I can’t tell you how many men I talk to on a weekly basis who tell me that they are on the verge of burn out. Not because they lack drive or motivation but because they have too much of it. They’re operating on sheer will. Although men are built to be tough and persevering, this “manliness” approach can lead to more harm than good.
Burn out is real and I’ve seen men have severe anxiety, depression and even strokes as a result. I’ve also had close friends and family members die. Not as a direct result of burnout but the health conditions that resulted from being under constant stress like heart disease and high blood pressure.
You may feel invincible but all it takes is one instance for your life to be turned upside down. I’m very passionate about this issue because more and more men suffer from it without actually dealing with it. Burn out is a sign that what you’re doing isn’t working. It’s a warning that can actually help you improve your approach and life if you listen to it. Think of it as the amber light on a stop light. Your best approach is to take it seriously and pay attention before it gets to a full blown red light that stops you in in your tracks.
The seven steps to avoiding burn out:
1. Stop Pretending
Admitting to yourself that you are feeling burn out is the first step to reestablishing the balance in your life. After that, it’s much easier to come back even stronger than you were before.
If you’re telling yourself that you’ll get through it somehow and this is temporary, that’s the first thing you have to address. You could go on like this for years without doing anything to correct the situation. Set a date or a specific milestone after which you will change your approach. For example, you may tell yourself you’re going to do this for another three months and after that you’ll reevaluate your strategy. Then hold yourself accountable to changing. Don’t just continue to do the same thing and pretend like it’s going to work. Be honest with yourself.
2. Slow Down
Fast isn’t necessarily good. The best athletes, businessmen and leaders around the world know that there are times when you have to slow down to speed up. Give yourself some grace to get things done and achieve your goals and aspirations. Unless it’s life or death, it doesn’t need to be on such an aggressive timeline. Sometimes our expectations are just unreasonable. There is nothing wrong with slowing down. In fact, it’s the smart thing to do.
3. Say “No” or “Not Right Now”
You have a limited amount of resources and where you use your resources matters. The best thing you can do is use your time, energy, money and enthusiasm for things that really matter in your life. Put everything else off to the side or reject it completely. There’s something very liberating when you have the ability to say “no.” But most guys don’t think they have this luxury because they feel as though they can’t. Maybe you’ll feel less of a man or lose out to your competition if you do. Be conscious of your fear of missing out as it can keep you trapped and is a direct path to burn out.
Create a list of everything that you feel you want to do and need to do. Evaluate your life to see if you’re really living it the way you want to. Chances are that you’re not. Now is your opportunity to prioritize your life on your terms. What kind of lifestyle do you really want to live? Not just think about living. What kind of emotions do you want to feel on a daily basis? If you were to die tomorrow, how would you want to live today? Reprioritize based on your answers to these questions.
5. Take Care of Yourself First
If you’re like most men, you want to provide the best life for your family. You’ll even sacrifice yourself to achieve that. But this isn’t the best approach. Why? Because you are your most important asset. When you burn out, you’ve just flushed your best asset down the toilet. Therefore, you must take care of yourself first and not neglect your health and needs. The stronger, healthier and happier you are, the more you’ll achieve. You’re results will be much better as well. This will only happen if you purposefully take the time and effort to recharge and do the things you enjoy.
6. Talk to Someone
I hear from a lot of high-performing men that being in their position is lonely. They feel as though they cannot talk to others about their intimate challenges because they are suppose to be the “go to” guy. You don’t want to look weak or burden others. I get it because I’ve been there myself. But a simple conversation with another person can lift a ton of burden off your shoulders. It’s a feeling of release when you can freely share your thoughts with someone else. Don’t keep it bottled up. Let it go.
7. Reset with Meditation
Meditation is one of the most powerful activities that can transform your life and easily avoid burn out. Whenever I’m having difficulties in business, my relationships, or my health, I meditate. My anger, pain, sadness and frustration instantly dissipates. It’s almost too simple and effective. If you’re not an avid meditator, just try it out. It may be frustrating at first because you’re so used to being on the go and your thought are running wild. When you find the right groove, it’s the most peaceful and powerful feeling you’ll ever have. It can even become addictive.
Before you slam into the red light (aka burn out), slow down and reevaluate your life. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be in a far better position to get back on track to live the life you’ve always wanted.
All the best!
The Strategist For Businessmen