Burnout Series 3 of 3
Our biggest weapon against burn-out is prevention. Instead of suffering through a burn-out or the flu, avoid it entirely. When flu season begins, we line up to get a vaccine, increase our vitamin C intake, wash our hands more often, and avoid close contact with others who are sick. The same defense mechanisms can be applied to burning out.
Inoculate yourself with why
The easiest path to burnout is to forget why we started in the first place. A mismatch between what we are doing and why we are doing it leads to inner turmoil. It is impossible to stick to something that does not resonate on a personal, professional or spiritual level. It is difficult to save money for continuing education or get up early to study if we don’t remind ourselves of its importance. Align your actions with your reason for doing things.
Avoid others with illness
I’m not going share a drink with someone who has the flu, so why would I listen to someone else’s negativity? Someone who is sick cannot care for someone else who is sick. Someone who is burnt out will not be able to support us. It is very difficult for someone unhappy or dissatisfied to enjoy our success. Consciously or subconsciously, negative individuals will provide us with doubt instead of encouragement.
It is important to identify people who are supplying constructive criticism for our growth from those who don’t want us to be successful because they themselves are struggling. Don’t accept a drink from someone who hasn’t stopped coughing for 3 days and don’t take advice from those who aren’t living a life that you would want for yourself.
Self-check-ups are as invaluable when it comes to skin cancer as when it comes to your burnout. If we intervene for skin cancer early enough, it is an easy fix with few complications. The same is true for feelings of burnout. If we intervene at the warning signs we prevent a burnout’s malignancy. We apply simple solutions rather than requiring complex treatment.
Many risk factors for serious diseases can go unnoticed until it is too late. An annual physical is designed to identify those at risk and intervene accordingly. I can check my blood pressure and many vital signs through my own self-check-up, but I cannot do my own blood work or synthesize my health information in the same way my physician can.
Our career aspirations are equivalent to our health. We need to check in with someone more knowledgeable and more experienced. A mentor will be able to see patterns that we cannot. He or she will able to determine if we are as healthy as we think and whether or not we are on the right path. He or she will also be able to identify if we are doing everything we should be or if a vitamin or supplement is necessary for optimal performance.
Seek treatment and we may find a cure, but seek prevention and we will never need one.