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Stop talking about your burnout


“Uhhhhggg this job sucks” were the words that came tumbling out of my mouth as I buried my head in my hands.

 

I had just spent the last 10 minutes ranting about how awful things were at work.  

 

And how I wished “they’d” get me some real help on this project so that I wouldn’t have to spend every waking minute thinking about how I was going to accomplish this impossible task.  

 

I have to admit. 

In the moment it felt so good to talk through my frustrations.

 

In fact: 

 

I talked to my husband about it.

It talked to my friends about it. 

I talked to myself about it.

I talked to just about anyone who would listen about it.

But that’s just it. All I was doing was talking.

 

Honestly, talking made me feel better. 

 

It sounds counter-intuitive, but talking about our challenges gives us a boost in happy hormones. It is a release for our brain. The problem is that boost makes us feel like we have done something when in actuality, we haven’t done anything to change the situation we’re dealing with. 

 

So often we waste so much time talking about what we want to do or how things would be so different if

 

To start seeing real change we have to do this instead: 

 

Clarity: What do you want? 

Oftentimes we know what we don’t want but don’t talk about what we do want.

 

  • What do I want to be different in this situation?

 

Accountability:  What’s your part in this?

It is so easy to talk about what others are doing or not doing. You can’t control them. So let’s start with what’s in your control.

 

  • What would I need to do to move in the direction of what I want?

 

Alternatives: Options, Options, Options

We get stuck because we are wedded to just one idea, and if that does not work, we just stop. Having many options allows you to move in a different direction if you need to.

 

  • What else might you do?

  • What else? - Keep writing down ideas until you can’t come up with any more.

 

Planning: Think it through

You have to overcome the inertia of just talking about things by making concrete plans. Even if it is a small action step. Planning allows you to feel more in control of what is happening to you.

 

  • Pick one: Which one of these amazing ideas would you like to start working on?

  • Be your own advisor: What would be the first thing you would tell a friend to do if they came to you with that idea?

  • Build the plan: Outline who could help you with this and what additional steps you need to take?

 

Experiment:

  • If you were to build an experiment to try out the action you chose in the prior step, what would that experiment look like?

  • What might be a safe way to test it and get some feedback on what you did?

 

Action: Do the thing

  • Planning and experimenting is fine and good but you have to take action.

  • Go out and do it.


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