Burn everything with a blue flame!Or how not to turn into ash
Ah, how sometimes you want to, how should one say it – “Burn everything with a blue flame!” Quit everything and leave. Go to what where your eyes are drawn to: the sunset, the dawn – everyone deciding for themselves. Frequently, such desires are encountered by people in their work.
It is always the case that people have to do things they do not like; things that do not inspire, or do not give a sense of satisfaction. Instead, it’s as if they suck and drain your life. Do you know the feeling of emotional fatigue and the sense that your work is not appreciated? When you like a hamster in a wheel, running in circles all day, and in the end you only get a bigger workload? Then one evening, on your way from this monotonous work, the sacred words of freedom suddenly come to mind – burn everything…
You know, when the brain is still able to give birth to such thoughts, it is still a favourable indicator. I would even say that a rescue from this state could still be found. I propose to discuss professional burnout and why such feelings happen. Moreover, the time for this discussion is most suitable – the old year is ending, and in the New Year we are surely waiting for only the best! It’s a great reason to reboot.
So what is professional burnout? This is the mental and physical exhaustion that a person feels when their work requires more involvement and resources than they can give. Numerous experts on the issue consider it an epidemic of the modern world of work. “It’s clear that today the risk of professional burnout is much higher than 10 years ago,” said Ron Friedman, one of the leading experts in the study of human motivation. Among the first to be hit are representatives of caring professions – doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists, etc. That is, those people who have a high level of emotional involvement in their work and a great need for adequate feedback.
The difference between the states of “I’m tired” and “I’m burned out” is about the same as between “I’m sad” and “I’m depressed.” Burnout is identified by certain characteristics and a set of symptoms. For example, perfectionism and workaholism are real guides to this world. The feeling of eternal dissatisfaction with oneself and the consciousness that one can be better, bigger, higher, stronger – which underlies perfectionism – gives rise to thoughts that form the so-called vicious circle:
I don’t do anything/I don’t do it well enough, so I start to increase the pace of work or improve the quality. This, by definition, creates a tension that greatly interferes with the quality of work. I don’t realize this tension, but I see that against its background the result only got worse. I automatically return to my first thought: I do not have time/I do not do my job well enough.
To break this vicious circle, it is necessary to develop the ability and skill to allow yourself to be imperfect. In general, any vicious circle of thoughts can be interrupted only by a radical change of position. In a mental state of merging with such thoughts, finding a way out is extremely difficult.
And of course, I can’t ignore my favourite topic of workaholism. Workaholism destroys – health, relationships, and the individual themself. After all, this is nothing but a form of dependent behaviour, which has practically nothing to do with a sincere interest in the work being done.
Another sign of burnout is when it has become difficult for you to concentrate. Information “flies out” from your head all the time; things fall from your hands, and there are so many things going on that you don’t know what to grab first. And at the same time, you constantly forget where you went and why. This is also quite natural: the cause of the problem is psychophysical exhaustion. It inexorably carries with it a whole series of cognitive impairments and “program crashes”. Against the backdrop of exhaustion, our brain perceives everything that happens as one big sluggish stress. This toxic process can result in depression, alcohol abuse, compulsive overeating with obesity problems, and more.
Another symptom is sleep disturbance. Despite the fact that you are physically and emotionally exhausted, you have a big problem falling asleep. As a rule, insomnia is accompanied by thoughts about the quantity and quality of work, about work processes, and all this is flavoured with an alarming background of worry.
Unbeknownst to the person, they begin to look for reasons not to go to work. The amount of time they spend “on the phone” significantly increases. In addition, they begin to get physically ill often with conditions such as SARS, ARI, and more. This can be identified as means by which the body protects and adapts itself in conditions of tension and stress.
Note that among the variety of motivational tools, there are only two truly effective ones – a large salary and a high position. All the rest are their variations. However, it is pointless to motivate a person who is in a state of professional burnout: they simply do not have enough strength and resources for further work.
The logical question is: what to do with all this? Indeed, until recently, an employee was often a leading specialist and is of value to a company, enterprise or business.
Go to a psychologist! It is advisable to go to a competent specialist for short-term therapy: someone who has cognitive-behavioural, Erickson techniques and NLP techniques in their skillsets.
In the case of professional burnout, it is first of all necessary to help the person disconnect from a stressful situation and give them the opportunity to stay at home without work for at least a couple of days. Subsequently, when working with a psychologist, it will be necessary to identify the focal point of the problem that has led to the negative consequences.
I want to say that at present, and no matter how strange this sounds at first glance, experts in the psychotherapeutic community consider the problem of professional burnout as being related to a both a lack of competencies and a level of professionalism. Well, of course, there are often expectations that do not coincide with reality. For example: “When I went to work as a stewardess, I thought that it was an incredibly romantic profession that could arouse any man’s interest in me. In fact, I only see the world through the plane’s window, and I have absolutely no time for a personal life because I’m flying all the time.” It’s hard to disagree with this girl. And how can you not start to burn out at work?
At the same time, we are talking about the need to develop in our profession. Any professional development is associated with the development of the personality itself. Accordingly, if at a certain stage you encounter some kind of restriction as a person, you cannot further develop professionally.
There are a number of recommendations to alleviate the condition:
- Observe your working hours clearly. Do not linger at work.
- Set yourself at least two days off per week.
- Take more rest breaks during the working day.
- Separate work and personal life. Do not bring work and work worries home.
However, all these recommendations will not fully return joy and satisfaction of work to you. Why? Because in their action they are limited to being fixed on control. And control is what? It’s tension, right? So the next vicious circle comes into effect, but on a different scale.
In conclusion, I really want to draw your attention to one, in my opinion, very important thing: the borders of which, unfortunately, are currently very blurred.
A successful person is one who approaches the intended goal, reaches it, and experiences a sense of joy, pleasure and satisfaction from the achievement.
The emotional-sensual component of success is infinitely important. It must never be forgotten, otherwise aspirations and achievements turn into a kind of mechanics in which there is no soul or life.
Create and do, create and study, grow and develop – most importantly, be. And may everything that you do be a joy to you!
Happy New Year!
Take care of yourself and your time.
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