3 Worst Mistakes People Make When in Burnout

We can be our own worst enemies. Here are the three worst mistakes people make when in burnout.

big mistake

Mistake #1: They are afraid to ask for help

This can also sound like, “I can do it.” Or, “I’ve got it.” If you’re saying this to yourself, you may not even realize that you’re afraid to ask for help.

I was at a meeting with a very successful woman the other day. She not only runs her own business but has also led a large group of entrepreneurs for the past three years. She shared with us that she had to learn the hard way when, six months into her leadership role at the networking group where she did everything all by herself, she wanted to quit. Fast forward to this week, and at a meeting of the volunteers she said, “I am releasing this task. Who can help?”

Did she look like a failure?

Or did she look really freaking strong? Like a woman in control? Like someone who knows her limitations, her strengths? Like someone who knows the power of teamwork and cooperation and how much better she can be when she allows others to contribute?

And asking for or accepting help is one of the top 10 things people say you need to do when you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. (Would it help if you had some happy cooperation and enthusiastic help from your husband and kids? Stay tuned!)

Mistake #2: They wait too long to get professional help

Overwhelm and exhaustion – things people tend to experience when they’re stressed out – can be damaging for our mental health. In fact, stress is strongly tied to clinical depression.

Heck, even if your mental wellbeing is down, you are more likely to experience depression (source). And getting out of depression is one heck of a lot harder than getting out of burnout. I talk to people who say their confidence has taken a dive, and yes, that’s very common. When you don’t feel confident, your mental wellbeing takes a hit. And when your mental wellbeing is down, your performance drops.

So nip that in the bud!

Mistake #3: They don’t know they’re in burnout

This may be the most damaging of all. It was certainly the case for me. I was in denial for a long time. In fact, I told people I was great! Fantastic, even! On the inside, I had very little confidence, was angry and resentful and I took it out on my family. That is, when I saw them, which wasn’t very often. And when I was with them, I was often distracted by work and everything I needed to get done as soon as I could get back to work.

How’s your energy? How many more times do you feel like you can throw yourself against that brick wall? Pay attention to what your body and behaviour is telling you.

These are the top three mistakes that people make when in burnout. Make sure you are open to receiving and asking for help, reach out to professionals when you recognize you need more than your friends and family can give you, and pay attention to your body and your behaviour so you know the signs that you may be headed to burnout.

To find out where you are at, sign up for a burnout to balance assessment and strategy session. Even if we never talk again, you’ll find out what’s REALLY going on for you right now and you’ll determine what you need most to get where you want to go. Apply here.

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2 thoughts on “3 Worst Mistakes People Make When in Burnout

  1. I love this, Erin! Taking off the superhero (or heroine) cloak turns out to be a genius move when it comes to productivity. Counter-intuitive but so true. Great reminder. 🙂