Tuesday, June 23, 2009

10 Beliefs You Must Change to Deal with Burnout Part 2

There are 10 beliefs we must change to deal with burnout. Here are the last five. To review:

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.

Here are the last five beliefs.

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.

Belief # 6 – We believe other people’s expectations are more important than our well-being. We don't want to disappoint people who are expecting us achieve certain things and behave in defined ways.  We have bought into performing for others, sometimes even those long gone. We manage our image so that they will be pleased with us.  Because we don't want to disappoint them we continue on in a course of action that is actually doing us harm.

Belief # 7 – We failed in the past and we don’t believe we can make change last in the future. We may previously have taken steps to reduce the stress we were feeling only to find that in a short period of time we were right back in the same old patterns again.  In other words, it didn't work the last time, so why should I try it again. Truth is, we don't know how to go about making it work and last. We need workable strategies.

Belief # 8 – We believe saying ‘no’ is bad behavior. We lack personal boundaries and the words to protect them.  Boundaries are like fences around our property.  They stop other people from using or abusing what is ours. If we have no fences, anyone can throw anything they want on our property, and chances are, they will. We need to rebuild personal boundaries that protect our time, emotional energy and involvement.

Belief # 9 - We believe we will be exposed. Revelations of strained relationships, lack of engagement and ineffective work will be probing and embarrassing, showing weakness. Inaction banks on the assumption that no one will discover the real me.  It believes that if they did discover the real me, they wouldn't like what they see. In fact, they will probably appreciate us that much more for having the initiative to turn our situation around.

Belief # 10 – We believe in the high that adrenaline gives us. We have become addicts. Facing the daily stress pumps adrenaline, and adrenaline is a drug. It gets us off and going and responding to the challenges of the day.  But too much of it can be harmful. Daily life needs rhythm, periods of activity followed by periods of renewal and rest where adrenaline levels can return to normal. Our minds and bodies need a healthy lifestyle to support sustainable effectiveness.

Maybe reading this will lead you to further insights about yourself. It will take an admission that these things are true before you're able to make progress. If we can change how we think, we can make different decisions and take better actions.

And that's what it's going to take to beat burnout.

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