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Just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal

69% of people in Australia are experiencing burn-out.  So, if you are one of them, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s normal.

Stack of stones perfectly balanced

But whilst it is common, it is far from normal.

We’ve been conditioned to push ourselves – we are being told we could ‘be anything’, ‘do anything’ and ‘have anything’.  So, then we got really busy wanting those things (and buying the stuff those jobs allowed us to buy), and then some had children and realised they also wanted to be a parent.  And not just any parent…a good one – which is a full-time job in its own right!

And the pressure is not just on women.  With the shift in societal pressure, men too are now expected to have it all.  They are not only expected to perform at work but also be a present dad, turn up to extra-curricular activities, be at school functions – the list is endless for everyone.

But burn-out is not an individual problem, it’s a societal problem.  We’ve made busyness a badge of honour.  We’ve let late nights at work illustrate commitment.  We’ve let lack of time for ourselves and the things we care most about become a status symbol.  Mainly so we can buy more stuff and look important to people who don’t really matter (but that’s a story for another day).


When we see a challenge like burnout as an individual problem, then it becomes the burnt-out person’s job to seek assistance to cope better, rather than working to change the system.

If you’re feeling burnt out, find ways to re-charge the batteries.  Seek ways to reconnect with yourself and the people you care about.

If you’re a manager of people, make tackling burn-out a team issue.

Being burnt-out doesn’t mean you’re failing or you’re not resilient.  It can mean you might have to use your available resources differently and find easy ways you can regularly recharge and regroup.

Burn-out doesn’t serve anyone.  It doesn’t serve us, it doesn’t service our families, our friends, our colleagues, our jobs, our businesses, our clients/customers.  So, let’s have a different type of conversation about burn-out and find ways to help each other out! 

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