If you have a high-flying career, or you run your own business, the chances are high that you’ll be working in a high-pressure environment. While many career-minded individuals and entrepreneurs thrive on pressure, everyone has their limit, and if pushed over the edge, anyone is capable of crashing.
You are no different; there’s a limit beyond which your mind and body won’t be able to cope, and you’ll be burnt-out and sick rather than flying high. Even if you feel confident that you can manage the daily pressures of work, it’s essential to be able to spot the signs that you could be approaching breaking point, so you can take action to prevent getting to the point of no return.
Fulfilling your potential
People are very good at dealing with having more and more pressure applied to them, in all aspects of life. Humans are resilient and capable of incredible feats, and there’s plenty of business and coaching advice on the merits of pushing through your personal barriers when you feel you can’t go any further.
It does give you an enormous sense of achievement to break through personal barriers, and you may be surprised at how much you can achieve beyond what you thought you were capable of. There is a difference though between breaking out of your comfort zone and fulfilling your potential, and pushing yourself so hard something has to give.
How to spot impending burnout
When you’re pushing yourself to achieve more, you may get tired, dispirited, or down on occasions, but overall you’ll be positive and proud of what you’ve accomplished. If you start feeling like you can’t cope even with tasks that are normally within your capabilities, or you notice errors creeping into your work, these are signs that your brain is reaching full capacity.
People around you may comment that you don’t seem yourself, and you may start to have trouble sleeping, or not want to get up in the mornings. You might notice you start getting spots on your skin, headaches or muscular pains, and digestive upsets. If your mood dips, and you constantly feel under pressure or worried, your body will get trapped in a cycle of chronic stress that means your body is operating with high levels of stress hormones in your bloodstream, making you feel even worse over time.
People often turn to artificial stimulants to get them through the day, and then have to use other medications or alcohol to wind down at night. If you find yourself relying on narcotics or drink, that’s a sure sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard. Before it progresses any further, get help with your substance abuse problems, for example joining a support group or attending a specialist clinic for meth addiction treatment.
The point where you reach your limit is hard to predict, but when you’re getting close, you need to be able to recognize the signs and take action to resolve your situation. Failure to address impending burnout could have a permanent detrimental effect on your health and your livelihood, so it’s not something that can be ignored.