So what exactly is burnout?
As human beings, we are all energy. We give energy to all that we do, from breathing to eating, fitness to working and sleeping to everyday activities which we do so naturally, we don't even think about doing them, but they all need energy. Now, if we put too much energy, consistently over a long period of time, into an activity, say work, and we go over and above what is expected of us day in day out, without having the confidence to ask for support, help or check-ins from others, we can literally burn that energy out like a fire which has extinguished. It may take months, it may take years but burnout can arrive if it is not checked and stopped in its wake. In a way, burnout is a life saver, because without it we could literally collapse if we don't stop. As my first life coach told me when I was first burnt out, “if you don't stop, then your body will stop you” and mine did just that.
Now, let me clarify, not everyone who is working long hours is going to “burn out”, but particular personality types (like mine for instance) who have striven, amongst other things in the past for perfection, for acknowledgement from others and who liked to give 150% to everything they have done are, in my understanding, more likely than others to burn out. Since my serious illness with M.E. (chronic fatigue syndrome), from which after 8 years I have thankfully now fully recovered, I have been lucky enough to understand these behaviours about myself and to understand how to use the characteristics I mention above for more positive effect rather than negative. How amazing would it have been though if I had had this understanding before I became ill? If I had asked for help and had understood how close to burning out I truly was, would it have prevented me from becoming as ill as I did? Yes, I believe it would, because knowledge is one thing, but understanding is something else. I knew about burnout and executive/workplace stress years before I became ill, but never in a million years did I expect to be as susceptible as I was to them. Asking for help a year before would have guided me through the process of rejuvenation to a place where both my physical and mental energy were restored and my health was repaired significantly enough to continue doing the job I loved to the best of my ability without the despair I had been feeling (but hadn't allowed myself either to realise nor acknowledge).
FREE checklist - the 7 signs you may be heading for burnout:
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Prevention is better than cure. Great coaching takes only weeks or months. Recovery, on the other hand, once burnt out, can take years.
The benefits of asking for help from me are:
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