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When Passion Leads to Burnout

Posted by Sherry H. Rodriguez | Sep 11, 2023 | 0 Comments

We spend the majority of our time and energy working. It's likely for that very reason that you started your own business.

At least then, you will be working for yourself and doing something you are passionate about.

But, what happens when you take it a step too far? What happens when you either work all the time or turn everything you love doing into something profitable? Or worse, you lose your drive and passion altogether.

An all work and no play mentality and practice leads to one thing: burnout.

In today's blog, we'll unpack how passion can lead to burnout and share tips to ensure you can avoid the consequences of burnout.

What is Passion?

Passion, from a business perspective, is doing something you love. It's passion that inspires and enables you to dedicate your time and energy to start, work, and see your business succeed.

It's also what draws people to want to learn from or work with you. Passion makes you likable and relatable because it reveals how much you care for something other than yourself, sometimes not even needing anything in return.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is the physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion often accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself, one's job, and others.

It is typically caused by excessive and prolonged stress which further reduces your productivity leaving you helpless, hopeless, and at the very worst, resentful.

Additionally, burnout doesn't just affect your work life. If not monitored and managed, burnout will affect your home and social life, and even as far as causing long-term changes to your body making you more susceptible to illness.

Burnout manifests physically, emotionally, and even behaviorally:

  • Physical signs of burnout: frequent headaches, muscle pain, changes in appetite or sleeping habits, feeling tired and drained
  • Emotional signs of burnout: Sense of failure and self-doubt, feeling trapped or defeated, detachment and decreased sense of accomplishment.
  • Behavioral signs of burnout: Withdrawing from responsibilities, commitments, and social interactions, procrastinating, taking frustration out on others, skipping or missing work altogether

Unfortunately, with the all too common go-go-go, work-work-work mentality, we don't even realize we are burned out until it's much too late.

Identifying and Avoiding Burnout

Burnout will likely affect all of us at one time or another, if it hasn't already. And, if you've experienced it, you know exactly how dangerous and difficult it can be.

Hence why, the best way to avoid burnout is to identify it before it gets worse. Early signs of burnout looks like:

  • Every day is a bad day
  • Caring and showing up to your work or home life feels like a waste of time and energy.
  • You're constantly exhausted.
  • Your everyday tasks feel mind-numbingly dull or completely overwhelming.
  • Nothing you do makes a difference or makes you feel appreciated.

Whether you are on the road to or feel like you are already in the throes of burnout, there are steps you can take to find your passion again..

  1. Reach out to others for help: Whether it's a co-worker, a friend, a therapist, or all of the above, having another person listen to your problem will make you feel less alone.
  2. Set boundaries: Stop overextending yourself and learn to say “no” or delegate out requests that drain you. While you can't say no to everything, especially as a new business owner, you can learn how to use the resources and people you have available effectively and efficiently.
  3. Take time for yourself: Participate in something you enjoy doing, unrelated to work. This can look like physical exercise (going for a walk or run, taking a yoga class), taking a painting or pottery class, or simply carving out time to read a book or nap. No matter what you do, taking time for yourself will activate your body's relaxation response and sense of restfulness.

Burnout may not be completely avoidable, but it is treatable and manageable with the right support systems in place.

That's why at R&R Legal, we offer legal and personal guidance for you and your business. We use our own experience to help you identify any blind spots, like burnout, so that you can thrive and succeed in your business and in your life.

Reach out to us for a consultation to see how we can help!

About the Author

Sherry H. Rodriguez

Ms. Rodriguez is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of R&R Legal.  She leads the firm's mission to empower business owners to take control of their life and legacy with clarity and intention.  Her practice includes strategic business counsel and estate planning in New Jersey and New York. Gr...


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