Too many good people burn out too soon. It never happens intentionally. It just creeps up on you and before you know it you have loss your energy, passion and health.
Perhaps you may be sensing that you are approaching burnout. The tell-tale signs are there but you are too busy doing what it is you believe you ‘have to’ do that you just keep on going.
As someone who experienced serious burnout and has lived with the consequences of that for the last 7 years I would say:
Why am writing this article right now?
Well, it’s because I can recognise the signs in myself that I have been coming close to the edge of burnout. So, to avoid burnout I will be following 7 steps I am sharing in this article.
Before doing so I would like to remind you of the words we read in Isaiah 40: 28-31
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”
As you take steps to avoid burnout, including those in this article, please know that God is with you, He will give you strength, He will renew His power within you so that you can run and not grow weary and so that you can walk and not faint.
Steps to Help You Avoid Burnout
B – Boundaries must be set and kept
Boundaries keep you from falling off the edge. They are designed to keep you safe. However, many of us either fail to put healthy boundaries in place or we put them in place and then fail to adhere to them.
Today, if you feel like you are falling off the edge it may well be your need better boundaries or you need to adhere to the boundaries that you have set.
For boundaries to help you avoid burnout they must be set and kept.
U – Urgent action must be taken
Burnout doesn’t happen overnight so act now to prevent burnout reaching the point of no return. Every day you delay taking action to avoid burnout you push yourself closer to the edge. Do not take the risk any longer. Take action today!
For many this article will be a wake-up call. In fact, I believe that this article will be like a heaven-sent alarm bell going off. God has great plans for you but he requires you to take urgent action to avoid burnout. God cannot take the actions for you. The only person who can the urgent action that is needed is you.
When it comes to your spiritual, emotional and physical health it’s better to act now than to live in regret later.
R – Respect yourself
You are God’s unique creation. There is no one like you. You are the apple of His eye. He loves you more than anyone has ever loved you.
If we truly believe these truths then we need to begin to respect ourselves. We need to respect the gift of life that God has given us and respect the gifts that God has placed within us that enable us to live and lead like Jesus. May God open our eyes to see ourselves in the way that He sees us.
When we respect ourselves, we respect who God has made us to be.
N – Nurture new healthy habits
Over the years of life and leadership we develop habits; some are good and some are less than good. If you are like me, you will recognise that there are habits that have become imbedded in your life that are not helpful. They may not necessarily be sinful, but they are not helping you be all that God has called you to be.
Now is the time to replace old unhealthy habits with new healthy habits that will ensure that you are at your best physically, spiritually and emotionally.
The time it takes to develop life giving habits is time well spent.
O – Opt out or delegate if possible
Too many leaders fall into the trap of feeling they always have to say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity and say ‘Yes’ to every appointment that demands their time and attention. If that’s you I urge you learn to say ‘No’.
Too many Christian leaders have burned out because they kept saying ‘Yes’ to everything.
Likewise, learn to delegate. Many leaders fail to delegate either because they haven’t taken time to build a team or because they feel the job won’t be done right unless they do it.
Do not allow the terrible twins of ‘control’ and ‘pride’ derail God’s plans for your life.
U – Unplug Often
We live in a 24-7 world where we spend practically every living moment connected to our computers, TV’s or phones. The constant bombardment of external voices leaves our minds clouded, causing us to miss hearing the whispers of the Father that steer us away from burnout into a place of rest in Him.
To avoid burnout, you need to deliberately schedule time in each day to unplug; walk away from the computer, turn off the TV and put your phone onto airplane mode.
If we are to walk in the fullness of the blessing God has prepared for us, we need to spend more time listening to the still small voice of the Father.
T – Tune into Heaven
Finally, I have found one of the greatest ways to avoid burnout is to slow down for long enough to tune into the sound of heaven. As I do I become less focused on the relentless demands of this life and more focused on dwelling in the love of the Father.
The more we tune into heaven the more the stresses of life diminish in comparison to our increasing realisation of the peace that passes all understanding.
May we be those who burn bright, rather than those who burnout.
Article written by Tommy Stewart, Founder of Christian Who Lead
Video message can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/yO9OuL0K1M0