March 19, 2014

There’s an epidemic in our society that is stripping the joy and fun out of life, and often we can’t even see that it’s happening. It’s called burnout, and you might be a victim of this insidious ailment that has afflicted so many.  Here are 12 sure-fire signs that you’re on the path to burnout (even if you don’t know it yet).

  1. You’re feeling stressed all the time
  2. You’re short-tempered and impatient
  3. You’re not getting enough sleep
  4. You’re not exercising enough
  5. You lost touch with friends for weeks or months at time
  6. You’re not having enough (any?) fun or you overdo it on fun in short bursts and then have to recover
  7. You don’t feel happy or joyful most of the time
  8. Your schedule so busy that you have no room for the intimate relationship you desire… or the one that you have
  9. You crash or tune-out using drugs, alcohol, shopping, working, or Netflix binge watching
  10. Your kids say things like “Mommy why are you working all the time?” and “Daddy will you play with me” and you keep on working
  11. You isolate yourself because it takes too much effort and energy to be with people
  12. You know something’s wrong but you regularly think to yourself:
  • …“I can do this, hang tough.”
  • …”I can handle it”
  • …”It’s not that big a deal.”
  • …”I’ll be through the crunch next week.” (but you’ve said that 5+ times in the past 2 months)
  • …”It’ll sort itself out.”
  • …”If I ask for help people will think I’m weak.”

I say burnout is insidious because it creeps up on us, as we’re passionately providing for our families or going after our dreams. We are pulled by the calling to do more, be more, and earn more.  We’re enticed by the shiny things in the shop windows, and on TV. We’re trained by the media to never truly appreciate who we are RIGHT NOW, and what we have in our lives RIGHT NOW, but rather to be dissatisfied with never being or having enough, because then we wouldn’t buy as much and keep the economic growth engine chugging.

Or maybe you’re just striving to get by, working two or more jobs and still not able to get ahead. Or you’re building a business that never seems to get to that magical level where there’s a steady stream of income coming in?

If this is you, then you’re probably on the path to burnout and you’re probably in denial about it. I was.

I crashed a few weeks ago. I just couldn’t take it anymore and I broke down and admitted that I was burning out.  This was especially hard because I am the expert that clients come to when they are on the path to burnout!  It was a tough truth-telling session with myself, and my coach.

I have been trying to do it all for years.  There have been smooth times and there have been rocky times, but for the most part, most of the time, it’s really, really stressful, and I’ve been over-working and under-funning my life.  And all the while, I’ve not made the time to create all the powerful programs and events that I so want to offer to all of you to create more personal resilience in your life!

You see that’s the problem – we think we have to do it all, but in the end we’re not really doing the stuff that really matters and makes a difference. Something’s gotta change.

If this blog is hitting home for you, I invite you to take an inventory of your life for the next week.  Notice how you’re compensating and offsetting the heavy workload and stress. Notice what you’re missing out on, what you’ve settled for as being normal or necessary.  Pay attention to your body and signals it’s sending you. And take a look at how well you’re meeting your personal needs.

Join me next time to read Part 2 of this blog to learn what you can do to get off the path to burnout and create joyful, passionate work that makes a difference in the lives of those you serve!

As always, I welcome your feedback. Please leave a link back to your own blog if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,


  • Hi Sue, Thanks for getting real…honest and transparent with us, It seems to be part of the heros journey for those of us on the path of service…..I have been watching a lady called Kristen Neff, she does some good work on SElf Compassion…you can find her on utube or her website, she has lots of free videos. WE still get together Monday nights at my place for meditation if you would like to join us….yogi tea afterwards, Yummy!

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