Monday, June 22, 2009

10 Beliefs You Must Change to Deal with Burnout Part 1

There are 10 beliefs we must change to deal with burnout.

In this area, knowing what to do and actually doing it are usually poles apart for most leaders and business executives. That’s because we are tied to certain beliefs that are actually contributing to our level of discontent and discouragement and holding us back from sustainable solutions.

We don't change because we believe something to be true.  It may be something about us, our family, our job or our situation.  Whatever it is, it has a hold on us and it's going to take some honest examination and serious intention to dislodge it.

Belief # 1 – We believe change will be too uncomfortable. We resist because we have become complacent about our current situation even though it hurts. We are familiar with the pain, but we fear the unfamiliarity of change more, so better to stay with something we already know than have to experience and embrace the unfamiliar. The pain hasn’t become severe enough to cause us (or force us) to step out into the unknown.

Belief # 2 – We believe our odds are in favor of a catastrophe. Upcoming catastrophe, worse than the current situation, could affect our position, finances influence or career.  Again, the focus is future.  Something ‘might’ happen. Most of our catastrophic thinking has no basis in reality. It is at best assumption and doesn’t fully account for positive actions we can take to alter the seemingly dire consequences.

Belief # 3 - We believe the current situation might go away. We’re kidding ourselves.  We sense the reality but we’ve convinced ourselves that somehow this all might magically just disappear.  The only problem is it doesn't. It hasn’t in the past and it won’t in the future. It’s a great avoidance trick. Wait just a little bit longer … maybe, just maybe this whole thing will be gone. In reality it’s time for action.

Belief # 4 - We believe there are no solutions. We're trapped.  The lot is cast, and we have very little control over it.  No matter what we do or don't do, there will be very little chance of any change taking place.  Of course this is a very fatalistic way to think and totally incorrect. When we begin to believe there are no solutions, we lose hope and start being drawn in to a vortex of despair and a lack of forward moving thinking and action.

Belief # 5 - We believe change means crossing a strongly held moral line. There are all sorts of invisible lines we don’t want to cross and expectations we feel we cannot betray. They may be spiritual beliefs, work expectations, community commitments or anything tied to strong interests, attitudes and values. Somehow it would be an admission of weakness (or outright failure) to admit that we are experiencing stress and to say that we need to find new ways of reaching our objectives.

To be continued ...

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