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Burnout at Work? Part 2 of 4.

December 23, 2019 | Leadership, Self Help

If you are starting to follow us, we are presenting a series of posts that discuss workplace burnout. As discussed, burnout has affected almost half of the current workforce at some time in their career. Nearly one-quarter of the workforce is currently experiencing burnout. I have shared my experiences with some groups recently and decided to put some of these ideas to print.

Quick Recap

As currently stated, my successful way of working through periods of burnout is to work on my workplace well being. My experience has broke workplace wellbeing into four pillars:

  • Setting Boundaries (With Others AND Yourself)
  • Finding Perspective
  • Connecting with Mission
  • Practicing Self Care

This post will address finding perspective.

Finding Perspective

I used to think that the best way I could tackle my workplace burnout issues is to go into business for myself. If only I were passionate about my work, then I wouldn’t feel this way. If only I didn’t have to deal with my boss anymore, then these feelings would be gone. I would be my boss! Others I have encountered think this is also the right approach. My experience says differently, though.

Stressors Follow Us

I once thought by going into business for myself, I would finally be free of the biggest annoyance standing between me and workplace wellbeing. My boss. Well, I did have the opportunity to walk away from that job. What I found is that another stressor took its place. Going into business myself brought other types of difficulties. The largest was a lack of revenue. I would have to say this new difficulty challenged my workplace well being just as much as the annoying boss.

This Isn’t Story Time

Some of the points of the pillars complement one another. Telling stories or playing continuous tapes in our head is one of these examples, which was also talked about in setting boundaries with oneself.

Keeping Our Past Out

I have found keeping past stories out of the one currently being written also helps with my workplace well being. Here is one example of bringing in our own experiences and re-shaping what we have heard. The boss says, “Let’s review your recent report together first thing tomorrow morning.” Because of the listener’s experiences with their parents, teachers, or other people of authority, they may hear, “You did not do very well on that report, and I need to tell you what you did wrong.”

If you’re like me, this statement may have ruined my whole evening and possibly interrupted my sleep. Do you think the boss was experiencing the same thing? I’m sure not. What’s even more discouraging was the next morning’s meeting probably went well. The boss probably gave credit where it was due, as well as constructive feedback.

Keeping Others Stories Out

Keeping other stories out also includes stories I think or assume other people are telling about me. What other people think about me is none of my business! This statement is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given.

  • I don’t know what others are thinking about me unless they share those thoughts with me.
  • Other people’s thoughts belong to them, not me. I’m not entitled to know them, so I also choose not to speculate about them.

Even if I know how they feel about me because of their words or behavior towards me, it is my choice of whether or not I want to accept their story about me or write my own.

Is It Really The Job?

In my experiences, I sometimes chose to ignore my real problems and convince myself that my discontentment came from other areas. One example is choosing to travel for work. I told myself that it was necessary. What I really was doing was trying to escape my problems. It didn’t work though because wherever I went, there I was along with the same problems.

I know of another co-worker that asked for his hours to be reduced because he had too much stress. Upon further examination, the stress was caused by financial worries, a toxic relationship, and being overextended in volunteer activities. The stress wasn’t coming from the job.

It Takes Awareness

Addressing perspective takes awareness. In this area, I have found a professional coach to be most helpful. I also found having 2 or 3 peers where I can share anything without fear of being judged has also helped me.

Soundoff

When are some times your change in perspective has helped identify the areas where you needed to address workplace well being?


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