If I mentioned the word burnout to you, what is your first thought? Someone who likes to race would think of a car peeling out, or an engineer would probably tell me about the reduction of a fuel or substance, and an electrician first thought would be of a device or component that has overheated due to an electrical failure. All of those answers are correct but then I would follow up with each of them and ask what do all three of them have in common with that associated word? The correct answer then would be, that no matter how much they might enjoy their job, they are just like that equipment that they service, and they too will burnout.
It is not inevitable that we will all experience a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. The core of burnout is emotional and physical exhaustion and it can be described as having the lack of passion or motivation with a constant feeling of being drained to the point that you have told yourself that you have nothing left to give. This is a feeling that happens in other areas of our lives outside of our jobs such as relationships, family, friends, society, and worse, ourselves. Evidence shows that when we are burnt out, our health begins to suffer and this feeling of despair has been linked to depression, memory loss, weakened immune system, loss of sleep, alcohol abuse, and cardiovascular disease. During these times, our relationships start to fail, job performance decreases, we make more mistakes, and eventually we think about giving up or quitting.
This is a common issue that we will all face. Burnout is contagious. Not only do you feel this way but the people you are around will experience these same feelings. The difference is, we all internalize our problems differently which leads us to various ways to get to a solution. So, how do we refresh ourselves? How do you pull yourself out of the quicksand of life that binds and pulls us down? I, along with many others like me find our cure by helping, assisting, mentoring, and advising others.
When you start feeling like you are becoming ineffective, this is the moment that you should help others. By changing the culture or structure that you are in and reducing the demand of the job, this will allow others to gain more control to handle situations which will leave you there to provide support. Those feelings of burnout will be buffered by the feelings of confidence gained by all. This is what we call small wins. When you get those small wins, you should record them and this will be your visual reminder of progression. #SPEAK2MYHEART