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How To Be Ambitious Without Living On The Brink Of Burnout

17 May, 2020

How To Be Ambitious Without Living On The Brink Of Burnout

  • Feeling irritable and exhausted most the time?
  • Feeling like everyone is only out for themselves and not trusting your co-workers motives anymore?
  • Starting to lose confidence in your abilities even though you know you’re good at your job?

If the answer is yes, burnout is on the horizon – the good news is, it’s not inevitable – there are ways to avoid it and you can start today.

Burnout is feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, resulting in cynicism, low mood, losing sense of self and finding yourself thinking “is this all there is?”

When we’re ambitious and super passionate about our work it can easily become a habit to prioritise work over everything else life has to offer…good health, relaxation, restoration and doing things just for fun. However, without a happy medium, living with prolonged and repeated stress will lead you to burnout.

The thing about burnout is that it’s not a result of working long hours, we have a lot more control of it than we realise.

If you’re finding yourself resonating with this, don’t beat yourself up about it, see this as an opportunity to make some changes. You don’t need to quit your job, take a year out to travel or any other huge life transformation, start by focusing on changing your day instead.

Ask yourself “What can I change in my day to enjoy my life just a little bit more right now?”

Start by considering your environment, the places you spend most your time, the things you surround yourself with, the people you talk to most often and the thoughts that run through your head.

Are you…

Spending most of your time indoors? Perhaps spending time outside in the evening rather than on the sofa would bring you more joy.

Using your social media to keep in touch with your family? Perhaps arranging a phone call or writing a letter would be a positive change.

Is the person you have your morning coffee with always complaining about how hard life is? Maybe putting a ban on negative chat is the way forward?

Thinking negatively about yourself or your abilities? Identify one of your strengths and start using it immediately! For example if you love to learn, read something of interest, sign-up to a workshop, teach somebody something.

Gaining perspective is a big part of being able to start making change. This can be as simple as taking 5 minutes a day to journal your thoughts on the question above or to seek out the support of a coach who will support you to do this and help you be accountable for making the changes, remember asking for help is an act of self-care.

Use the list below to help spark inspiration to what you could change in your day-to-day so you feel like you are living life and not just speeding through it:

  • Create a morning routine you love.
  • Meditate and practice a deep breathing exercise everyday.
  • Move your body in ways you enjoy – consider what you need right now; restorative practices such as yoga and walking will help you slow down and provide head space.
  • Experiment with a new diet that is full of nutritious foods.
  • Drink more water.
  • Plan, prepare and commit to taking a holiday so you can completely switch off.
  • Start journalling, by writing your thoughts down on paper will help you gain more perspective.
  • Create a vision board of what you want your life to look like in 5, 10, 20 years time. Focus on what’s most important to you.
  • Take on a hard challenge.
  • Set a goal that excites you.

Cultivating a positive mindset towards change takes practice. When we’re feeling exhausted it’s a challenge. To help you cultivate more positivity in your life commit to doing one of the following small steps for 5 days:

  1. Writing a gratitude list each day.
  2. Going for a daily walk in nature without your phone.
  3. Write a reflective journal each evening to release your thoughts and tensions from the day.

As human beings we all need to be working on or towards something meaningful to us. We need to be constantly learning and growing, it’s probably the reason you’re in your career right now. However, passion can fade, our priorities change but we’re working too hard and too fast to notice.

When we’re not passionate and engaged it’s a red flag that burnout is on the horizon, don’t ignore this internal pull. If you find yourself over-indulging with food and alcohol or spending your time doing what you ‘should’ be doing to please others, rather that what you want or need, it’s time to step back and redirect your energy into doing something that’s meaningful to you.

Heidi Jones coaches high-flying career women to take action to balance their health, happiness and career goals. Join her Healthy Lifestyle & High Flying Career 30 Day Challenge and avoid spending another month feeling on the brink of burnout. Follow @heidi_jones_coaching or visit her website heidijonescoaching.com


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