Friday, July 13, 2018

How To Avoid Burnout and Stop Feeling Not Good Enough

Do you ever have a huge goal in mind? Something so huge that is seems unachievable…until it’s done. Then you just move on to the next thing, the next goal…without acknowledging how you succeeded in reaching the goal you just did or stopping to celebrate your accomplishment. 

I like to compare this to being on the money bars, swinging from success to success until you eventually fall off in an exhausted heap and have to climb your way back up again (also known as burnout). 

If you’re not going to stop and pat yourself on the back then who will? For me, without that positive reinforcement for a job well done I’m unlikely to feel fulfilled and I risk burnout. This is because without stopping to tell myself “hey, good job” (which I’m the first to admit, I rarely do stop and do this) then I always feel like I’m not doing enough or performing to a high enough standard.

The risk here is that the bar just keeps being put higher and higher so that every time you reach it, it moves from your grasp again. This constant state of struggle can fuel insecurities and keep you in a constant state of feeling “not enough”.

I’ll give you an example of this in my own life. When I graduated my bachelor from University, I hardly stopped for a moment to celebrate my success before I was already enrolling in my masters and aiming higher. Now it’s not a bad thing to want to be more and do more but it can be detrimental to burnout achieving so much only to throw yourself right back in there with no stopping to smell the roses.

So what do we do? In this post I’m going to be talking through some ideas of things we can do to celebrate our successes instead of keeping us in a state of being perpetually unsatisfied with our achievements. I’m not only writing this for those of you who struggle with the exact same thing but also for myself, as I am still learning to deal with this personality trait of mine.

1. Take time to reflect 
Often when we’re at Point A looking towards Point B we marvel at how amazing Point B sounds, how successful we will feel or how idealistic it appears. Then when we have made it to Point B and are standing right there in that successful, idealistic situation…we forget how much we wanted it in the first place. That’s why I think it’s important to stop and reflect constantly. We all know times when we have gone blonder or lost weight and we haven’t noticed because to us it’s been a gradual and daily change. But then you catch up with a family member or friend you haven’t seen in a few months and they make a big deal out of your lovely new hair colour or how great you look. It’s kind of like that but with our non-physical accomplishments also because we often don’t recognise them. It’s only when we stop and take the time to reflect that we realise how far we have come and all that we have achieved.

2. Treat yo self 
I know this term has been a bit overused but it does have a lot of truth to it. It is your responsibility to make sure you get to do the things you want to do in this life – no one else’s. So make time for things you love doing and make sure you fill your self love cups up by treating yourself to your favourite takeaway, a new workout class or a guilt-free marathon of KUWTK.

3. Be your own best friend 
It sounds cliché but seriously, take it easy on yourself. We’re the first person to say something negative about ourselves or put down what we are doing but we definitely would not tolerate such behaviour from a best friend, nor would we treat others like that. So turn the tables and replace negative self-talk and doubtful thinking with positive affirmations and compliments for yourself. Pat yourself on the back if you do something good, believe in yourself and let go of the voice in your head that tells you that you aren’t enough. This will all boost your confidence and in turn help you achieve even more success.

4. Surround yourself with a strong support system 
If you aren’t strong enough on your own just yet because of habitual negative thinking and feeing down on yourself / your accomplishments then lean on the ones around you. While it’s important to be self-sufficient, sometimes you do need a little helping hand in reminding you how awesome you really are in times of self-doubt that you might struggle to snap out of. You know that you would definitely do the same for them so accept a bit of support when you need it from those closest to you.

5. Write a list of your accomplishments 
To build your confidence in times of feeling not good enough and to properly celebrate your success, write a list of your accomplishments. Anything goals you have recently kicked or things you are proud of doing should go on this list for you to look at during the times when you feel like you’re a failure. Sometimes we can get tunnel vision and spiral into negative thought patterns so this list is a great tool to refer to that will help pull you out of such moods when you feel that way. Looking on the past and everything you have achieved snaps you back into reality and helps you look forward with a positive mindset ready to continue kicking goals.

So those are my tips (and things I want to make sure I do) when you feel like you are on the monkey bars swinging from success to success. Take it easy so that you don’t burnout because the world needs that fresh, happy and inspired version of yourself.

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