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How Can You Beat Business Burnout?

Two women talk happily about beating business burnout over a white desk with big transparent windows in the background.

Nobody’s perfect, so give yourself credit for everything you’re doing right, and be kind to yourself when you struggle.”
Lori Deschene.

It’s almost the weekend and your trip to the mountain is ahead. Among other things, you will carry the means to start a campfire. No camping experience is complete without one. The night is coming, so you set the fire and get scorched… Something similar happens with business burnout.

Setting a campfire in the mountain is a good metaphor for burnout in business. Since hiking is similar to taking the leap to entrepreneurship, having a campfire helps you stay comfy and prepare some food.

Every entrepreneur needs such a fire to light their surroundings in the middle of the night. Yet, if you are not careful, you risk hurting yourself. Usually, that fire is the reason behind your business. Why did you start it?

Even though you love what you do, that might become the source of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy. Hence, people tend to avoid creating a business out of their hobbies. However, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Identifying the causes of business burnout and having some strategies to avoid it, or come back from it, can help you enjoy your entrepreneurship.

What causes burnout in business?

Burnout happens when there is a misalignment between what you do and your inner calling. When your duties conflict with your inner self (gifts, talents, skills, and strengths) they become a source of stress.

There are no issues so far. It will only become a problem when you don’t address the source of such stress. When stressful situations become the rule, burnout will appear on the scene. The natural result is exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.

  • Exhaustion. When the spark of joy that you used to feel fades, you can tell you are fatigued. You find yourself setting off fires without feeling you are approaching your goals. 
  • Cynicism. Feeling disconnected from what you do will bring pessimistic thoughts to your mind. You may ask questions such as:  “what’s the point of doing what I do?”. In that case, you just lost the enthusiasm you had before.
  • Inefficacy. “Am I good enough?” The constant challenges, unresolved issues, and many undone tasks can make you doubt your competence and the value you create. You feel no confidence anymore.

These feelings are interconnected, yet not everyone experiences them similarly. For some entrepreneurs, exhaustion is the main reason for their business burnout. For others, it might be cynicism or inefficacy. 

Whatever the case, you want to address those feelings as they appear. Self-awareness plays a significant role here.

How do I recover from business burnout?

We usually look for solutions to business burnout on the outside. Yet, all the answers lie within us. “How is that possible? I am burnout because this and that won’t work as I expected,” or something like that someone might say.

Those feelings indeed get triggered because an external situation is challenging you. However, you can choose how you feel about it and plan accordingly to address the source of your stress.

Let’s go back to the causes of business burnout. Exhaustion happens when you don’t delegate tasks. Cynicism will knock on your door when losing connection with your business purpose, the why behind it. Inefficacy feelings appear when you can’t recognize your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths.

In short, knowing who you are and connecting with your inner self will give you the tools you need to keep the campfire lit without burning yourself out. Your business why is the fuel that keeps the fire fighting back the darkness of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur.

If you have negative thoughts about what you do, with no enthusiasm to complete daily tasks, and feel you are not enough, you want to take action immediately. This is what you can do to prevent or recover from business burnout:

  1. Ask yourself how you feel about your business. Be honest.
  2. Inquire for the source of those feelings.
  3. Make a list of short and attainable actions to address the cause of those feelings.

An example of how you can overcome business burnout

Imagine that you are feeling overwhelmed because there are many responsibilities you have to watch over. You can either use a time management diagram to organize your tasks per priority or make a habit out of the business and self-love transformative practices.

The Eisenhower time management matrix can be helpful. Using that matrix, you can organize tasks to choose which ones you want to do, schedule, delegate, or delete. Delegating tasks, in particular, requires you to trust that your allies or collaborators will bring you positive results.

Remember that whatever the cause of your business burnout, it requires you to dive into yourself. You want to uncover what emotions you are experiencing and from where they are coming.

Takeaways

Business burnout happens when there is a lack of self-awareness. Without it, it is hard to identify chronic stress and its cause. You can tell you are feeling burnout when: 

  1. You don’t feel like doing what once brought you joy.
  2. You are having negative thoughts about the results of what you do.
  3. You feel like what you do is pointless, that you are not good enough.

Feeling like this is more common than you think. Take a deep breath and relax because you are not alone. If you find addressing the causes of business burnout challenging, you can schedule a complimentary call to explore some solutions. We can find out what’s preventing you from enjoying what you do. In addition, we can work together on a roadmap with specific actions you can follow to recover the enthusiasm you always had. Arrange a call today, and keep the fire of your business on!