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Your Burnout May Be Caused By A Broken Perspective

May 11, 2022

We hear this broken perspective far too often. “If you’re not working 15 hours a day you’re not grinding hard enough.” Let me begin by challenging this misguided approach to a successful life by saying if you’re ‘grinding’ 15 hours per day, you’re not grinding, you’re dying. 

We have been groomed by society to believe that the process to attain exponential success requires hard work, no days off, forfeiting sleep, and heavy dosing of anything caffeinated to fill in the gaps. This dysfunctional and detrimental design to achievement is single handedly responsible for our community of compromisers, society of strivers, and our world of workaholics

We boast about the level of sacrifice we make to achieve the unimaginable and encourage the generation coming after us to follow suit if they ever wish to have the life that they desire. We say it all the time without much thought – to be successful, you have to sacrifice!

But are we mistaking sacrifice for self-sabotage?

I remember my corporate-run 8 years ago working for a well-known fortune 500 company. I was extremely elated as I sat in my training class, my pulse palpitating from the possibilities of a 6-figure earning potential, leg twitching from the opportunity to leverage this platform to impact my legacy, and heart hopping with the hope of one day becoming the future general manager of the region. You may call me an overachiever, but when you’re born on a small Caribbean island, where your parents worked hard to make ends meet, the idea of having a shot at earning more than your entire family combined (aunts, uncles, and distant cousins included) would ignite a fire in you too.

I was given clear and consistent instructions, that If I wanted to make it to the big leagues, I would have to outwork and outperform all of my peers – so that’s exactly what I did. A 60-hour workweek was the norm, a lunch break was a luxury, completely satisfying my customers was my only commitment and at the end of a “hard day’s work” a bottle (not a glass) of cabernet became my coping mechanism. 

But no worries, I was making the necessary sacrifice for success. In hindsight, I realize that what I called sacrifice was more of self-sabotage

I crushed the numbers, but not without increasing the numbers on my doctor’s blood pressure monitor. Sure, I outworked my peers, but not without the costly expense of relinquishing my peace. And without a doubt, I successfully became number one, but in turn, my vitality became number two. 

Now, I want to be clear with you. I am not advocating for you to be comfortable or lazy – far from it. Nor am I trying to slam the corporation’s methodologies or approach because I owe a lot of my skill set and tenacity today to the rigorous training and development I received from that organization. But what I am saying is that “If your pursuit of success costs you your soul, you’re not sacrificing, you’re sabotaging.”

If you’re reading this you may be on the brink of burnout, on the fence of fatigue, or heading to the destination called depletion. Regardless of where you are, I want to give you four profound but practical truths to help shift the way you view your approach to attaining extraordinary results.

You cannot execute with excellence on empty.
If you do it, you must do it well – no shortcuts! Doing it well or what I like to call – executing with excellence – will require your absolute best, not your functioning norm. We tend to fall into the trap of thinking that because we are going through the motions, we are making moves. But remember walking down the street and walking on a treadmill may have a similar psychological impression, but a different geographical impact. Here is the truth, operating from fatigue, depletion, or burnout may help you to attain remarkable results but they never sustain extraordinary outcomes which ultimately lead to transformative change. We cannot continue to give the least to what we expect the most from – Ourselves. Treat burnout like a bowel movement, when you feel it coming, run to a rest-room.

Society may encourage it, but you don’t need to embrace it. 
The colloquialism, “grinding”, has been engraved in our culture for generations. We wear it like a badge of honor, we call it normal. Interestingly enough, I have realized that what we call normal is only normal because it’s what the majority believes or does. Sidenote – it may not be a bad idea to challenge the norm. Even though we are constantly being pressured to push harder, we can ultimately choose to conform, or we can choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. So, before you subscribe to the rhetoric to grind harder, ideate on ways that you can live smarter. 

There is a difference between drive and strive.
We can have the right motive and intention but the wrong angle. From the outward appearance drive and strive could look like identical twins with a type-A personality. They both seem like the traits of a successful person on the path to accomplishing a purpose. But there is a subtle yet significant difference between them. I believe that a healthy drive is signified in one’s intentionality to fill the gaps between their current position and their life’s true purpose – to serve, to impact, and to love. But its twin sibling, strive, is the constant attempt to fill the gaps between one’s shortcomings, insecurities, and ego. Let me say it a different way, we engage drive when we run to purpose, but enable strive when we run away from pain. What is the source of your get-up and go? Is it destiny or deficiency?

Success is an individual sport with a team benefit.
Have you defined what success means to you? Or have you embraced a definition created by your modeling, society, or even your mentors? We oftentimes throw our entire lives in a direction that we have not accurately discerned. Success may leave clues, but it should never be a one size fits all model or mantra. We end up at a compromise because we don’t take time out to ascertain our true heart’s desire. If you don’t think for yourself, you will allow society to define success to you – and even scarier – define success for you. When you embrace success as an individual sport with team benefits, versus a team sport with no benefits, you will begin pursuing fulfillment rather than chasing happiness.

I want to invite you to one of the most transformational places that we seldomly visit. A place called introspection. And at this place I want you to ponder on this possibility.

 Could your burnout be connected to a broken perspective? If so, what now? Visit for more resources to help you to Take Back Your Power so that you can be more purposeful and profitable in life and in business.