Recognizing a Common Roadblock On Your Path to Success

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Welcome back!

Over the last few lessons we’ve talked about how getting happy can boost your motivation. Now let’s examine one of the most common motivation killers: Burn out.

Recognizing the Signs of Burn Out

I know you’re excited about your goal. And maybe any “work” you do towards achieving your goal really doesn’t feel like work at all. Maybe if feels like play time or relaxation.

But here’s the thing…

Even if it feels like a lot of fun, you can still get burned out. Typically this happens for a few different reasons, including but not necessarily limited:

  • You’re under a lot of stress. If the goal is important to you, you may be feeling a little stressed about achieving your goal. This is particularly true if the goal is important to your overall well being. For example, if your goal is to start a successful business and you’re currently unable to meet your monthly bills, you may feel under pressure to achieve your goal quickly. This kind of pressure and stress can lead to burn out.
  • You’ve been running on adrenaline for too long. Are you really excited about your goal? Do you sometimes stay up late – not even realizing how late it is – because it feels like you’re moving ahead on pure adrenaline? This is good to the extent that it keeps you motivated and excited about your goal. But you’ll burn out if you feel this way for extended periods of time (e.g. week after week after week).
  • You’ve been working with very few breaks. Sometimes when people work to achieve a goal they end up working nearly nonstop. This could be because of the excitement and adrenaline, or it could be because you want to work as much as possible to achieve your goal more quickly. Either way, the end result is the same: You’ll burn out.

So how do you know if you’re burned out? Look for clues like this:

  • You feel burned out. This is the obvious clue: You actually feel “burned out.” By the time you feel this way, you’re probably extremely burned out and it will take some time to recover.
  • You feel irritable and “on edge.” If you’re feeling a little crabbier than usual – perhaps you’re even snapping at your loved ones – you may be burned out.
  • You feel indecisive and overwhelmed. Another way to put it is that you feel stressed. Someone may ask you the simplest of questions (like “where would you like to go out to eat tonight?”), and you may feel overwhelmed and indecisive. If relatively trivial matters make you feel this way, you’re probably burned out.
  • You’re tired. Exhausted may even be a good word. Sometimes you’re even tired when you first wake up in the morning.
  • You’re not sleeping well. You may be absolutely exhausted when you go to bed, and yet you toss and turn. This is a sign of burn out.
  • You don’t feel like you can relax. Sometimes you try to relax, such as going out to dinner or just watching TV. If you feel anxious – perhaps you even feel like you should be working on something else – you may be burned out.

Now that you know the signs and red flags that indicate you may burned out, what do you do about it? That’s what you’ll find out next time.

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