HOW TO DEFEAT BURNOUT

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    03-Aug-2015

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<p> 1. How To Defeat Burnout We all know that after some years of service either being in the same position for a while or with the same company for that matter our job satisfaction may reach a delicate state. This fragile condition is called burnout. Burnout exists when we feel anxious, stressed, and may even lose sleep at night thinking about work. When we are burnt out we become cynical, likely to experience tiredness, even ineffectiveness, but most of all much less enthusiasm about our job. This is the stage when even a small thing would bother us a great deal. This is also when our overall attitude towards our work environment including people would become negative and highly critical. We would find ourselves judging corporate decisions, discrediting our bosses choices, and being moody and agitated about most things. But it doesnt stop here. When at home, we most likely think about work constantly and try to make some sense of what we feel and why we experience this uneasy state. Thinking about this for while we may blame the company, our colleagues, our boss, the organizational structure, and anything we could put our hands on but likely miss to turn inward to find the answers. To feel somewhat better, we may assure ourselves that we still have a good and well-paid job and the big problem is really that we take work too seriously. Therefore we decide to ease up. This is what I call the decoy of emotions. Predictably when the morning comes and we go back to work we realize that we still feel the same way and experience the same negative emotions. By not facing the real root of our burnout we are trapped. Why does this matter? Why should we take burnout seriously? Well, burnout is highly destructive and if not recognized may not only affect our well-being and people around us, but also result in lower performance and consequently in losing our job at the end. Living like this is a no win situation. Therefore the sooner we deal with it the better it is for us. We must keep in mind that although burnout is more specific to a job situation, it breeds strong negative emotions that overtime have damaging effects on everything we do. Many people think that the reason for our burnouts is our external environment, more specifically our workplace therefore they put the blame on the workload, namely the lack of sufficient resources to manage tasks, the unrealistic expectations of higher management, or even organizational deficiencies. Thinking that the root 2. problem is somewhere out there is unwise and highly deceiving. Burnout is the outcome of an inevitable change in our perception of how we see our selves related to our environment, in this case our workplace. Some scientists like to think that burnout may occur - among many others - when we have an increase in our workload that is unfairly forced on us but difficult to manage, or when we need to deal with negative attitudes from our pears and bosses, or when we experience less appreciation for our performance. I personally think otherwise and here is my argument. The aforementioned factors that shared by many according to studies have always existed in the past and will always exist in the future even though their intensity may vary. This makes these factors relatively constant. A fixed value cannot create change, only a variable property could induce such. Therefore, the question is: why do these constant factors get to us now and not in the past? Think about this for a moment. When you started your current job you most likely had a healthy mental state that was full of enthusiasm, hope, and gratitude. You were happy and your positive emotions overshadowed the negative aspects of your environment, more specifically these constant factors. You were not only more patient back then but you also had more positive energy to deal with some of the non- sense you think of today as intolerable. You also accepted your environment for what it was. So what happened? What is that variable that changed? Well, the simple answer is the change in our perception. The biggest mistake we often make is to ignore the fact that we are the subjects of a constant transformation due to our subjective experiences. This means that we are not the same person today that we were in the past. Not even the exact individual we were yesterday. Every experience and there are plenty alters us either slightly or significantly. Dramatic events for example can reshape us a great deal. These transformations do not only have two directions (positive versus negative) but also vary in intensity. A drastic change in our social status or in a relationship or perhaps the tragic loss of a loved one is meaningful and remodel who we are. These are important variables that shape our perceptions, beliefs, values, and even priorities in life. Our burnout is the outcome of such change resulting in a new way we view the world around us. This change is not only related to work but also to our personal lives. Our expectations, desires, and needs change overtime. One typical example of this is our increased need, as we mature to progress. Our burnout may often be due 3. to a change in our priorities perhaps our strong desire to improve, either in our relationships or in our jobs. After being in the same position or with the same company for a while you may feel that you are not making progress although you worked hard and made strong contribution. Your key concern may just lie in the fact that you cannot accept the lack of progress and now thinking more of the long-term benefits of your efforts unlike in the past when your focus was on short-term gratifications. You may even think that you failed to make a difference. Whatever it is, you must keep in mind that it is only your perception. This internal turmoil is often about a simple mismatch between our expectations and how we value our current performance. This is what creates the internal conflict that causes stress and anxiety and a typical burnout. So what is the solution? First and foremost you need to find out what you really want now by having a brutally honest inner dialogue with yourself. Dont be afraid to know the truth about yourself, even if it not pretty. If you feel unappreciated for example find out why. Where such emotion originates? Could this be due to your home environment? Dont box yourself in and let your mind question every emotion you experience to get to the bottom of your real troubles. There is no place for self-deception. Remember at the end it is your life and inner peace that is at stake. Self-honesty is key but knowing where you want to be is just as critical. Your past experiences altered you. The question is who is the new you, what is it what you stand for, what your values are, what principles you hold, and what your priorities are. I also suggest that you write them down. The past is the past, but your ultimate goal with this exercise is to determine where the differences are between the past and now, so you can identify where the mismatch is. Once you know of the gap, you can easily move forward and take actions even if it means to change your line of work. The choice is yours. However, the longer you delay this process, the longer you will feel the anxiety and in the long run you will also put your health at risk. Please also note that this is not a one-day process. This requires time investment on your part. Please do not underestimate the reward. It truly worth the effort you put it now. As a conclusion, burnout is the outcome of a change we experience overtime in our perception of how we view ourselves related to the world we live in. Therefore to defeat and overcome burnout we need to turn inward to find the answers that will provide us with the most appropriate and healthy solution. </p>