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5 Signs You Are Burned Out and Need a Pause

As I come off a catch-up week from Hurricane Ian (I shared more about that here), I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed trying to catch up.

I thought of what I help my clients with - to know if you’ve had one of the 5 signs that you need a pause and are burning out.

Below are 5 Signs To know if you are on the fast track to burnout.

If even one of these is happening, it’s a strong signal that you are on the track to burning out.

And…know that there is a way to feel better - each of us can learn the skills that can help you do what’s needed to turn your own burnout into personal fuel, instead of festering or feeling sub-par in a world that isn’t sustainable.

Here are the five major signs or clues that scream danger ahead. Proceed with caution.

If even one of these signs has shown up for you, congratulations - You just received one of life’s perfectly well-timed wake-up calls to assess your own environment and correct your course!

If that’s the case, reply or message me that you want to get out of burnout and I’ll respond with next steps.

Sign 1: You used to love your job; now you loathe it.

Do you no longer enjoy what you do despite having been excited and invested in your job previously? Does it feel like you are no longer fulfilled by what you do? Feel like quiet quitting?!

Physically and emotionally, you feel tired, weak and drained.

Sign 2: Your boss tells you it’s not working out.

There’s nothing like being on the receiving end of this message. In my case, my boss told me she felt like a broken record giving me specific examples, time after time, of where I was failing. We had words about my lackluster performance on several occasions.

It is easy to be in denial as I was, when you’re not ready to accept something. Each time my boss offered feedback, I shrugged it off as something only she noticed. Each occasion was a mini problem, and the reality was I wasn’t resolving anything. I rationalized that she couldn’t see all the value I was providing. I was convinced that she simply “was mistaken” and didn’t recognize all the terrific, incredible work and results to which I was contributing. It was a case of “me versus them” and “they” had it all wrong.

Sign 3: An intervention separates you from your work or technology.

Maybe you’re getting a little too much screen time. In other words, you might need a technology intervention.

Why are you attached to a given device or application? In my case, I realized that I wanted to fulfill my hunger to matter. Someone emailed or messaged me—hooray! Despite my failures on the job, these technology interactions were little signals to me that I did matter. I was placating my feelings through casual connections on social media sites and answering emails.

How many times have you wanted to say something or share how you feel, but decided it wasn’t worth it, or didn’t follow through? Every time you decide it’s not worth it, you are on some level saying you aren’t worth it.

Sign 4: A major life event, challenge or change happens.

Change is inevitable and pausing to assess your options is a prime opportunity to choose wisely. Pausing is one way to allow yourself the space to evaluate your choices and align with what matters to you. It could be driven by your yearnings or what is most important.

Now think of a situation that you want to change. How do you envision your life differently? Regardless of what life event or challenge happens, it is an ideal opportunity to recalibrate and pause. Ask yourself, What primary emotion am I feeling in this moment? Too often, the emotional reactions to change are underplayed or glossed over, especially if we think an emotion isn’t good to express.

Sign 5: A new opportunity reveals itself

Is there an opportunity you’re thinking about but hesitating to act on, such as taking a big trip, changing careers or starting a project? Life really is short. Why live in the future? A pause allows you to live in the present and make better choices. It is a time to check in with your emotions. Do you primarily feel fear, sadness, joy, anger or hurt when you think about this opportunity? What yearnings are behind your motivation to seize it? You can create a pause to check in on a deeper level and evaluate.

Evaluate Your Signs

Tally up your total. How many signs do you have? If you have even one, you are in the ideal position to consider doing something different - or what I like to call a Pause - an intentional shift in behavior so you feel more confident, calm, and back in control of what you want to focus on.

Based on your total, do you think you are currently present and in alignment with what makes you feel good again?

It's time to get back into alignment, and reclaim your humanity again.

I've got a few spots left this month in The Executive Leadership Accelerator - a 12 week program for high-velocity executives ready to reclaim their lives and master their EQ. Message me and I'll share more.

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