The 4 Benefits of Burnout

Feel Inspired, Take Inventory, Get Motivated and Become Courageous

Have you ever had a day that looked exactly like yesterday? Have you ever had a week? How about a few years? Sometimes it’s nice when you know today
is going to look exactly like yesterday. You know what is expected of you, you’ve done it before and you’re good at it. But when you stay like that for too long, a word that starts creeping into our vocabulary is burnout. Have you ever used that word to describe how you were feeling personally or professionally?

What is burnout? Burnout is a feeling you get when you’ve been working so hard for so long but nothing seems to be getting any better. It’s when there’s a lack of improvement in your life and without improvement there’s a lack of excitement.

No one wants to feel like that, but can there be benefits to the feeling of burnout? Yes! Burnout is your mind and your body’s way of telling you it’s time for growth. It’s time to get better and faster at your job, learn something new, gain a new experience, acquire a new skill, or set a goal and achieve it. It’s time to feel progress, advancement, momentum, and the excitement that comes with improvement. It’s time for today to be different and better than yesterday.

I am not recommending that you wait for the feeling of burnout to act on improving your life, your relationships, and your business. You can make things better without having to wait for such a desperate feeling. However, if you’re already there, don’t despair. Once you reach burnout you still have a choice to make. You can do nothing about it, stay in the rut, and give in to depression or even a mid-life crisis… or you can attack the problem and let it inspire you to do great things. This is one of the benefits of burnout. Without reaching this level of dissatisfaction you may have continued at a level of mediocre comfort and never challenged yourself to do what you are capable of doing.

The Four Benefits of Burnout
Inspiration – Burnout makes us wonder, ask, experiment, read, ponder, dream, think, brainstorm, and look at the big picture of our lives. If we’re going to make tomorrow better than today we’re going to need ideas. Burnout inspires us to start looking. A lot of personal bucket lists have been created in times of burnout.

The true feeling of burnout touches us in a profound way. It calls us to assess our lives and take personal inventory. We start listing our strengths and weaknesses, our assets and liabilities, our likes and dislikes, our allies and foes, and it puts us in touch with reality. The last thing we want to do if we are going to change things is to end up in the same situation we are in now. Getting in touch with reality and assessing what we are truly capable of is important if we want things to get better. There is no other feeling that calls us to take a look at the true reality of our lives the way burnout does.

Burnout not only inspires us with new ideas it provides us with the motivation and energy we will need to act on those ideas. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to make your life better and burnout is often the impetus behind all of that work. The feeling of burnout has motivated people to get MBAs and PHDs, start new companies, disrupt industries, pivot their careers, launch new products, write books, read books, run marathons, learn new languages, lose weight and pull all-nighters to get things done. Some of the greatest personal achievements ever accomplished started with the feeling of burnout.

Burnout challenges us to get out of our comfort zones, try new things, do something we have never done before, face our fears, be courageous, take risks, and become vulnerable. Stepping away from what you know, what is safe and what you have done in past is scary. The fear of failure prevents a lot of people from pursuing their dreams and the feeling of burnout has given a lot of people the courage to face the fear. Fortunes have been risked, bullies have been confronted, causes have been fought for, marriages have been saved, cures have been found and movements that changed the course of human history were started, because of the courage found in times of burnout when brave people have decided to act instead of surrender to it.

Copyright © Steve McClatchy.  All rights reserved


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