Telling Ourselves to Work Harder, Our Values and Burn-out
Posted on June 24, 2022 by Margreet Adriani, One of Thousands of Career Coaches on Noomii.
My strategy for overwhelm was "decide what to change and work harder"; and it stopped working. Gain insight and start feeling better; hire a coach
If you are searching the internet on burn-out and have been unsatisfied or simply overwhelmed, you know it is about more than selfcare. You tried that; you vented with friends and co-workers, you have been walking your dog, you maybe practice meditation, you journal, and it still feels like it is not enough… By now, you know you have to dig deeper. You know you have to look deeper for a more permanent solution.
The World Health Organization has the following definition on burn-out: “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- Reduced professional efficacy.
Whether you have been told to work harder to succeed, or always have told yourself to try a little harder, lately you have been telling yourself; “Something has to change!”, and you are correct.
When I came to that point, I realized that not only I had to change, because that is usually where I looked first, the bigger insight was that I needed to change my environment as well. It was in the midst of the pandemic of 2020-2022. I had added all these extra tasks to my already full plate, I had traveled to my home country for a family emergency and had been deprived of my social contacts due to nationwide quarantining. Enough was enough. Luckily, I was working with several peer-coaches.
A professional coach can help you gain insight how your job might drain your energy, and gain clarity on what consistently boosts your energy, whether this is inside or outside working hours.
In my case, some work-tasks always boosted my energy, and some drained me. The tasks that drained me were tasks that I had taken on, on top of my job-description. I realized I took pride in saying “yes” before thinking if an extra task would fit. Your situation might be different, I am just using mine as an example to clarify.
With newly gained insight in your situation, and continued working with a coach, you have an opportunity to climb out of the burn-out and come back stronger, building your resilience. You brainstorm, do exercises, practice and discuss new behavior and start feeling the difference.
Do you need to talk to your manager, a co-worker or HR, do you need a break, inspiration outside of work, more sleep and a consistent workout schedule, set boundaries and ask for help? A mixture of the above might be your answer, but you have to follow up. A good coach will walk with you on your journey, until you developed new tools for your toolbox, and your resilience is increasing.
A coach specialized in values might bring the most sustainable change in case of burn-out.
When I work with you on values, we sort out what your core values and acquired values are. Core values are your own, they sustain our energy and make you thrive, acquired values you have acquired sometime during our life. Maybe it was this teacher that always expected the best from you, an experience while you grew up that always stayed with you, a parent who told you over and over what helped them most in life. All valuable, but they might drain us somehow as well. With acquired values there is a “should” involved. “I should work harder, I should have this high-paying job, I should look different to be accepted”, and so on. This is all based on research, done by Senka Holzer PhD, a heart researcher. She found out through research that when we live closer aligned with our core-values and let go of some of our acquired values we increase our wellbeing, and as I found out; help create a path away from burnout.
After sorting and gaining insight regarding your core-values and acquired values, I have exercises that help you strengthen those areas where you are working within your core-values and let go of some of the acquired values, increasing your feelings of wellbeing, recovering from burn-out.
Please inquire if you become curious. I offer complimentary discovery calls where you can ask questions and see how we match. My program includes plenty of science-based material, a workbook, exercises and proven theories. I am a certified values coach, with values2wellbeing.
Try something new and courageous this time, work with a coach. I am wishing you the best on your journey.