LIFE COACHING SESSIONS
Spirit Led: Burnout
9 SIGNS YOU’RE BURNING OUT IN LEADERSHIP
By Carey Nieuwhof
- Your motivation has faded. The passion that fueled you is gone, and your motivation has either vapourized or become self-centered.
- Your main emotion is ‘numbness’ – you no longer feel the highs or the lows. This was actually one of the earliest signs for me that the edge was near. I wrote more about emotional numbness here.
- People drain you. Of course there are draining people on the best of days. But not everybody, every time. Burnout often means few to no people energize you anymore.
- Little things make you disproportionately angry. When you start losing your cool over small things, it’s a sign something deeper is very wrong.
- You’re becoming cynical. Many leaders fight this one, but cynicism rarely finds a home in a healthy heart.
- Your productivity is dropping. You might be working long hours, but you’re producing little of value. Or what used to take you 5 minutes just took you 45. That’s a warning bell.
- You’re self-medicating. Your coping mechanism has gone underground or dark. Whether that’s overeating, overworking, drinking, impulsive spending or even drugs, you’ve chosen a path of self-medication over self-care. Ironically, my self-medication was actually more work, which just spirals things downward.
- You don’t laugh anymore. Nothing seems fun or funny, and, at its worst, you begin to resent people who enjoy life.
- Sleep and time off no longer refuel you. Sometimes you’re not burnt out; you’re just tired. A good night’s sleep or a week or two off will help most healthy people bounce back with fresh energy. But you could have a month off when you’re burnt out and not feel any difference. I took three weeks off during my summer of burn out, and I felt worse at the end than when I started. Not being refueled when you take time off is a major warning sign you’re burning out. Identifying with just a few of these signs might just be a sign that you’re tired.
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