Feeling burnout as a leader? Here’s what you can do…

by | May 16, 2022

The uncertainty of the past two years has left many feeling burnout and exhaustion from all the changes—we all feel it at some level.

This has caused me to think more lately about the subject of burnout, which I define as losing energy and motivation to do the things that once brought fulfillment.

If you’re there, know that you’re not alone.

There are times when our work no longer inspire us, when we get up and engage in work where we’ve lost our spark.

But the level of burnout I’m talking about is different.

It’s more than just a hard or bad day. It feels like a RUT and it feels like a loss. Loss of motivation and energy can be disconcerting, especially if you’re usually high energy and don’t know how to get it back.

So, what causes it?

We are all wired differently and are motivated by different things.

The first question to ask if you’re feeling a loss of motivation and energy is, What are the thoughts and beliefs you’re currently giving place to? Many times prolonged stress can cause our thoughts and beliefs to lead us down a path of mental fatigue. It’s important to be aware of where your thoughts may be leading you.

The next question is, Where does my motivation and energy typically come from? What makes me feel most alive? What do I lose track of time doing? Am I investing in these things regularly?

Determining where the “spark” for your motivation and energy typically comes from will allow you to go about finding ways and times to meet that need.

I notice for myself, that when I don’t feel like I’m contributing, regularly connecting with people or bringing value, my energy and motivation dips.

To offset the “dips,” I look for opportunities to contribute to or invest in someone – things that I know I love and that bring me energy.

As another example, I love to LEARN. So I recently signed up as a student for a 4-day coaching intensive – to continue to grow myself as a coach.

It was physically fatiguing being on Zoom for 8 hours a day, but it was mentally and professionally stimulating and inspired many creative thoughts and ideas. It gave me a fresh SPARK!

If you’re feeling burnt out working from home, or with limited connection to the people and the outside world around you…what are some ways you can regain your spark?

Special note here…if you feel burnout, there’s a temptation to feel like a failure. And that’s just not true.

Burnout doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad leader. It doesn’t mean you’re not performing or putting forth effort. And the good news is that if you recognize it…you are NOT IT. It is POSSIBLE to recover from burnout, and to get the motivation and energy BACK that you feel you’ve lost!

Consider…what brings you joy, inspiration? What do you really love doing and being? Begin to introduce more of THAT into your days.