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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl


Burnout is a phrase that can mean many things to many people. When I was a teenager with a ’69 Pontiac Firebird it meant torqueing your brake and gas until your tires peeled out while smoking and left burnt rubber marks on the pavement. (Not recommended near the high school you are attending just for the record.) The burnout I am referring to is from overworking ourselves, taking on too much, not having enough family, time to eat, exercise or sleep. We could certainly blame our bosses, companies or businesses that we work for by pushing us to this overload, but many times it is also self-inflicted by our inability to say NO. A simple two letter word that we all used freely when we were two years old or asked if we needed to go to the doctor, but now we find difficulty conjuring up this response. In my own case, and possibly yours, I like to please people and hate to let them down. This includes extra duties at work, my side projects, church and even when friends ask for me for help or guidance I find it difficult to say No. I find this also happens when your boss or corporate managers have a challenge and they can’t go anywhere else and we feel the need to help them out whether we have the time or assets for it or not. When we take on extra duties and responsibilities then we must alter or previous time management to accommodate the new project. It is also clear that those that accomplish the most are rewarded with more to do. It is just the nature of the beast and I know with my own staff I have unknowingly done this with staffers I felt I could count on more than others. Having been a manager for many years I’m better at reading the signs of my co-workers now and will pull them in for a chat if I see them stressing out. Last year I was becoming overwhelmed with my side writing projects. I wasn’t enjoying them as much and I was becoming stressed out by the deadlines, so I resigned from two of them. Now I only write for one magazine, Maverick Country in the UK, I really enjoy it and look forward to getting the music gear in house to review! At first when I resigned from the other magazines I questioned myself and my decision, not because of the extra money but because of the lose of opportunity that I had fought hard to achieve. Ever since I was fifteen years old reading guitar magazines I had hoped to write for them too, unfortunately in this day and time most writers are freelance and must do it on the side like I do. Much like my other side projects it won’t support a family and to me that comes first. One of my longtime friends, Kevin Casey, kids me about being the busiest man in Nashville with my family, day job and side projects! Although Kevin has little room to talk with his successful Voice Over business and new Morning Show for W3D radio. But when is enough enough and something must be cut or at least trimmed back? At our church that my family attends in Nashville I play music in the Praise team, was voted on Council, participated in a Call Committee Task Force and chaired the Call Committee. I enjoy our church and church family, but I reached burnout from this feeling that I was going from day job meetings to church meetings and it lessened my enjoyment of church and those people. So, I made the hard decision to resign from council and just play music and attend church services. The hardest part is recognizing the signs of burnout which include: anxiety, depression, headaches, fatigue and lack of sleep. It is the body and minds way of telling us to tap the brakes and evaluate everything that we are doing. Most of us are people pleasers, but we must also take care of our own mental and physical health so that we can be the best people we were meant to be. Don’t be afraid to say No if you don’t feel that you can give your all to a project. Resigning from something or trimming back some projects doesn’t mean you are a quitter or a failure either. I must frequently remind myself of this one! I also recommend discussing these matters with friends and family who know and see what you accomplish on a daily basis. They provide a better mirror than the ones in our bathrooms.

Finding our Center may require slowing down?


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