The top tell signs of burnout and how to overcome them to stay motivated
Let’s talk entrepreneur life for a bit? Especially the solo-preneur? Have you figured out how to overcome burnout when it hits?
Yup I’m talking to you hard working, highly motivated, stubborn, freedom loving you out there. I know you so well because I am you and I’ve worked with hundreds of others like you.
I remember the first time I hit burnout. It was a sunny Miami day and I realized I’d been indoors for hours working on my monthly content planning that looked more like scratches on a dry erase than a cohesive content map. Hour 2 of getting absolutely nothing done I texted my husband and said:
“I don’t think I’m cut out for this as I feel like such a fraud! I either need to go back to school or figure something out cause this isn’t working!!!!” Insert some teary eyed emojis.
That turned into my first I hit a wall, exhausted, uninspired moment in my 15 years of entrepreneurship. I’d been pulling late nights working on my new program, the funnels, the content, the launch systems and all the things that come with the online business world. I wasn’t really eating right, my sleep was interrupted by ideas and to do lists… and my yoga practice had fallen to the wayside.
Do you relate at all to this?? If so, keep reading.
Definition of burnout and depletion
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, the definition of burnout is “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others.”
Can you relate at all?
I am sure you’ve maybe experienced burnout at some point when things didn’t go as planned perhaps. Your program launch didn’t make you the 5 figure sales. The size of your email list shrinks with every email marketing newsletter you send and you’ve grown it by a few in comparison. Your social media following is not doing what all your hard work and effort says it should be doing.
Burnout is real and I’m going to share with you how to deal with it!
Identifying feelings of total drain and lack of motivation
First how can you tell if you’re experiencing burnout let alone overcome burnout? I have struggled with this because of my action centered personality that usually pushes through bouts of “not feeling it”.
But let’s identify some real burnout style feelings:
- Putting it ALL on the back burner: This is the sign that you’ve checked out. You skipped social media all together because every idea felt like “blah”. You skipped the newsletter because “why does anyone want to read what I have to say”. Stopped promoting your program because last time no one bought it.
- This one is an alert! You’re not excited about what you do! You became an entrepreneur because you love what you freaking do! And now… OMG you’re questioning if you’re even good at what you do and if you should find something else.
- The question of how good you really are kicks in. Imposter syndrome coming in strong with this one. I understand you get this feeling every now and then, but when it’s burnout it’s constant.
- You literally stop everything and wonder if you should get a job or a therapist. I don’t think we need to delve on this one much do we?
- The mood for anything other than binging on tv shows, scrolling through social media feeling guilty for scrolling on social media and the thought of working ON your business is like nails on a chalkboard.
How you can overcome burnout
There’s no real trick here I can simply write out because we’re all different and different approaches are necessary but I will go into some ideas that might help you!
- STOP, DROP and WRITE! When I feel burnout happening I stop all work related activities, I drop my clients if I can and I start writing. I don’t call it journaling because I write on a notepad… but you’re probably more organized than I so open your journal. I write 3 things: something I’m grateful for, something I’m excited about and something I look forward to doing. Since entrepreneur life eats so much of our time, I like to always have my eye on the prize… maybe it’s shopping, a trip or a nice dinner out.
- GO CRY. Yes, go have a freaking tantrum. Cry, kick, punch a pillow, stomp. My toddler is so good at tantrums I’ve now added some new strategies to my repertoire. The lay face down on the ground sobbing is a good one… I do make sure the floor is clean first. I realized when I have a tantrum, drama filled, wail fest I feel good immediately. They last a few minutes usually and it takes pressure off for weeks!
- PHONE A FRIEND. This is not the easiest one for me because the last thing I want to do is bother people… so I usually call or text a “work friend”. Someone who I know is an entrepreneur, whom I’ve shared a mastermind with or whom I know has been there, done that. It’s important to have this work friend because they have more empathy that a corporate friend.
- EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS. Food can instantly make you smile. Eat something that’s comforting, that is nourishing and makes your heart smile. I go for something carb laden or that I used to eat as a child. Indulge for once without the guilty feeling. You can walk it off later or take a HIIT class if that’s your thing.
- VISION BOARD! Usually when burnout happens we lose motivation right? Grab Canva or a poster board and go to town dreaming and reconnecting to your WHY! I love this video about trying and not being stuck. It always makes me tear up and go do something awesome!
Next steps for motivation
Now that you’ve either cried, eaten and written let’s address how to prevent burnout and step into motivation that’s consistent!
Motivation is a living breathing entity that’s within the heart of most entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do. It’s not something that you can create, but instead something that’s attainable!
To recap get the energy moving in your body, mind and soul.