This article was originally published on Medium.com
One element of burnout that I haven’t touched on on my previous articles as much as I should is the concept of unmet expectations.
When you are in a burned out state, your body is fighting within itself just to keep all of your internal systems flowing. You’re tired, agitated, aching, stomach issues, headaches, stressed, lost.
Confusion is often in the mix as well, as your mind expected things to be different. Whether it’s how you thought your day was going to pan out, or how you thought your role with your current company would be like.
Our brains like to classify things we see. Blame the visual cortex. We often predetermine what we either want, or expect a situation or outcome to be. We also assign emotions to those wants or desired outcomes, and when they don’t happen that way, those perceived setbacks or losses will add up, and eventually create the opportunity for burnout.
"Everything you have experienced in your life has molded and shaped your brain to favor certain behaviors and habits.” Dr. Tara Swart, Neuroscientist
You planned on working on that quarterly report, but key people called in sick, so you’re scrambling to make sure there’s proper coverage. Your goal for your day takes a setback.
You were excited for that key meeting with the big client, only to find out that they have tabled that project until the fall. Plans of summer work down the drain.
You spend a ton of time on that new product or service, and do all the online marketing thingys (webinars, lead magnets, etc.) and NO ONE clicks on it. Definitely can be demoralizing, of you’re not in the right mindset.
The previous examples are not life threatening issues. They’re all minor setbacks, but when you start compiling the setbacks without proper perspective or positive growth going forward, your mind can (and will) start thinking of worst-case scenarios.
I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives. Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.
How to overcome these setbacks
- Routines to take better care of your self. I have a free checklist on successful mornings, that help guide you to have your best days, every day. Click here for that resource.
- Go for a walk. Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank, and AWESOME person) tweeted that no good ideas have ever come from her desk. Take a 15-30 min walk during your break to clear your head.
- Finish an easy to-do list item. Momentum is real, and getting something off your to-do list shows you and your brain that you are worthy and able to accomplish great things.
If you're struggling with this as an organization or maybe you need to talk to somebody about the boundaries challenges that you're facing at work, reach out to me. Schedule a call with me by clicking this link, or the Book A Call link below.