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Blooming or Burnout?

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When you are in full bloom, your radiance shines, just like flowers, you become vibrant, colourful and exhibit your best qualities proudly. You feel hopeful, connected, at ease and in flow with life. You may feel in love with yourself, feel inspired and generally happy. You are like sunshine. Being in bloom is being at your best, positively immulates from you, your sunshine is infectious to others. Being in bloom is attractive to others, they want to be with you and bottle up whatever it is you have.

Is it possible to stay in bloom all year round? You have a better chance if you know what environment you are best suited to and for. When you understand your best conditions you thrive in, magic happens.

You can easily identify key things that contribute to our bloom state when you really pay attention. And when you aren’t in bloom? That’s when we are at danger of not seeing signs that we are fading to burnout. With our hybrid world of working from home, you may find that your work home life is blurred. Juggling so many aspects of family and career, can lead to a slow decline to burnout.

Two important definitions of burnout are:

  • physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by emotionally demanding situations.

  • fatigue or frustration from way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward

Between them, these definitions embrace the essence of burnout, with the first stressing the part that exhaustion plays in it, and the second focusing on the sense of disillusionment that is at its core.

Anyone can become exhausted. What is so poignant about burnout is that it mainly strikes people who are highly committed to their work: you can only "burn out" if you have been "alight" in the first place.

While exhaustion can be overcome with rest, a core part of burnout is a deep sense of disillusionment, and it is not experienced by people who can take a more cynical view of their work.

13 Warning Signs That You're Heading For Burnout

Specific symptoms of burnout include:

  1. Having a negative and critical attitude at work.

  2. Dreading going into work, and wanting to leave once you're there.

  3. Having low energy, and little interest at work.

  4. Having trouble sleeping.

  5. Being absent from work a lot.

  6. Having feelings of emptiness.

  7. Experiencing physical complaints such as headaches, illness, or backache.

  8. Being irritated easily by team members or clients.

  9. Having thoughts that your work doesn't have meaning or make a difference.

  10. Pulling away emotionally from your colleagues or clients.

  11. Feeling that your work and contribution goes unrecognized.

  12. Blaming others for your mistakes.

  13. You're thinking of quitting work, or changing roles.

Stress and Burnout

So, what's the difference between stress and burnout? Although the two share some characteristics, there are distinct differences.

Stress is often relatively short-term, and it is often caused by a feeling that work is out of control. You might experience stress several days in a row, especially when you're working on a large project or under a tight deadline.

However, once the situation changes, stress often lessens or disappears entirely. (Stress can affect you over the longer-term, however, if you're consistently experiencing these things).

Burnout often takes place over a longer period. You might experience it if you believe your work is meaningless; when there's a disconnect between what you're currently doing and what you truly want to be doing; or when things change for the worse – for example, when you lose a supportive boss, or when your workload increases beyond a sustainable point.

You go through "the motions" instead of being truly engaged. Over time, this leads to cynicism, exhaustion, and, sometimes, poor performance.

Causes of Burnout

People experience burnout for a variety of reasons.

Lack of autonomy is a common cause, so you might experience burnout if you don't have much control over your work, or if you feel that you never have enough time to finish tasks and projects. Another common cause is when your values don't align with the actions, behaviors, or values of your organisation, or of your role. Other causes include:

  • Having unclear goals or job expectations.

  • Working in a dysfunctional team or organization.

  • Experiencing an excessive workload.

  • Having little or no support from your boss or organization.

  • Lacking recognition for your work.

  • Having monotonous or low-stimulation work.

If you suspect you might be experiencing burnout, take our Burnout Self-Test .

Consequences of Burnout

Clearly, the consequences of burnout can be severe. Your productivity can drop dramatically, and this not only impacts your career, but it negatively impacts your team and organization as well. Your creativity will also be affected, so you're less likely to spot opportunities (and you don't have the interest or desire to act on them), and you may find excuses to miss work or take days off sick. Career burnout can also spill over into your personal life, negatively impacting your well-being and your relationships with friends and family.


Looking for clarity and purpose in YOUR life?

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Looking for clarity and purpose in YOUR life?

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