Burnout: A Potential Danger For Success

What is Burnout
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It is obvious that most people have or are experiencing burnout on their success journey be it personal or professional. Burnout will short circuit your progress and hinder your success hence it is important to avoid or deal with it efficiently the moment you are experiencing it. Now, let us examine what burnout is.

What is Burnout

Burnout Defined: According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, burnout is,

1. Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation is usually a result of prolonged stress or frustration and

2. to cause to fail, wear out, or become exhausted especially from overwork or overuse”

Further definitions:

  1. It is a state of being extremely tired or ill, either physically or mentally, because you have worked too hard.
  2. It is the psychological exhaustion and diminished efficiency resulting from overwork or prolonged exposure to stress.
  3. It is the exhaustion that results from excessive demands which may be self-imposed or externally imposed by families, jobs, friends, value systems, or society that depletes one’s energy, coping mechanism, and internal resources.

Difference Between Stress And Burnout

There is a huge difference between burnout and stress. Stress is a normal part of daily living… every single person experiences some degree of stress in their lives each day. Burnout, on the other hand, may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress.

Stress is an overload of pressure that demands too much of you both physically and psychologically. People experiencing stress can usually see that they will feel better when they can get everything under control.

Burnout, on the other hand, is prolonged stress and pressure. It is emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It results in feeling empty, totally exhausted, very overwhelmed, and devoid of motivation.

Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy… it may leave you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, powerless, often cynical, and resentful. People experiencing burnout very seldom see there is any likelihood of feeling better. They begin to lose interest and motivation that led them to take on the roles and responsibilities in the first place e.g. being caregivers.

When you are experiencing burnout problems seem insurmountable, and everything looks bleak. Burnout for instance can be compared to the point at which a rocket has used up all of its fuel and has no more energy or power. This power is generated because the fuel has gone through a process of conversion that now provides the needed energy for its activities.

Let’s translate that into man’s world. Imagine when all the elements that are necessary to provide the needed strength, motivation, and aptitude in other to function and perform are used up it will result in burnout. This could easily lead to frustration in view of the fact that when in conditions like this your productivity will drop dramatically and you will be far from achieving your desired goals and objectives.

Burnout symptoms:

The burnout symptoms can vary from individual to individual, but the following are some warning signs that indicate and determine if an individual is on the verge of burnout. There are physical and emotional symptoms and they can include the feelings of:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Detachment
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of Depression and Isolation
  • Physical Fatigue Frustration
  • Failure
  • Despair
  • Cynicism
  • Apathy
  • Lack of desire
  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased absences and/or tardiness
  • Feelings of anger and resentment

Use the following burnout tips to make yourself feel better:

  • Look for something new. The best way to deal with fatigue is to change the way you deal with things in your life. Think about whether you like the situation you are in right now. Maybe you need to do something different with your life, like getting a new job or a home.
  • Take time to be alone. You need to stay away from anything that causes you to burn. You may have to take a walk, get lost for a few hours, or take a trip to another place where you can be alone.
    • This does not mean that you have to spend tons of money on a unique vacation. All that is needed is to allow space to feel peace and relaxation. There is no reason for this to be done in your house or in the city.
  • Fix the problem. If you are facing a particularly stressful situation, do all you can to address the underlying issue. Think of something that can fix the problem and get other people to help you if you need it.
  • Take control of your mood. If you can, get some control over the stressful situation. Understand that these problems can be solved and that this stressful situation will not continue indefinitely. Also, accept and agree that not everything will be under your control and will not be.
    • Improve your situation to the best of your ability, but don’t worry about what you can control.
  • Remain truthful and open to others. There are times when you need to overcome your self-esteem and ask for help. Tell a family member or friend about any problems you may have had. If you do not have friends or immediate family, try talking to a doctor

The journey to success can be challenging, but it is also empowering and life-changing. Whatever you do take it a day at a time and do not work yourself to the point of burnout.

Please note: I’m not saying for one moment that everyone will experience burnout… far from it!

But burnout does exist… it is real and its effects can be devastating if not recognized and dealt with effectively

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