1492722686160 - When mega success turns into chronic stress

When mega success turns into chronic stress

A Kiwi businessman who worked up to 20 hours a day was on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown by 40.

Sean Hall was the brand strategist for one of Australia’s biggest companies but worked so hard he found himself wandering around a department store not knowing how he got there.

Hall told the Daily Mail Australia he burnt out twice in his 30s.

“The first time I was wandering through David Jones and found myself disoriented and frazzled,” he said.

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“I didn’t know how I got there. I was completely on auto-pilot.

“I felt like I was going to implode – I was on the verge of a complete nervous break down.”

Hall wined and dined alongside Australian stars including Kylie Minogue but his perfectionism led to corporate pressure taking a toll on his physical and mental health.

Hall worked until 2am and his inbox was flooded with hundreds of emails a day. He said he felt alone and didn’t want to reveal he was struggling in order to protect his professional reputation.

He also said it’s hard for men to admit they’re not coping in a corporate environment, due to the stigma around mental illness.

The 40-year-old said he began to lose confidence after taking on more responsibilities, which led to another burn out.  

“I was spread thin and felt like I was losing my mojo and my ability,” he told the Daily Mail.  

“I started to lose my confidence and I got into my head with negative thoughts.”

Hall said his lack of confidence started to affect him physically and his throat “felt like it was closing” when he tried to speak during meetings.

“There was lot of negative self-talk. I’d say things to myself that I would never say to another person.”

Hall decided to reconsider his career and started his own performance coaching company Energx in 2015.

“If you’re working in big corporate… you can’t change the organisation so you have to think about how you can change yourself,” he said.

Hall wanted his company to help prevent workers from having the same experience he had.

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