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Does burnout only happen when we are nice?

Google ‘burnout’ and you get a raft of symptoms or remedies. Once you have acknowledged the symptoms of burnout, the suggested remedy is to remove the stressor.

People chug on through the day. They read that they are to remove the stressor. But removing themselves is not the most effective solution either.  What if your job or family are the stressors? How do you remove that? Wouldn’t the removal of these stressors cause you more stress?  Instead, face the stressor and find another way to deal with the stress. Avoiding or removing is not problem solving.

I come across many people experiencing burn out symptoms. From health professionals, teachers, public servants, parents, managers and shop floor workers.

Burnout symptoms are feedback. Most read this feedback as ‘I am overworking’. I just need a holiday. I just need to find another job. When in fact the symptoms are feedback to tell you that it is time to ‘pull back’.  Yes ‘Pull back!’. You may ask how is this not the same as avoiding or going on holiday?

When your energy level drops and your drive is depleted.  This is physiological feedback to pull back from what you are doing. Not avoid what you are doing.  It may seem to be a fine distinction.  But this fine distinction will put you on the trajectory of wellness from burnout.

When you are experiencing burnout symptoms such as fatigue and a lack lustre drive.  It happens because you are being ‘nice’.  You are being polite. You are looking to help or assist others. I do not mean the occasional niceness. I mean you will ‘be constantly nice’. As you read the word ‘constantly’, and you picture what this looks like.  You can feel your own body’s energy drop.  That energy drop occurred with the phrase ‘be constantly nice’. This is creating burnout. You are taking away the other person’s accountability. Accountability for their own welfare, their own learning, their own role.

What do you do when burnout strikes?

Give the accountability back to the person by criticising them. Yes, criticising them. Watch how quickly they sit up straight. Watch how quickly they snap back their own accountability.

Your own energy levels will return. This works every time. The answer is not in avoiding but the answer lies in pulling back with a quick slap.

So, does Burnout only happen when we are nice?  Yes, being nice, plays a major role in burnout.  Especially when the niceness is a pretence or forced.

The next challenge is “How do I criticize someone, without hurting them?”. The answer to that will be in another post.

If you want more details on managing your own burnout and get the zest back into your life. Then contact me for a ‘Beat the Burnout session’.

Footnote:  In May 2019 the WHO (World Health Organisation) classified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon”.
Featured Wellbeing

Have you heard of repurposing? Often the answer to a big problem is simple.

Some Context

We are known as a throwaway generation. We discard possessions and concepts, theories, and notions. We throw out material possessions because we have no use for them. This applies to concepts and theories. If we have no need for a concept and do not see the purpose, then we throw it out.

There is an old saying that I really like, you’ve probably heard it a few times by now. The saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Some concepts that we might find to be useless, others will find a use for. I can easily think of a few people that have taken a failed idea or concept and turned it into a thriving business or lifestyle. This is because ideas can be recycled and repurposed until one day they fit. We want to be that person who experiences a thriving business or lifestyle. To be that person who turns a concept or idea around and makes it work. Uber and Netflix are great examples of taking a concept or idea and making it work. They did not reinvent the wheel they repurposed an idea.

Let’s Have Another Look

Repurposing works in all areas of life from personal to professional. There are songs that have been repurposed. There is a whole generation of millennials enjoying music that was first heard in the 1960’s. The song is not in the same form as it once was. It has been repurposed and becomes successful again.

Back in 1984 the acronym S.M.A.R.T. appeared in the business world. This morphed into other acronyms, such as BHAG ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’. S.M.A.R.T was being repurposed.

It’s widely accepted that learning from our history can better prepare us for the future. Repurposing allows for the recycling of a previous concept. Taking something that worked in the past and remodeling it into something that fits with the requirements of the current generation. Turning old into new. A refreshed look and feel. Presenting the wisdom of the ages to the current generation.

Repurposing Works

During one of my recent Personal Strategy sessions. My client was struggling to maintain professional conduct with a colleague. The colleague was labelled arrogant and would not listen. This relationship was impacting on my client’s work performance and work enjoyment.

It became clear to my client that they would need to ‘be the change’ rather than expect the change from their colleague. Expecting a change in someone else is like waiting for a kettle of water to boil without adding heat. Instead, we repurposed the relationship between my client and their colleague. Once the purpose had been remodeled and refreshed. Clear, concise and simple strategies were revealed. When you repurpose. Strategies and action steps become obvious. They become Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Trackable.

Consider before throwing out a concept, notion or theory, can I repurpose this? What if there is no need to reinvent the wheel.?  What can I create by repurposing? This is a powerful thought process that I use with my clients.  It can be applied in all areas of life, work and relationships.  Rethink before you discard using the wisdom of the past into repurposing for the future.

Wellbeing

Break the circle of resentment with Pay Forward & Pay backward

Pay_Forward-Pay_Backward_2

Adrienne_Pay-it-forward

Pay Forward & Pay backward

Pay Forward is a known concept, where the recipient of a favour passes a favour to others going forward. The aim is to give time, aid, ideas, and support to other people.

Paying forward provides you with a sense of contribution. This act becomes an essential part of building healthier relationships with others. It enhances your own well-being. The contribution has a ripple effect spreading through the community. It adds another dimension to giving. This dimension is both fun and has a depth of appreciation that is both tangible and intangible.

I know what you are thinking, you already feel that you give a lot to others. Your self talk may go something like this, “I seem to always be giving.”  “I know I am supposed to help others but I am so tired.”  Resentment builds and then your self talk jumps in with.  “No one thinks about me!” Or “No one cares about me.”  You are then driven to give under duress, or from obligation, rather than a sense of willingness to help others. You are now in the Circle of Resentment.

Let us break the Circle of Resentment, by looking at it’s close relative, Pay Backwards. Pay Backwards is the fair exchange for a service you have already given. Know that when you give to someone, in the future you will receive time, aid, ideas or support from others in return. Let us run a scenario. You help someone move house, taking up approximately 5 hours of your day. Over the next month, two people help you. One gave you 3hrs of time and the other 2hrs. So in the future you received an exchange for the time you helped a friend move house. This is Pay Backwards. The favour has been returned to you, and the Cycle of Resentment breaks.

The most awesome thing about Pay Backward is the cycle which follows. You assist someone today and in the future others pay you back. This then is the Cycle of Appreciation. You stand to grow and gain so much more in your life by adopting this way of thinking and behaving.

When it comes to Pay Backwards, keep a record of what you have given to others and what others give to you. This process will assist you in working with the cycle’s energy. Resentment then falls away and you have a sense of satisfaction when giving. Whilst knowing that fair exchange is already heading your way.

You do not have to keep a record of all you do, after all that will be time consuming and annoying! You choose what you want to document. The record keeping includes date, and the given service. Include whether it was time, labour, money or knowledge.

Currently we keep a mental note of the things we do for others. During arguments, this type of recall tends to get exaggerated, or the exaggeration of recall leads to the Cycle of Resentment. So, let us circumvent the mental note and add depth to our giving.

In December, I spent 4hrs assisting my sister. She was painting the interior of her pre-school. Due to my novice painting skills, the sanding tool became mine to manage.

This is what it looked like in my Pay it Backwards journal:

 

Giving – Pay Forward

Date: December 2017

To Whom: Sister

Service Type: Preparing interior walls (sanding). Labour & 4hrs of time.

 

This is the giving component. Now let us document the future receiving.

 

Received – Pay Backward

Date: January 2018

From Whom: Son

Service Type: Moved my data to the new phone. Knowledge/Labour

 

You assign what you received against what you gave, until it balances. You can then tick paid in full, how satisfying is that! The fun part comes about with the speed of return. It is rapid, but do not take my word for it, instead load up the template below and give it a go yourself.

Some say how wrong it is to give and expect something back. I say how cool it is to be a person who both gives and receives. Let us all do both.

I invite you to download the Excel Template, pop it on a device and give Pay Forward & Pay backward a go.

 

Download the Pay Forward & Pay Backward Template – Click Here

Wellbeing

Gluten intolerance – is there another choice?

gluten eating

Avoidance of Gluten – is it your only choice?

The gluten debate continues with varying opinions regarding the classification of symptoms of gluten intolerance.  Treatments for gluten intolerance all point to the avoidance of gluten. Avoidance works. Yet gluten is still ruling your digestive tract. This infiltrates to other parts of your life. Have you been in the position where you and your friend are choosing a café and one of you is gluten intolerant?

The symbol (gf) becomes your focus when reviewing a menu.

So rather than avoid gluten, face gluten and what you can learn from the intolerance.

Gluten is a protein that provides elasticity.  It binds or holds together.  Looking at the mind body relationship we will use the metaphor bind or holds together as our guide.  Let us see what we can learn from gluten.  What follows is a sequence of questions that may provide some relief from your gluten sensitivity symptoms.  

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