At different times in the careers of all focused and driven individuals, we have to learn to bring balance to our life for the sake of longevity. The issues faced by most senior organizational leaders is one of either stress or burnout.
We often hear these terms, but we rarely have them defined for us. Let me help with that.
Stress and burnout are not the same thing. Stress is the response of your body to the environmental demands that are placed upon it. Burnout is emotional exhaustion, or as Arch Hart calls it, compassion fatigue.
Here is a helpful comparison complied by By Arch Hart from Fuller Theological Seminary
* Burnout is a defense characterized by disengagement.
* Stress is characterized by overengagement.
* In Burnout the emotions become blunted.
* In Stress the emotions become over-reactive.
* In Burnout the emotional damage is primary.
* In Stress the physical damage is primary.
* The exhaustion of Burnout affects motivation and drive.
* The exhaustion of Stress affects physical energy.
* Burnout produces demoralization.
* Stress produces disintegration.
* Burnout can best be understood as a loss of ideals and hope.
* Stress can best be understood as a loss of fuel and energy.
* The depression of Burnout is caused by the grief engendered by the loss of ideals and hope.
* The depression of Stress is produced by the body’s need to protect itself and conserve energy.
* Burnout produces a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
* Stress produces a sense of urgency and hyperactivity.
* Burnout produces paranoia, depersonalization and detachment.
* Stress produces panic, phobic, and anxiety-type disorders.
* Burnout may never kill you, but your long life may not seem worth living.
* Stress may kill you prematurely, and you won’t have enough time to finish what you started.
The key is to bring balance to every area of your life.
With all of our clients, this is where we start.
We help them identify where they are up to and what they need to work on and watch out for in order to get to where they desire to go. The essence of the problem is a clash between expectations and reality.
Remember that we spend far more time on the journey than at the destination so you have to learn to enjoy it.