There's no two ways about it: People are burned out at work, and not surprisingly, it's gotten worse since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Seventy-three percent of working professionals report being burned out in April compared to 61% in mid-February, according to new research by the Blind: Anonymous Professional Network. The top reasons for burnout during COVID-19? For nearly 27%, it was no separation between “work” and “life" followed by unmanageable workload (20.5%); and job security concerns (nearly 19%), according to Blind's report, The State of Burnout 2020. (As reported by TechRepublic, May 8, 2020).
The timing couldn't be better for the launch tomorrow of my newest book, Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge and Reclaim What Matters.
Here’s an excerpt from Burnout to Breakthrough.
What Our Brilliant Brains Can Do Is To Become Adaptable
Adaptability is a single word that is best described in biological terms as requisite variety. Simply stated, requisite variety means that the organism with the greatest number of responses to any given situation is the one that survives. You don’t have to be the strongest or the smartest to move from burnout to breakthrough. Rather, you have to be the one who will consider MANY options in life and not just remain frozen.
Or as Charles Darwin insisted: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Unfortunately, Einstein was right: it’s our thinking that can hold back. Adaptability begins in the brain, in our head! It’s where we begin to quench the burnout flame to refuel, recharge and reclaim what matters.
Watch your words.
First - listen to the words we use in our head and then speak out loud. Specifically, “I have to…” Every time we think/say “I have to” we become mired in quicksand. It says that you have absolutely NO CHOICE. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. We always have multiple choices. It’s just that we might not like the choices, or we stop with only one alternative. That is not requisite variety.
Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor, and best known for his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, offered this wisdom:
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. It’s not the stimulus that creates the outcome as much as the choice. Although it’s often difficult to execute, even in the most dreadful moments, we must remember the responsibility of choice.” 34
Frankl insisted, even in the horror of a concentration camp, that individuals hold the power to choose their response. You do hold the power to build resilience when you begin to train your brain, creating new neural pathways, by getting into the habit of saying “I choose to…” And habits take at least 21 days to become more hard-wired. If you’re like me, it can even take longer.
OK. This isn’t the easy answer you might have looked for. But it is where all control begins. Right now look at what you are doing and see just how many other ways you might “do”…or simple choose NOT it do. By the way—you don’t have to wait. You can the book and get it ASAP.
PS. In the meantime, if you want some help or a ready ear for coaching call me at 949-496-8640.