The 7 deadly sins of burnout
Burnout looming? Have a look at these and adjust your course…
>> Fretting about self-esteem, status and job security, to the point where we keep burnout a secret.
Not asking for help is the biggest single factor keeping us in burnout. It leaves us in anxious isolation and denies us the resources to manage stress. Not only that, anxiety is depleting and further undermines performance, confidence and engagement.
>> Waiting until the deluge of overwork passes, telling ourselves that we’ll get on top of things soon, like we always do.
Typically, burnout happens to high-achievers, who will try to overcome it by working harder. If that was going to be effective, we wouldn’t be in burnout in the first place. Productivity declines from chronic stress, anxiety, overwork, exhaustion and despair, coupled with poor recovery strategies and entrenched overwork behaviours.
>> Clinging to the mirage of invincibility, presuming (incorrectly) that burnout will not affect our health, home life and relationships.
In fact, most people in burnout will engage in increasingly unhelpful coping strategies, emotional avoidance and addictive behaviours. At the same time, anger, irritability and defensiveness increase and relationships become strained, until isolation becomes the default choice.
>> Believing the boss doesn’t know and being terrified they will find out.
Then we avoid people, to reduce fear, conserve energy and avoid conflict/additional pressure. A person in burnout conceals their activity and performance, to avoid both criticism and collaboration. Instead we assume people are judging us and worry endlessly about that.
>> Worrying this might be the end of our career – and hating everything for this.
Usually we think only switching jobs/careers will fix our problems. At the same time, we’re desperate for more reward and connection at work. The grass is definitely greener elsewhere, but we’re not quite sure where.
>> Resenting people and circumstances for causing our misery.
We over-react to perceived obstacles and attack anyone we think is blocking, criticising or merely outperforming us. We envy others their success and resilience. We feel very alone and left out.
> Overindulging in self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
Relentlessly, we focus on what’s going wrong, not what’s going right. Thinking we are at fault, we worry about time management, brain fog, flagging performance and letting people down. We know we used to be better than this. Where is that competence now?
Does that sound familiar?
If you are in or approaching burnout, it’s vital to take action. Not the actions you’re taking now, that will entrench burnout more, but contrary action. You will need to ask for help. I only coach people in or near burnout. I help them return to normal function, resilience and enjoyment at work. I run a six week program. It’s an amazing bargain, if I say so myself and if you’re in burnout I want to help YOU.
Personally, I stayed in burnout for too long, not knowing how easy it is to recover. I had a heart attack.
I don’t want you to do that.
I battled perfectionism, people pleasing, indecisiveness, shame, guilt, and anxiety. My happiness was extrinsically linked. I have seen exponential growth in my personal and professional life. I finally found my self-worth. I learned self-compassion. My relationships with others have become deeper and more meaningful. I have become more decisive. Dex is an amazing coach. He will guide you, and open your mind to things you never knew possible. M.W.
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