The other day I read an article in a Dutch paper about CEO’s and famous entrepreneurs who break down at a certain moment in their career. I am sure that in this era burnout is showing its ugly face in many layers of our society. But especially topmanagers and CEO’s are having a hard time! They are being attacked from all sides and this group of giants has to deal with a lot of pressure.

We don’t usually get lots of details when a huge CEO throws in the towel! It happens more than we know and we often get to hear another story! Not the burn-out story. A heart-attack, cancer or having had a TIA is still a lot more accepted than something “psychological” like a burn-out.

Why do I want to talk about burn-out here?

Because getting burned out will be impossible when you are capable to sense and recognize in time what is going on. To recognize the signs and to admit and acknowledge and than act (or maybe better, stop everything you are doing, make another choice) Listen to your body and be sensitive what it has to say to you and do what is necessary in order to not completely break down.

Completely wearing out the body and the spirit is what has been done for many years and one day it’s just impossible to continue this lifestyle. I see many people live like this, everything is always more important than a relaxed meal, a walk in the park or just reading a novel at home. Some people really look annoyed when I suggest they do nothing this weekend, swim a little bit, walk, poke your nose, whatever. Do something useless, look out the window and just be…..

The reaction is alway the same. “Do you know HOW important those things are that have to be done by the end of the day?”…One thing is more important than the other and NOTHING can wait. Countless people also put pressure on those top managers or CEO’s (who usually wants to be friends with everybody and wants to keep everybody satisfied) and this pressure is not just at work, it’s also from the homefront.

“My wife always complains that I am never there and that WHEN I am there that I am not really present….”

Does this sound familliair?

Do you know anybody who sounds like this? Somebody in your direct environment? Your partner, your best friend or your neighbour? Because, let’s be really clear here : Usually you don’t recognize yourself in a story like this!

Or do you?

If you do you are in the right place! Don’t go yet.

Everything you need to know and do to prevent yourself (and your loved ones) from burnout can be learned!

You can learn how to recognize the moment when the “system” needs a reset or a break, you can learn how to recognize your emotions and USE them instead of suppress them (read my blog about emotions at work)

Many of us need to learn how to be in touch with our feelings and emotions..maybe this sounds a little bit fluffy but we have unlearned how to notice what is being felt. We have practiced to just move on and not spend much time on those messages. Also we compare ourselves with others who are even better in suppressing and moving on than we are. Maybe their mortgage is higher, they have more family to look after and a bigger business! And they are also doing fine and not complaining.. So, let’s not be child-like, grow up!

Learning to accept and welcome your feelings (yes also anger, sadness, despair) is very essential in order to recognize the first signs of overwhelm and take some action to do something about it.

All burnout symptoms have to do with Not Having Recognized the signals.

And usually the driven,  active and responsible people with a huge workethic have trained themselves to ignore instead of recognize the signals. They ask too much of themselves (and of others as well) and usually are perfectionistic. Usually friends and family are completely taken aback when they hear of this person’s burnout. Nobody saw it coming. He didn’t see it coming and none of them saw it coming because the best topmanagers and CEO’s go on until it is too late.

So : Learn to recognize, acknowledge, admit and take the proper action. Usually a holiday won’t do! You did that before. It’s about lifestyle and a radical change.We all know what to do, eat properly and take your time, meditate and/or do sports, have enough sleep.etc.

But you can do a lot MORE.

You can learn how to let go of certain feelings and tension so you don’t build up as much tension as you do now. You learn HOW to welcome and let to of feelings and emotions so you don’t have to use all your energy to resist those emotions. Because it is very tiring to suppress. Very very tiring.    0031628651801