What if you don’t burnout?
What if you never quite get to that tipping point where you stop functioning?
What if you never have a dramatic moment of crisis that forces change?
What if you just, somehow, keep going?
Lots of people report they are suffering from ‘burnout’, some might say it is now over-reported. I think what people are saying is that they feel they are on the way to burnout and they don’t know how long they will be able to keep going, they’re afraid they are going to tip over the edge.
Many of them won’t, however, because we are very good at coping, at adapting to our environment, at surviving.
Those that do burnout, that do suffer some sort of collapse, are forced to address the issue. It becomes their top priority, changes have to be made.
But those that never quite succumb, that dredge up the means to struggle on from who-knows-where, what happens to them?
Do they get praised for their ‘resilience’ and then given even more to do?
Work is gradually degrading their quality of life, their capacity and capabilities, their ability to do the work. It’s grinding them down, draining their soul away and turning them into empty husks. But, somehow, they keep going. Zombie workers in a corporate hellscape.
Until what? Eventually the organisation decides they are no longer useful, or too expensive, or just too old? Then they are made redundant (oh, sorry, their ‘position’ is made redundant, apparently) and chucked out on the scrap heap.
And what then?
The ‘resilience’ narrative that is pushed by companies is deeply damaging. It makes people push themselves way beyond safe boundaries, depleting themselves for the gain of others.
But so it the ‘burnout’ narrative. We don’t all have a moment of crisis. For most, it’s just a slow, dull, grinding down until there’s nothing left.
If work is making you less, then you need to take action. Before it’s too late.