Overwhelm, Stress & Burnout
Why do so many people seem to burnout? I have recently had a number or clients who arrived at
our sessions exhausted, stressed, unfocussed and miserable because they have been working all
hours, too much to do etc etc. When I suggest they need time off , they look horrified - too much to
do.... What will people say...
Do you take a proper lunch break? How often do you work late? Do you look forward to going to
work in the morning? Do you keep getting ill? Are you tired most of the time?
The problem is when it gets to a certain point where we have been driving yourself too hard for a
long time, the physical body often takes the law into its own hands and you are more likely
become overwhelmed, signed off with stress , depressed or ill.
I know this because that is what I used to do. Work myself into the ground, stay late, go in early,
rarely take time off for colds. At best I found myself dragging through each day and crawling into
bed each night. At worst I got ill and couldn't work for a while.
It is obviously important to do as good a job as we can. But you don't have to push yourself beyond
your true physical limits to prove that you are perfect, good at it, indispensible, or whatever. Good
enough is exactly what is says. Good enough to feel happy with what you have done and to meet
the requirements of the job - well.
What drives so many of us to go beyond our limits, to forget to laugh and play and to only really
live to work? The answer is there are many reasons.
Often there can be limiting beliefs like "I am not good enough" or so called "impostor
syndrome" ( ie when they see who I really am they will know i am not really up to the job) or
"success only comes if you push yourself hard at all costs". We can form beliefs from our own bad
experiences or learn them from a parent or authority figure.
Sometimes we are driven to please those in authority and/or have a fear of being criticised , told off
or a fear of losing the job. Or again, some people constantly seek approval and will do anything to
get it ( which is often to do with lack of approval in childhood).
When I work with people with these sorts of issues with Cognitive Hypnotherapy, we can uncover
these beliefs and negative driving forces, change them , and find a better way of balancing work
with having your own life.
It seems to me that in well run companies, no employee should be expected to do more than they
realistically can manage. That means they can work hard AND look after themselves, be healthier,
happier and more efficient. Because when you get tired, stressed or overworked, you can lose
heart, get ill, make mistakes or underperform - which is exactly what you were trying to avoid by
working excessively hard in the first place. It is clearly not a good strategy.
Investing in yourself and balancing work, with rest and play, to quote the old Mars Bar advert,
pays off because it means that not only will you do your job better (less is more in other words),
but you will also work to live and enjoy living your life.