I recently talked with someone whom I respect enormously about his job. He has worked tirelessly for his organization. (The same could be said for folks caring for sick or aging family members.) But now he’s burned out. Fed up with bearing the heaviest load; being depended on ”for almost everything.” Trouble is, he can’t break the cycle. Doesn’t know how to get out of the rut.
Many of us have been in that situation. Our burden has grown too big (at least we think so). Fatigue sets in.
Often our first impulse is to blame everyone but ourselves. “Why didn’t so-and-so do more?” “Why am I always holding the bag?”
We feel frustrated, angry, and helpless.
It’s so easy to take that course, but then nothing changes. Things remain the same or get worse.
In these instances, I suggest first getting clear on what we want — and don’t want — both for ourselves and the ones for whom we feel responsible. Too often our fear, inability, or unwillingness to clarify what we want results in feeling overloaded and overwhelmed.
So, make a list of what you want to do from now on. And what you’re no longer willing or capable of doing.
Two: Review your list with someone you trust before taking it to the boss, or to a key member of your family. Ask yourself:
“Am I really doing too much?”
“Are others willing to assume some of these responsibilities if I let go of them?”
“Am I failing to trust others?”
“Am I on an ego trip?, (i.e., “Am I the only one who can do this the right way?”)
“Have I been honest with myself and my colleagues, or my family members, about my limitations and desires?”
“Am I willing to let go of control?”
Three: When presenting your list, frame it as an opportunity for others to help strengthen the organization or the family as well as acknowledging and setting your own limits.