Like a lot of us over the past two years, Prince Harry experienced burnout, too. In a candid conversation surrounding mental health, the duke spoke openly about how his experiences with burnout caused him to reflect on all areas of self-care.
During BetterUp’s first “Inner Work Day,” the Duke of Sussex (who is chief impact officer at the company) was joined by CEO Alexi Robichaux, as well as athlete and entrepreneur Serena Williams, to talk about the notion of inner work.
The talk began by Robichaux explaining the purpose of BetterUp’s Inner Work day, “I was investing so much in trying to get that next pay bump. I was invested so much in this identity of being this young hotshot executive that I forgot to invest in myself,” he admits. “I forgot to invest in my own energy. I forgot to invest in setting boundaries. I forgot to invest in my own well-being.” Robichaux then introduced Harry into the conversation, calling him one of the “loudest and bravest advocates for mental fitness around the world.”
Harry opened by celebrating Robichaux’s honesty, but noting that he recognizes that this inner work takes time and privilege. “Work complications” get in the way and “every element of our life becomes busier and busier and busier,” Harry says. On top of that, he recognizes “attention economy of social media, media, and everything else pulling you in all sorts of different directions”. This can all make inner work seem impossible, he admits. However, Harry goes on to to explain, as he experienced firsthand, if you don’t have time, you probably need to make time.
“I, similar to you, Alexi, experienced burnout,” Harry admits. “And throughout that burnout, literally getting to the very end of everything that I had, any fuel or any steam in the engine, I was burning the candle at both ends. Then it felt like ‘Boom.’ That is when you are forced to look inside yourself, because with everything else around you seemingly you feel as though it’s working against you, the only way that you can really combat it, and build resilience for the outside world in your entire environment, is the inner work. Once you start to understand how and why you react to certain people and certain situations, then you can actually gain control of those situations. It doesn’t mean they’re not going to happen; it just means that your reaction to them is more in your control.”
The candid 35-minute conversation touched on many other important topics to Williams and Harry including, mental fitness, meditation, bouncing back from setbacks, and mental health coaches. Watch a clip of Prince Harry during the conversation above.
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