Battling Burnout – Why the Doctors are 100% Wrong

burnout Nov 08, 2019
It's common to feel tired from time to time, but when it gets worse, and you don't feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, that's when you know you're headed for burnout.
Burnout usually takes place on the inside before it shows up on the outside. Usually, it's like a house fire – silently raging a destructive path on the inside that others can’t see from the outside until it’s too late.
If you feel like you're burned out, it's probably not for the reason you think. And here is where doctors are getting it wrong because it’s NOT just because you work too much.

Battling Burnout

Some of the hallmark symptoms of burnout are emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion, loss of joy, losing hope in the future, you're having more bad days than good days, beginning to see only the downside to events that are happening around you.
And burnout can look and feel different for every person. Maybe your eating habits changed. You begin to sleep more or to start to sleep less. You find yourself getting more judgmental towards others. Marked changes are the clearest signs there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

You Need More Than A Break

Most people think that what they need is more rest. You tell yourself, “I just need a break,” right? What ends up happening, especially with entrepreneurs, is they take their foot off the gas pedal of lead generation in hopes that if they just take a break, they'll be able to refresh and get back up.
What ends up happening is you take a break, then you look up a couple of weeks later, realize now you don't have anything in the pipeline, and you’re going to still be burned out and now broke as well.
What I've realized is most of what we've been taught about burnout is wrong and doesn't actually work. Doctors will tell you to take a break, take a rest, just sleep off a little bit. That's not what you need. Where you need is to identify the actual cause and what you need to do differently.

Investigate Before You Medicate

Here's what I'm going to challenge you to do when you have frustration: do an investigation before you take medication.
If you have frustration… I'm feeling really burned out and feeling overwhelmed. I'm feeling frustrated… or whatever it is, I want you to investigate that. Get to the root cause instead of just taking a bunch of medication hoping that will make it better.
Burnout doesn't come from working too much or working too hard. There are lots of people that work late nights and long days and don't get burned out. Burnout comes from doing the wrong things. If we don't take care of the root cause, you will continue to have burnout month after month, year after year. So, when you're feeling burned out, investigate the cause.
Here's what I'm going to ask you to do. When you feel yourself beginning to burn out when you have frustrations, I want you to do dig in and figure out which one of these six things could be causing your burnout, and then let's figure out what to do about it.

Six Things That Could Be The Root Of Burnout

1. The lack of control.
When you don't feel like you have control, or you consistently feel like things are happening without your input, that can lead to a feeling of frustration and burnout.
If you continually do your part and your efforts don't affect the outcome, like what you do doesn't make an impact on what's actually happening, whether it's good or bad, that can lead to burnout. When you consistently do things over and over and over, or feel like you are not in control and can’t change the future hopelessness can seep in.
There's a quote from Tony Robbins that says, “People aren't lazy. They just don't have a positive future.” They can't see a positive future, so where is the drive to do the things that need to be done supposed to come from?
Here's the solution: Sit down and recognize what you control and what you don't control.
The reality is most of life is out of our control. When you're driving down the road and a hundred cars are around you, even though you are in control of maybe your car, you can't do anything about them. One of the most powerful things you can do in your life is to become acutely aware of what you control and what you don't control and then choose to focus on what you can control and make the decision to let go of the rest.
Sadly, when all you do is focus on what you can't control, you're actually giving your power away to others.
2. Your values are out of alignment.
Having personal values that are in conflict can cause burnout. I always think about this as one of the reasons people don't hit their goals - they have goals that are going in opposite directions.
Let's say they have a goal to work more hours, but then they also have a goal to be at home - these goals, which are based on your values, are in conflict. Your drivers are going in different directions. That causes a lot of tension in your world and having values that are inconsistent with each other, pulling in different directions can cause you to feel incredibly burned out.
Probably a better example would be having a passion for taking care of people, but you also value your time. You can begin to feel like you're in somewhat of a tractor pull if you don't figure out where your boundaries are and how to take care of people without sacrificing valuable time.
One of the things you can do around this is sit down and articulate what your values are. Are there any values that maybe feel like they're going in opposite directions, and you may need to do some realignment?
3. Insufficient reward.
This is a big one. We've all heard that you usually get more bees with honey than with vinegar, right? I don’t know if correct or why you want to attract bees, but I do know that rewards work.
We as humans love to be rewarded. We don't all necessarily love the same rewards, but we all love being rewarded. One of the things that can cause us to work long hours and put in an astounding amount of time working our heart out and feel great about it is if there's an amazing reward at the end.
When there's not sufficient reward, we don't feel seen. Working towards, expecting, or experiencing the disappointment of no reward can lead to burnout.
Have you considered how you want to be rewarded? Have you set up different levels of rewards? Have you found small rewards, medium rewards, and large rewards that you can give yourself or rewards you would like to receive from others when you met goals?
One area high achievers can struggle with is at celebrating milestones. They continue to go, go, go. As soon as they get one thing done, they’ve jumped to the next thing. Sit down and write out what you’re your milestones are and when you hit those milestones, you're going to reward yourself.
4. Too much on your plate.
Achievers come to me weekly and say, “I have too much on my plate. I just don't know what to do.” So, I tell them to take something off of their plate. What's amazing is how much they resist that. They start to freak out. They don’t want to acknowledge they will need to make some tough decisions and they can’t just work more hours.
At some point, there are no more hours to work, and the challenge is your plate is only so big. One of the things I see so many people resist is the willingness to get savage with what they can do and what they can't do.
So many live in a continual state of frustration because they're trying to get 90 hours of work done within the 45 or 50 hours they have to work with. The natural destination is frustration and overwhelm, which feels a whole lot like burnout.
Here's the solution: You've got to sit down figure out what are the most important things are – a MUST DO list. Not to be confused with the 50+ items on your to-do list.

-- Get the list of weekly questions you need to ask yourself.
What are the most important things you must do around your business? What activities must get done for your family, for your health, for spiritual life, for your well-being, for your finances? What's required to reach your goals in each one of those categories?
When you know these things, you can figure out how much time is required to complete your must-do’s. Schedule that time on your calendar, and when you realize how much time you're actually dealing with, you can and will get savage about the things that don't fit in.
You have two options: Get more effective and efficient in what you do or cut out things that are good, but aren't great.
5. Being treated unfairly.
There's a lot of research on the science of being treated fair. We’ve found that the brain craves fairness almost as much as it does food and shelter. Being treated unfairly causes our brain to go into a state of frustration, panic, and overwhelm.
You see it happen all the time. Someone takes your parking spot. You hold up your end of the deal, but the other person drops the ball. You were nice, and it bit you in the behind. When we feel like we're being treated unfairly, it causes a lot of emotional pain.
What helps is realizing you’re being triggered. What's really bothering you right now is not that you have to park five spaces further, but that you don't feel like you’re being treated fairly. When you recognize that, you’re empowered to do something about it. This circles back to figuring out your frustration so you can figure out what to do about it.
6. Lack of self-care.
This has become somewhat of a buzzword, and everybody talks about self-care, and its positive effects on mental wellbeing. In this case, you can believe the hype. What I have discovered about most people I work with is a lack of a self-care plan. Just like your car needs a maintenance plan, so do you.
The reality is each person needs a different prescription or maintenance plan. Some people need to spend more time with healthy people. They need to spend more time with friends. They need to spend more time with family and laughing, enjoying by taking your life. Other people need to spend more time in isolation. They need to have some downtime, some quiet time, some time where they can sit, relax, and reflect.
You've got to figure out what you need. Do you need time alone? Do you need time to journal? Do you need time to go for a walk? Are you eating the best fuel for your mind and body? Are you sleeping enough to refresh? You must take care of the vehicle that you're using to get through this journey.

Avoiding Burnout

Here are a couple of the most impactful things you can do to avoid burnout. Make sure you have these powerful tools in your toolbox.
1. Have a schedule that actually works, a schedule that has margin, a schedule that matches your goals, and is actually doable. Not a schedule that is so tight and hardcore that it would take a team of scientists to be able to actually deliver on it.
2. Continue to develop great relationships and create time in your schedule to spend time with those people.
3. Reward yourself. Have a way of rewarding yourself, whether it's a small reward, a medium reward, or a big reward. Predetermine some rewards you're going to give yourself when you hit milestones in your work and your life.
4. Sit down and evaluate what your values are. Is there anything in your life that's in conflict? What needs to happen for you to get back into alignment?
5. Reframe your experiences. With limited information other than how circumstances and others’ actions affect us, we can rage on and on about how something is ruining our day, our plan, our life. That’s our frame of reference, but when you reframe your experiences things like that man who sped past you on the road goes from “probably a self-absorbed punk texting and driving” to “maybe they're speeding to the hospital because one of their kids is in the ER” and how can you let that frame of mind ruin your anything?
When you learn and practice reframing your experiences, that sense of overwhelm that comes with a flat tire in the rain on the way to a meeting can become a sense of gratitude. Reframing this experience becomes, “Yes this sucks – BAD. But you know what? I’ve got a flat tire because I’m blessed with a car. And when I get this fixed, I get to get out of this rain cause I’m not homeless. And they’ll understand why I’m not at this meeting because I do good work and they trust I’d be there if I could. Let’s get this done and move on.”
The best way I know to avoid burnout is to consistently practice passion, peace, and purpose and know why you're doing what you're doing.
Most of the burnout happens due to our perception of not having enough control. Our perception of not being enough, not having enough rewards, of everything being against us magnify our inner turmoil. This is where you need to continually reframe your experience. Recognize the power you do have and stay focused on the things you can control. You didn’t come this far just to come this far.
Want to have a conversation about getting back in momentum? Let’s talk.
WAYNE SALMANS is an author, speaker and business coach. In the past decade, he has coached and trained over 6,000 entrepreneurs, awarded 30 under 30 by Realtor Magazine, and ranked one of the top coaches in the world. His passion is to help real estate business owners build, grow, and scale their business, faster and with fewer bruises.


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