My mornings start with coaching sessions. Successful businessmen with signs of burnout come to me. CEO of an animation studio, head of a concert agency, director of a children's development center, interface designer, founder of an immigration project, a partner in an architectural firm, psychologist, owner of a development company...
Sounds solid, doesn't it? Very convincing social media, achievements, glossy, impressive figures. I straighten my back and protect myself with my serious business outfit.
When Whatsapp calls, I'm momentarily confused and don't recognize anyone. Where are all those Wall Street sharks, management gods, investment wizards, and cocky businesswomen from colorful photo shoots? The person who appears in the window of my phone makes me want to hug him or her and take them out of their life.

The details of the stories change, but I feel like I'm in an Andy Warhol exhibition: tired, wildly tortured, pinned down, looking 20 years older than their passport says, and telling me this:

  • Everything I loved, I hate now
  • I don't want anything.
  • Started taking on projects just for the money and burned out. Total apathy, I wanted to shut everything down.
  • Now I wake up at 4 a.m. in a panic.
  • I couldn't physically put myself in the car to go to work.
  • Sick and wondering what money I could get out of bed for now.
  • I'm getting self-sabotaged - forgetting appointments, not writing anything down.
  • Work made me sick, I didn't want to go there.
  • There should be dopamine at the end of the work done, but there isn't.
When I ask my clients what is success for them, money finishes the list at best.
Here's what they say about it:

  • Success for me is being invited, being sought out (not me looking for a job) by companies with a name.
  • Success is being recognized by my clients.
  • It's not success that matters to me, it's happiness.
  • I am successful because I have been able to fulfill all my creative plans.
  • Success is to make a unique project that, like a suit, "fits" perfectly on a person. We make people happy by broadcasting beauty through ourselves, changing this world.
  • Success is about introducing yourself to new people and telling a lot of interesting facts about yourself.
  • Success is when people come after the word of mouth
Does this mean that any story about success and expansion ends like this? That's how stories end, where we make the outcome more important than ourselves.

Does it mean that choosing ourselves will deprive us of results? Some for sure. But the paradox of the story is that by diving into our cause, we are not looking for results in and of themselves (often without realizing it, by the way).

We are convinced that it will make us feel different.
When I'm successful, how will I feel?

Will the constant anxiety go away?

The feeling of being unfulfilled?

Will I feel like I'm worth something?

Will I stop worrying about my loved ones?

Free from the constant pressure of not having enough money?

Mental exhaustion from prolonged overload (what in psychology is called burnout) can be related to your work. Or it may have nothing to do with it at all.
You can get burnt out in parenthood - from caregiving, sickness, childhood emotions, lack of time for yourself, and even beauty in life.

You can get burnt out from everyday life - the food, the routing, the ironing, putting everything in its place. Half a day and back again.

You can be burned out from the way of life - from business trips, nomadic life, or, on the contrary, from the monotony outside your window.

You can burn out by daydreaming or even meditating. You can get burned out because you haven't been to the theater or organized a party in a long time.

It is possible to burn out from any, even the most beautiful processes - mental exhaustion is not related to them, but the peculiarities of your psyche.
To see if you're showing signs of burnout, run through the checklist below:
  • 1
    You often or constantly don't feel like going to work (waking up, dealing with your daily tasks).
  • 2
    Weekends and holidays do not a rest, you are haunted by a state of chronic fatigue, and attacks of apathy.
  • 3
    The day does not bring joy and satisfaction.
  • 4
    You have the feeling that you do not earn enough and such work should be worth much more.
  • 5
    You are having trouble sleeping.
  • 6
    You are more or less seriously ill 4 or more times a year.
  • 7
    You have high anxiety (from constant mild anxiety to panic attacks).
  • 8
    You are haunted by the feeling that you are constantly running out of things to do.
  • 9
    Your social circle has shrunk significantly, and you avoid any "unnecessary" contact.
  • 10
    You are increasingly trying to calculate prospects, to plan your next steps in detail.
Most psychologists observe a paradoxical tendency in their practice. Most people tend to ignore burnout in its initial stages (everyone lives that way!). When the situation becomes critically unbearable, we freak out and go to the doctor for antidepressants. A dust bag over the head and 'anesthetizing' all the senses (the effect these drugs have) does not solve the problem in any way but gives a sense of control and a chance to rest.

Can the problem be solved differently? It is possible.

For a start, understand that there are no universal models of success. But there is your set of prerequisites for success, which you are capable of providing. If you know your psycho-type. This will allow you to avoid total burnout and to work at your best.
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