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Successful People Suffer from Burnout Too. But They Know How to Deal with It

Successful People Suffer from Burnout Too. But They Know How to Deal with It

Ever felt that it’s all getting too much? It’s not a pleasant feeling and often makes us believe that we’re failing in some way.

But I’m here to tell you that you’re not failing. In fact, many people we deem successful in work and life in general, suffer from burnout too they just have a way of dealing with the situation that quickly gets them back on track.

What it boils down to is adopting a mindset that cultivates looking after yourself, acknowledging that it’s getting too much but that’s okay, and taking positive steps to improve the situation.

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Why Can It Seem So Hard to Deal With a Burnout?

When we’re in the midst of a burnout we often feel exhausted both mentally and physically. This puts us in a space of feeling low about ourselves, and as I mentioned earlier, a sense of failure in either one area or many areas of our lives.

But a burnout should be seen as our body and mind’s way of indicating to us that we need to stop. It’s hard, but keeping a positive perspective while going through what feels like a massive fall into a deep pit, will allow you to get out much quicker.

Experiencing Burnout? Here’s What You Need to Do

Everyone goes through this at some point in their life and usually involves experiencing chronic stress, exhaustion, lack of motivation, frustration, health problems and decreased satisfaction. However, going through this can help you re-evaluate your choices, see more clearly how you intend to live your life moving forward and teach you how to avoid any similar situations in the future.

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This is primarily how successful people choose to look at difficult times in their lives and here are the best things you can do when burnout occurs.

Be Serious About Relaxing and Taking it Easy

We hear it everywhere these days with mindfulness being the vogue word at the moment, but carving out time to relax is important for our mental and physical health. Often we overlook this by thinking we don’t have time. Meditation is for people who have time to meditate, but not me. Well, it’s time to stop the excuses. Everyone has time – and not just to meditate but to take that walk or run that bath – anything that puts us in that state of relaxation.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is paramount for our optimum functioning throughout the day. Stress is a big factor in our inability to get enough sleep but not getting enough is what can cause more stress. This can be a vicious circle but admitting, acknowledging and prioritising sleep is key to overcoming burnout and helping you deal with it much better.

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Learn to Say No

Successful people learn to say no. When they feel the burnout looming they start to eliminate potential stressful situations before they happen. Many of us are afraid to say no especially at work but you’ll be way more useful to people when you’re coping than when you’re falling into the pit. It’s about putting yourself first in the short term in order to create a better you in the long-term.

Unplug Yourself

Disconnecting is a great way of eliminating the degree of burnout you experience. Make sure you spend time unplugging from your phone, emails or any gadgets that are bombarding you and not allowing you to switch off. It’s all too easy to carry on checking messages even after we’ve left work with phones always at our fingertips. But be more mindful of unplugging yourself as protection from further stress. Aim for peace of mind.

Re-evaluate Your Priorities

Usually when we’ve got to a point of burnout, it’s because we’ve neglected our priorities. Think or remind yourself about what’s important to you. Have you been neglecting your home life? Your relationships? Yourself? Successful people know that their happiness is just as important and shouldn’t be sacrificed. Getting that re-balance back in our lives is getting you more on the fast-track to a more content and happy outlook.

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Be Attuned To How You Feel

In order to prevent burnout from happening again, it’s important to learn to recognise the feelings you’re getting in the lead up. Successful people are aware of the signs and try to steer themselves away before it gets too far. If you’re feeling stressed, negative, tired and demotivated then don’t ignore these feelings. Instead identify them and recognise that they need to be dealt with.

Is it Other People or is it You?

Successful people take responsibility for their circumstances. We often blame others when we reach a stage of burnout but we need to take responsibility for how we react to situations or realise we’re putting this pressure on ourselves rather than other people doing it. This isn’t to spend time blaming yourself and beating yourself up, but rather see it as empowering and knowing you have more control than you imagine.

Make Time for Exercise

Exercise is probably one of the best things you can do in the midst of a complete burnout. Despite being mentally and physically exhausted, exercise can combat this and release those endorphins that lower stress. Whether it’s going for a walk, going swimming or pounding the pavements, getting your body moving will help give you that much-needed clarity and headspace.

Re-evaluate Your Attitude

Mindset and attitude is key to how successful people deal with burnout. We can easily get caught up in the spiral of negative thoughts that just make us feel worse. While going through a burnout isn’t pleasant, making sure your mindset and perspective is one of ‘what can I learn from this?’ and ‘I will get over this and make the necessary changes’ is important to recovering more quickly and moving forward in a positive way.

Featured photo credit: Sam Churchill via flickr.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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