It’s become normal – and something of a bragging point – to be able to point at how hard you’re working. It’s like we think we’ve confused being burnt out with being successful.
The second we adopted social media as a staple in our lives, we also adopted a highly visible way of life. We find ourselves enmeshed in a need to prove our worth, to show how busy and successful we are … every minute of every day.
It creates a false environment.
Our minds are in overdrive, constantly working through how to best position the smallest piece of news to give it maximum effect in the public space.
But the reality is that we don’t actually enjoy our moments in life. We don’t really experience the little things anymore. Why? Because we’re constantly locked in a mindset of comparison.
Living like this not only sees you living under constant stress, but it’s also completely exhausting. And when you allow these two elements to continually run in your life, you’re heading straight for burnout.
Here are 9 common lies we tell ourselves that force us onto a direct collision course with burnout:
1. If you stop what you’re doing, you’ll be letting everyone down
All of us juggle way too many balls, and we’re always saying ‘yes’ to people, projects and responsibilities that we’re not interested in, and that we really don’t enjoy doing, often because we’re wired to be part of community and to be of service. This leaves us overworked and overwhelmed and both cause significant levels of stress.
Working out what’s important to you, and identifying the things you really enjoy doing, is really important. Then, teach yourself to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t make these lists, so you can easily fit things into your day and create a balance in the things you need to get done every day.
2. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done
This is a big one! So many of us step into being a martyr, attaching ourselves to the story of ‘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. When you don’t immediately step in, someone else will take the space. Doing this makes it easier for you to not always be taking too much on.
3. You have to work long hours or you won’t get ahead in your career
Because we live in a highly visible world, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you always have to look busy for you to be seen to be successful. Unless your definition of success is always being exhausted and running yourself into the ground, forcing yourself to work longer and longer hours doesn’t help you get ahead in your career … it simply makes you stressed and exhausted, and it puts pressure on your health and wellbeing.
Instead, start to work out how you can manage your energy in better ways so that you always feel like you have lots of energy. Then you can channel that energy to help you achieve so much more.
4. If you sacrifice now, you’ll benefit later
‘No pain, no gain’, right? WRONG!! 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 sacrificed looking after yourself now to give everything to your job doesn’t get you ahead. In fact, it’s more likely to set you behind.
When you push the boundaries of your health, you’re actually gambling that you’re not going to push yourself past a breaking point. And there’s the rub: the thing with breaking points is that they’re not visible; they just happen. When you break, it’s never a slight facture; it’s always a significant event and it always takes a significant period of time to recover from.
Set your life up so that your health and wellbeing are just as important as everything else you do and you’ll benefit now, as well as later.
5. It’s only costing you some ‘time’
You’re just giving up a bit of time to get things done … aren’t you? If you’re already overworked and overwhelmed, then time is a precious commodity. Why would you willingly give it away without a thought? Throwing time away unconsciously adds significant pressure to your life, and pressure brings stress and exhaustion. It’s like a fast-track to burnout.
Start to get really conscious with the way you allocate your time. Spend it wisely and move away from things that use it in ways that aren’t serving you.
6. You don’t have time to do what you enjoy
We feel the pressure of getting ahead in our careers so keenly that