Manage the Attitude! Taking Accountability Without Going Crazy Whilst in Burnout
Updated: Jan 24
Let's talk about having an Attitude of Accountability!
I’m guessing you’ve read the title and may have some idea what it’s going to be about right? Being #accountable, taking #action. Pressure to do all the things you set out to do?
Ummmm…..HOW 'BOUT NO! Let’s talk about a different way to approach an attitude of accountability when you're in the throes of #highstress and #burnout.
A softer way more appealing to your current situation.
You might have been taught some harsh lessons up until now – lessons like:
You MUST do everything that’s asked perfectly and more or you’re lazy or stupid or insert some other judgemental word here.
You SHOULD be able to fit it all in to an already tight schedule.
You SHOULD have deep insight and be achieving by now as per your own high expectation.
You might have already placed JUDGEMENT around whether or not this is working for you or whether you are doing as well as everyone else…insert your own brand of suffering here!
We can be our own biggest critic!
I put it to you that burnout can be a softer journey. The following are some simple steps to help manage your attitude and still hold yourself accountable during burnout.
>> 1. OUR EXPECTATIONS
As the type of person who get to burnout we can often have high expectations of ourselves. And hey, that works for us for a while, years even! But one of the kindest things we can do to give ourselves a break and be a bit more realistic in what we can achieve.
This step starts with assessing your overall load. We each juggle multiple balls as part of our load - eg. your home is one ball, family another, work might cover a few balls, your health another – and so on. How many balls do you have going on? This is the load you are juggling.
Is your load about right, too much or not enough? In burnout we tend towards too much. If you’re juggling 20 balls why not drop 10 of them? Or 5 or any number that’s going to be sustainable? Maybe if you drop one ball it will make room for another, more enjoyable, better for your overall health.
When you stop holding yourself accountable for everything, you can concentrate on what will really make a difference.
>> 2. OUR INNER MONOLOGUE
What does your internal banter feel like - the words and tone you use with yourself? Is it kind and supportive? Probably not!!
When you feel tired or down and can’t fulfil your planned exercise regime or when you ‘accidentally’ eat that whole bag of chips, you’re most likely calling yourself all types of not-nice names. You would never be as unkind as to say these names to someone else!
Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you have to drop any high standards or buy into the excuses that stop you from the awesome achievements that you’re used to – not at all. The last thing I would ever advocate is to let anyone down and particularly not ourselves.
But having an unkind inner dialogue based on unrealistic expectations will NEVER help with burnout. In fact, it will most likely actively set you back, adding to your exhaustion!
What if you could be really gentle with yourself? To prioritise kindness over any high benchmark you may have unknowingly set yourself. To focus on thoughts of love and encouragement.
The Beyond Burnout Stronger Foundations Programs calls out unhelpful inner monologue, often developed from our childhood days. And you can do this for yourself! When working on building a sustainable lifestyle be prepared to continually weed out those unhelpful thoughts.
Like the muscle you develop at the gym, you can also develop the emotional muscle to foster your own encouragement and support.
>> 3. OUR DELIVERY MANAGEMENT
This is about planning what you want to achieve over the course of the day, week, month, year. Your plan can achieve what you want it to, but still be flexible and sustainable.
Working through your lifestyle factors, some days you’ll be raring to go. But in burnout there are those days where we feel other emotions like low-confidence, frustration or irritability or even uninspired. There are also the physical symptoms like brain fog which feels like cloudiness in your head, making it harder to think. Or tiredness. Or exhaustion – you just don’t have the energy for too much right now. Or even feelings of anxiety or depression.
Are you ready for these days? How can you be prepared for those days when you’re really not feeling it?
There is a #balance here – the balance between listening to the feedback that your body is telling you. Often that drained and depleted feeling means there was something amiss. But the other side of the coin is you might enjoy a walk at this time, or some time for sitting quietly and at peace. Even some time for rest or play might be needed.
The art is balancing your over-arching plan for activity with the know-how and confidence to become more in-tune with your own moods and rhythm. This is an integral part of living long-term Beyond Burnout.
Sarah Vizer is the creator of Beyond Burnout.
As a Leadership and Performance Coach she has dedicated her time to supporting our top professionals reach new levels of high performance, without the burnout.
She offers individual and team support for you and your organisation.
Find out more at www.sarahvizer.com