High workloads, long hours, and stressful environments may be the obvious causes of burn-out, but what if there are other powerful factors at play? Beyond the more publicly recognized triggers for burn-out, there are deeper contributors coinciding with negative work-culture, poor management and a sense disconnect between organizational strategies and job roles.1
What these contributors have in common is the sense of lack of being seen, acknowledged, or validated for the contribution you are and give that occurs for individuals in these situations.
13 years ago, I went through my own battle with burn-out, dealing with the fatigue and depression that it brings. I became aware that throughout this time, I’d been spending the majority of my job concerned with my work for others, trying to please them, hoping I’d be acknowledged for what I was giving and doing, and fulfilling what was expected of me. I had no sense of myself left.
One of the things that makes you great at your job is your awareness and ability to anticipate the needs of others: your team, manager, clients, company or organization — and you are likely very good at delivering on them, too. What we tend to be less willing to be aware of is our own needs.
Are you aware of how much time and energy you use to fulfill other people’s needs, requirements, and desires rather than allowing for and including your own?
Most of us are conditioned to be people-pleasers, whether by our parents, schooling system or elsewhere. We are taught it is our job to do the right thing, give the right answers to make others happy, and as adults, we apply these behavioral patterns in our work environment, putting great significance on seeking acknowledgment, approval, and validation from our bosses, managers, clients, and colleagues.
So, when you experience fatigue, stress or burn-out, how much are you actually aware of your unhealthy environment — external, conditioned, and self-created? Are you being seen, valued and appreciated by others, and more importantly, you? If not, here are some key steps you can take to create a change:
Start asking questions
If you want to change something, a good place to start is to ask questions. When you ask a question, you are opening the door for new possibilities to show up. Here are some questions you can ask:
The best antidote to a lack of acknowledgment from others is to acknowledge yourself first and foremost. Create a Daily Acknowledgment Journal and write down 3 things you acknowledge yourself for what you have been and done each day. If you start acknowledging you, others will, too.
Finding out what is truly nurturing for you
How much time are you spending doing something that is nurturing for you? Write down 10 things that make you happy, that give you a sense of space and peace, like taking a bath, doing exercises, taking a walk in nature, cooking something yummy, or having a massage.
Put self-nurture time in your daily calendar
Spend one hour daily doing something that is nurturing for you and your body.
If you are experiencing or have experienced burn-out, what if that is your own awareness demanding prioritization of you to make your career, live and living joyful rather than stressful? Take steps to put you back into the picture of your life, and don’t wait for others to see your value before you start acknowledging and nurturing you.
Sources: https://workforceinstitute.org/employee-burnout-yet/; https://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2017/02/01/the-biggest-workplace-challenge-employee-burnout/#21c8d9513549