As we mentioned in our last article, Kitty and I recently taught a workshop on burnout. We did a ton of research around it. Obviously, we already knew that burnout sucks and is bad (not our hottest take, historically). But that research led us to a much deeper, scarier understanding of exactly how widespread and devastating burnout really is. It’s the difference between knowing how big a blue whale is because Google told you, and knowing how big a blue whale is because it’s rising up from the water beneath you.
The causes of burnout aren’t straightforward. A variety of cultural, organizational, and individual traits work together to burn a person out. Although bigger structural issues deserve the lion’s share of blame, individual struggles with perfectionism, breakneck compulsory productivity, and a cruel inner voice appear in story after story.
I recognize those struggles in the stories we’ve heard from readers. And from many personal friends and loved ones. And from my coblogger, Kitty.
But most especially, from myself.
Today I’m discussing why I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold everyone else. I want to think about how to let go of this unhealthy habit and start treating myself with more kindness and compassion. And since I know this is something I’m profoundly Not Alone in, I’ll share what I’ve learned.
Note: I talk about suicidal ideation and post-traumatic stress in this post. If you don’t feel ready for those topics, maybe skip this one! And if you struggle with suicidal thoughts, please call 988 for help and resources from the Suicide and Crisis Hotline.*Read More