Not accepting our own burnout is a common problem that prevents recovery. Here’s why it happens:
1. We misunderstand acceptance with giving up.
Acceptance is often misperceived as waving a white flag, but in reality, it only means acknowledging the truth of our situation. It is not about surrendering or resigning yourself to a life of despair but facing reality head-on.
2. We’re reluctant to admit we can’t handle it all.
Many people still perceive burnout as a stigma and resist admitting that they may struggle to cope with work or life demands. This resistance can be influenced by various factors, such as upbringing, societal pressures, cultural standards, or even the high expectations you set for yourself.
However, numerous studies consistently show high rates of burnout, making it an occupational risk that should be acknowledged as a probable occurrence, especially in demanding professions.
For more, check my article for @Entrepreneur 7 Misconceptions That Lead to Burnout | Entrepreneur
3. We’re scared to be labeled as a failure forever.
I know numerous examples of individuals who have overcome burnout and returned to work to continue their impressive careers as academic professors, CFOs, or seek-after specialists.
Perhaps surprisingly for you, when they share stories of recovery with their peers, they are usually met with admiration as it proves resilience and ability to learn, adapt and improve.
Those professionals often return to work much stronger mentally, as combating burnout head-on left them with better self-awareness, social skills, and effective productivity strategies.
You may be surprised how it works out for you in the future.
Additionally, a person who fully recovers from burnout often isn’t concerned anymore with other people’s opinions.
4. We hope that it’ll go away by itself.
Burnout arises from the disconnect between your needs and current circumstances and actions, and it will persist until the dissonance is addressed.
Denying its existence remains a behavior of a child closing their eyes to avoid seeing a frightening wolf. The wolf is still there but even more dangerous now.
Refusing to accept your burnout will result in the following:
1. It’ll make the recovery impossible.
You can’t treat a problem that you are unaware of or choose to ignore. Acknowledging the issue and recognizing that making no changes will only lead to further harm is essential.
In this sense, burnout recovery shares similarities with the 12-Step Program.
2. It’ll keep you in harmful avoidance.
Imagine a situation when a loved one suspects having a severe medical issue like cancer or diabetes but refuses to undergo a check-up. You’d probably be concerned and outraged because of their stubbornness, recognizing the importance of timely reaction.
Yet, we often convince ourselves that mental health-related issues can be safely ignored.
3. It’ll take you deeper into the rabbit hole.
Burnout progressively impairs our thinking and reasoning, leading to cynicism, pessimism (often mistaken for being realistic), preoccupation, anxiety, and even depression.
That’s why you should take advantage of still feeling relatively well, and act now.
4. It’ll endanger the stability of your job, relationship, and health, with a possibility of long-term damage.
Burnout-related preoccupation and suffering can result in not-so-subtle changes in your behavior, such as being short-tempered, isolating yourself, or making mistakes. While you may not realize these changes, they are apparent to others.
For more information, you can read: 8 Common Behaviors of Burned-Out People That Can Cost You Your Job, and What to Do Instead | LinkedIn
1. Refusing to accept your burnout doesn’t make it disappear – it only prolongs your anguish.
2. Acceptance doesn’t mean defeat but the end of the struggle. It helps you go forward and end the suffering in a productive way.
3. It’s a game changer, leading to faster and more permanent recovery.