A dear friend of mine recently resigned from his job. We'll call him "Sam." Sam worked for a Christian organization where he was doing a job that made a real difference. He had been a star player in this organization for five years. Sam was respected by his peers, adored by his clients, and always came out ahead of the pack.
Sam was an all-star, but he was unhappy.
Sam was the kind of team player that rarely (if ever) complained. His clients assumed everything was peachy. How could such a beloved guy who performed so well possibly be disgruntled? His co-workers were too busy, focused on the good of the organization to realize anything was wrong. Sam's supervisors were so enamored with "the Lord's work" that they had no idea there was a problem.
Why? Because Sam was loyal to a fault.
He'd always agree to come in early. He never got a lunch break. He'd stay late regularly. And when there was no money for resources, he'd spend his own money on supplies.
While Sam was partially at fault for not speaking up, the real problem here is that Sam's organization had loads of expectations and demands, but none of the support.
High demands + unrealistic expectations - support = burnout. via @iamsteveaustin #catchingyourbreath #stressmanagement #lifecoach
Herbert Freudenberger defines burnout as "the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results."
But burnout isn't only happening in Christian companies or churches. A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23 percent reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes.
Here are 5 symptoms to look for:
Facing burnout? Here's hope. via @iamsteveaustin #catchingyourbreath #stressmanagement #selfcare
If you feel like the world is on top of you, read this. via @iamsteveaustin #burnout #selfcare #catchingyourbreath
Life seems to come with lots of expectations, doesn't it? Sometimes it looks like we are expected to know everything, do everything, be everywhere, and never complain. Especially as an adult - if you're not careful - you can feel like Atlas, with the whole world on your shoulders.
Employees who say they very often or always experience burnout at work are:
The good news? It doesn't have to be this way.
Whether you are facing employee burnout or just feel completely overwhelmed with life, you have to start saying no. Maybe it's substantial debt or the extra job you no longer need. Perhaps it's your lack of saying "no" to your children, fearing you'll harm them if you don't provide for their every whim and desire. Maybe you came off your depression meds sooner than you needed to and shame is whispering, "You're a failure if you have to call the doctor again."
Saying "no" doesn't make you a bad person or a mean parent. It doesn't make you a bad employee or selfish. Sometimes, saying "no" to people or projects is actually saying a great big "yes" to yourself. When is the last time you said "no" to reclaim your sanity and serenity? Boundaries aren't comfortable when you first start setting them. But if you neglect them, you'll take on more responsibility and pressure than you can possibly keep afloat. Whatever it is, the only way you're going to make it back when your life has taken on too much chaos is to get rid of all the non-essential cargo.
Like Sam, many of us feel like we are slipping beneath the weight of it all. We feel the floodwaters creeping chest-high or hear the sounds of an avalanche chasing us down. Our hopes can get buried underneath an ocean of negativity. Our wildest dreams can seem like pure insanity because our daily lives are so far from what we envision. We're putting one foot in front of the other, dragging ourselves forward, but we are overwhelmed and can barely catch our breath.
If the pressure of daily life feels like it might cause your soul to rupture, I get it. But friend, none of this will get better until you start practicing regular self-care, listening to the doctor, learning to love yourself, and creating a reliable support system. Start with those things, and you'll make significant progress toward finding peace within yourself. When you're in crisis mode or facing burnout, you have to let go.
"No" is not a four-letter word. via @iamsteveaustin #catchingyourbreath #selfcare #stressmanagement
Download my free Action Guide: The Proactive Path to Self-Care. Just click here to join the Members-Only section for free. In addition to the Action Guide, you'll gain immediate access to my exclusive coaching library with countless other freebies to support you on the sacred journey from chaos to calm. Sign up here.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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