avoid or recover from the dreaded teacher burnout. You'll be inspired to individualize self-care and learn to prioritize your well-being and mental health, all while making a bigger impact on your classrooms and community.



Are you subscribed to the podcast?  If not, I encourage you to do that NOW so you never miss another episode!  New episodes are added every Tuesday, and if you're not subscribed there's a good chance you might miss out on notifications that a new episode has gone live.  Click here to subscribe on iTunes!

And if you are feeling extra amazing, I would be super grateful if you would leave a review on iTunes, too!  Those reviews help other educators who are burned out and needing support find the podcast, and I love shouting you out on the Community Reviewer of the Week Segment!  Just click here to review, select "Ratings & Reviews" and "Write a Review" and share what you are loving about the podcast!  

Some links on this page are affiliate links. This helps to support this podcast at no additional cost to you.


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