Over the next three weeks, we will be talking about how we predict, prevent, and overcome burnout. This is a hot topic because, by definition, burnout is, "Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration” and everyone is experiencing much higher levels of stress and frustration in 2020.
We know that there are three main areas that we can focus on to get to the root of burnout and either prevent it or overcome it. Of course, the degree of course correction will depend on our unique level of stress and experience dealing with it.
The 3 areas we will look at are our attitude, approach, and actions. These build upon one another and it all starts with our attitude. Don’t worry, I am not going to try to convince everyone to be overly optimistic and pretend like everything is wonderful all the time.
The main point I want to make about attitude is, we need to be realistically optimistic or realistically pessimistic.
· Realistically optimistic – you see the bright side often, have hope for the future and know that you need to be aware and address potential challenges.
o Unrealistic optimism – We all know someone like this, they say things like, “Everything is great, and nothing will stand in our way!”
· Realistically pessimistic – you tend to be more cautious, perceive more challenges, and you can come up with solutions to overcome these challenges.
o Unrealistic pessimism – Sounds something like this. “Nothing will ever go my way; it is pointless to even try!”
Both unrealistic examples can cause havoc in a business. Which of the 4 do you relate best to? Are you wondering what the heck this has to do with burnout yet? I am going to tell you now.
Research shows that having a more optimistic outlook lowers stress levels while improving health, relationships, and self-confidence. Anyone ever experienced imposture syndrome? This is one of the root causes of burnout and higher self-confidence is a great starting point when reframing the beliefs that come along with imposture syndrome (more to come on that in future posts).
The good news is that it IS possible to change your attitude. It might take years, but we can all do it.
Some simple actions we can take to begin our attitude transformation are:
· Zig Ziglar said, “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” Think about who you want to be and take the first step in feeding your mind with material that will get you there. He also recommends starting and ending your day by listening to something positive. This can be a motivational podcast, quotes, or a book that inspires you.
· When you think everything is going wrong, stop, and write down 20 things that are going right. Some people also notice a spike in attitude when they write in a gratitude journal. The 5 Minute Journal is a great tool that gives you prompts for AM and PM journaling which includes a bit of gratitude.
· Surround yourself with people who you enjoy. Have you ever noticed how quickly your attitude can shift when you hang around people who constantly complain and offer no solutions? One word, “Ugh.” Yes, that is the technical term for, “Get me out of here.”
· If you are an unrealistic optimist, surround yourself with people who can bring you back to reality and be open to their opinions. This is a huge part of being self-aware.
These are a few ideas and there are many other ways to make positive changes. The point is, if you feel like making a change would have a positive impact on your business then you can and you can do it much quicker with a coach (like me).