I’m not going to sugar coat this: anyone can experience burnout, whether you’re “successful” or feel like you’re hitting your head against a wall.
Burnout fills our heads with thoughts like “I just can’t do this anymore”, “What am I doing with my life?”, “Is this all there is?”, or “I’m not happy…there must be something else I can do.”
Burnout feels like a bummer but it can be simply a doorway to the next chapter of your life.
The human brain loves a challenge, something new that tickles the neurons, even though the goal is beyond rational actualization. “If it’s easy, why bother? If the goal is impossible, THAT’S what I want to do!”
We’re crazy that way.
What happens if you do your job, you do it well and after 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, you feel like you’ve lost your mojo and can barely get yourself up to the required tasks necessary to get through the day?
Here are some ideas on approaches to either stay on track refreshed OR close the door and take path #2:
+ Take a vacation. Even a 2-night, get-out-of-the-house, clear-your-head escape can help you clarify how you really feel about what you do.
+ Ask yourself: “Am I ready to close the door on my current path?” If the answer is NO, own that no big-time. You’ll be ready when you’re ready, IF you’ll ever be ready.
+ What can you do that’s similar but in the same vein? If you’re a band singer, can you write songs? If you’re a producer, can you manage talent? If you’re a writer, can you produce?
+ What skills or hobbies do you have that you can self-teach yourself to a pro level? Sound engineer to flight instructor? Songwriter to website designer?
+ Don’t forget the possibility of being a hyphenate: singer-songwriter-producer-performance coach-book writer- video producer-animal shelter volunteer. Remember you don’t have to be any ONE thing…the more things you can do for money and love, the more full your life will feel.
+ What can you do that helps others? Any job which you believe helps the world, even in some small way, creates a sense of mission and that ineffable thing humans need called “meaningfulness”.
+ Sometimes all we need is a fresh view coming into our eyeballs. It’s not always about changing what we do but simply where and how we do it. How about doing what you do, but somewhere else? Dubai, UK, Japan?
The point is: it’s OK to give up one dream for another.
But first see if your burnout is caused by simple fatigue, or having picked a goal which just isn’t going to happen, or because you need a new challenge. You can be an adult and still not get stuck in any one life path.
Take a mini vacation; talk it out with a loved one. Burnout could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
– Lisa Popeil