Boiling Frogs and Burnout
What could frogs and burnout possibly have in common?
Are you familiar with the metaphor of the boiling frog? It’s used to explain our inability to react to gradual change that signifies danger.
If you put a frog in boiling water, it will leap out. However, if you put a frog in lukewarm water and slowly raise the temperature to boiling, the frog will not notice the gradual change or the danger and will not leap out to safety.
Burnout works the same way. The danger is gradual, so it is harder to notice and react to it. It happens when people push through stress day in and day out, and do nit recognize (or ignore) the toll it takes on their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
They wake up (or can’t get out of bed) one day in a total state of burnout because they didn’t notice or react to the gradual warning signs as they were happening, just like the boiling frog.
If you are concerned that you may be in burnout, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Feel you are in a constant state of exhaustion?
Find yourself always on the verge of tears/crying often?
Have less interest in work and things that used to excite you?
Overreact to minor things?
Notice a marked decrease in productivity at work?
Find it impossible to relax?
Withdraw from social contacts?
Feel helpless, trapped, defeated, or empty?
Feel extra cynical/critical?
Find it hard to concentrate?
Lose your patience easily?
Use food, drugs, work, or alcohol to feel better, or to not feel anything?
Even answering ”yes” to just one of these can mean you are experiencing burnout and that it’s time to make radical changes in your life so you don’t end up like the poor frog.
Feel free to contact me if you would like a partner to support you in your effort to manage your stress and prevent burnout.
If you know someone who would benefit from this information, please feel free to pass it along.
“Empowerment begins when people realize they have a choice.”
Janine Friedman, Owner and founder of Choice Training and Coaching Solutions, Inc. is an executive and leadership coach and holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coaching Federation. She believes that the healthy and happy employee is the successful one and has spent decades helping executives manage their stress for optimal workplace performance. To learn more about her background click here. To schedule a FREE exploratory coaching session, click here.