These days, it’s normal, or even a bragging point, to claim how hard you’ve been working. It’s almost like we have confused success with over-exertion and burnout. Having unrestricted social media exposure, our lives are more visible to all. We find ourselves enmeshed in a need to prove our worth, to show how busy and successful we are… every minute of every day. This leads to a false atmosphere.
Our minds are in overdrive, and we don’t really enjoy our moments in life. We don’t really experience the little things anymore. Why? Because we’re constantly comparing and seeking validation. Living this way is exhausting as we live in constant stress. Stress and exhaustion are the two main reasons of a Burnout.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Why do we bring this on to ourselves? Why don’t we stop in time? Here are a few common things we tell ourselves that force us onto a direct collision course with burnout:
“If I stop, I’ll be letting everyone down”: Most of us are constantly multitasking and we’re always saying ‘yes’ to people, projects and responsibilities, even when we’re not interested or don’t enjoy doing, often because we’re wired to be of service. This leaves us overworked and overwhelmed, causing significant stress. Prioritizing things and learning how to say ‘NO’ to things can help create the much-needed balance in your life.
“If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”: Many of us step into being the martyr, attaching ourselves to the story: ‘I was the only one willing to get this done’. The reality is, as long as you keep saying ’yes’ no one else needs to step in and complete a task, nor do they ever get the opportunity to have a turn at completing the task. Get comfortable with allowing a period of silence to occur when someone says there’s something that needs to get done. Doing this makes it easier for you to not always be taking too much on.
“Who’s got the time for self-care?” The pressure of getting ahead in our careers is like living in a pressure cooker. To cope with this, we priorities things we have to do for others, at the cost of doing things for ourselves. When you understand the importance of your health and wellbeing, the possibilities of you flourishing increase. Make your health and wellbeing your top priority starting today!
“I’m so much better working alone”: Life can often get chaotic and make us feel our attention is divided and we cannot focus. Sometimes, it feels like the only way to get things done is to isolate yourself. When you create distance from your family and friends, it makes it harder to communicate. Research shows the results of being stressed and exhausted for long periods of time and the effect on mental health. Staying connected is therefore critical to your health and wellbeing.
“I am Superhuman!”: Sometimes, when you’re under pressure, you feel like it’s so much easier and quicker to just do things yourself. We’ve also been taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The more pressure you put yourself under, the more stress you experience, and when this happens you trigger physical and emotional responses in your body that affect your mind and body. Instead, learn to share the load. Asking someone for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of being aware. The more you share and let go of things that drain you, the more you can accomplish and succeed.
“I have to be perfect… all the time”: Let’s be honest, there is no perfect. The very definition of perfection shows that it’s unachievable. Letting go of perfectionism isn’t about not wanting or caring about doing a good job anymore but it’s about accepting the unique and extraordinary human that you are and celebrating the achievements and success that come naturally, as a result. Finding your unique attributes and focusing on them is important.
Equating number of hours with quality of work: Because we live in a highly visible world, we fall into the trap of thinking that we need to look busy to be perceived as successful. Unless your definition of success is always being exhausted and stressed, forcing yourself to work longer hours doesn’t help you get ahead in life. It damages your mental health and compromises your wellbeing.
Sacrifice your today for a better tomorrow: The more you push yourself, and force yourself to work harder, the closer you take yourself to experiencing burnout. Being stressed and exhausted all the time because you’ve given it all to your job doesn’t get you ahead. In fact, it sets you back. When you push the boundaries of your health, you’re gambling with your breaking point. Set your life up so that your health and wellbeing are just as important as everything else and you’ll benefit now, as well as later.
Remember, we don’t have to be stressed or exhausted to get ahead in life. Burnout isn’t a badge of honor. Life isn’t about being the best fighter – it’s about finding the way to succeed so you can allow the best version of yourself to shine!