Burned Out

Hanging by a thread

Determination can be a wonderful way to get things done. The work to push and change reality from where it is to what we want takes a lot of initiative and energy. And a laser focused mindset can move us towards goals we may otherwise not achieve.

Whether you are pursuing money or meaning, locking in and pushing hard often gets the job done. But, if we hate the work or it we are not working in our sweet spot, there’s a larger cost than just the energy we put out.

For someone that is burned out, you can see it in their lack of motivation and staying power. I have seen people, whether they are an owner or work for an owner, drag themselves to get their work done. The grind becomes reluctant obligation, and their enthusiasm wanes.

And it’s hard for most people to name it, to say that they are burned out. For some, that can feel like a weakness, failure or surrender.

I look at burnout as a disconnect. There’s a lack of motivation because you’re doing the wrong work, you see no purpose, or there’s just too much in a short amount of time.

If you feel like you don’t want to engage, or you find ways to hide, it’s not good. You don’t give your best, and you may be wasting your days.

It’s not pretty to hang by a thread and keep going. Something typically gives. Yes, there are seasons to hunker down and drive forward. But if that is the norm for your work, then what are you doing? Why not stop the tape and start something new that connects you back to your motivation.

If you don’t care enough, then a lot of people suffer – your customers, team members and even family.

There’s always a better way. And it starts with reestablishing motivation by reconnecting with who you are and what you want. Sure, the money may be good, but is it worth the wasted time and health that burnout will leech from you? The better thing is to get out of meaninglessness, and with your infinite choices, plug into what matters and what means something to you.

And keep your eyes open with the people who work for you – if you see someone else suffering burnout, don’t merely pile on the workload. It’s surely to end badly.

The business of life is a long road. Things are hard, but if you can make it feel like “play” over the long term, then you don’t make the tradeoffs of health and happiness by burning out early.

Do you feel burned out?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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