burned out women in the workplace

Is It Me Or Is It The Workplace?

Spoiler: Probably both….
why does your workplace environment make you stressed

it’s hard work

Since I made it here, I can make it anywhere.


It’s A Concrete Jungle Out There

Navigating the modern workplace is not for the faint of heart. And while you may have considered yourself a pretty tough cookie—most of our patients are known for their dogged determination—it’s hard to keep up your innate ambition when the rules of the workplace are always changing, or the rewards are inconsistent. If merit and good ideas don’t matter, what does? You may realize, at some point, that it’s not you; it’s the job environment. Yet, that still doesn’t solve your underlying issues.  

Although you may try, you can’t get rid of: 

  • The dread of turning on your laptop in the morning 
  • The wish that you could do anything but sit through another meeting with X 
  • The sleepless nights 
  • The guilt about, well, lots of things 
  • The replay of conversations where you actually knew something, but couldn’t or didn’t get a chance to say it 
  • The anger about injustices 
  • False inferences about things you didn’t do or never meant 
  • Work you did, but was then discounted or stolen 
  • Total lack of motivation 


The People Who Make Your Life Hard

Are you dealing with an egotistical, dysfunctional or erratic boss? Or, the worst, a combination of all of the above – sadly not an uncommon profile in management. When forced to work with these personality types, even the strongest and most savvy worker and can start to feel spent. There’s a good chance that you also feel a sense of injustice and inequity. This injustice can create a broader sense of resentment (often valid, but still hard to live with!). Add to this an increasing sense of uncertainty—really, COVID and the economy, can you be just a little more predictable?!—and it starts to become unbearable.  

How do you know if it is you or the workplace? It’s hard to know (right?) because many of our own issues impact how we interact with the environments we interact with. However, there are some stressors from the environment that are known to exacerbate things and may explain, why you hate your job: 


Workplace Factors

A lack of predictability. When you never know if you are going to be going back to the office or working from home some more. When you feel like the projects you are working on are constantly shifting. The energy you would use to solve a problem becomes mired down in trying to predict which way the current will shift.

A discounting of your worth. Everyone wants to be valued. However, when your negative traits are magnified and all of the contributions you have made are discounted or minimized…. Well, can we say demotivation is likely to ensue on a massive scale. Yes, we can.

Self-serving bosses. When your boss is only out for #1, you can start to feel like you are living life as a constant #2 (number two….eww, never good!). And even if your immediate boss has your back, it can be difficult if the systems above your boss impart restrictions that make advancement impossible. And worse, you can feel thwarted when it is explained to you that it is either beyond your boss’s control, or worse, due to some step or strategy you supposedly missed or botched, but never even knew about.

Systematic Issues. Yes, things like sexism, racism, and inefficiency can seem positively built right into the workplace. Ok, they’re not necessarily consciously woven in. It’s more like the boundaries of society’s failings don’t see or respect the “Not Welcome” sign at the workplace.


To Know Is To Heal

The beauty of psychology is that it also applies to the workplace. When you learn not just better coping skills, but also truly understand the underlying psychological components of those you may be working with, you gain power. This knowledge can equip you with a greater sense of peace, and gives you a real upper-hand in navigating situations that are seemingly dead-ends.

As fellow ambitious types who specialize in treating professionals and students, we get it. We understand the complex environments of academia, high-end law firms, medicine, and governmental agencies and contractors. So, with us, you won’t have to waste time explaining the background you are navigating or setting the stage. We understand. And we are here to offer solutions that can actually be applied within these contexts—not for some alternate universe where work-life balance is already a thing and sexism or preferential treatment doesn’t exist. We help you navigate your actual workplace and better use science to understand how to get closer to where you want to be and how you want your life to look.

I’m ready to get started with:

Individual Psychotherapy

Workplace Support Group



licensed clinical psychologist for anxiety and trauma in Arlington, VA

about the author

Dr. Britt Lindon

Founder & President

I understand ambitious but thoughtful & creative, purpose-driven people because I am one. Sooner or later, if you are these things, you find yourself confronting an existential conundrum: how to win the game when…