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16 Symptoms of Burnout

(Part 3 of 4)

Are you showing signs of burnout?

Lack of Creativity, Cynical attitude, Resentment and Bitterness, Low Commitment / Flakiness / Not showing up, Forgetfulness / Poor Concentration

I’m sure you remember that feeling of inspiration - you can get into the zone and effortlessly flow your talents and creativity through you, and have this in the moment ability to be infinitely resourceful…

If you’re an achiever - a conscious leader, change maker, social entrepreneur…

Then creativity and being productive with it is your life’s blood.

Whether that means coming up with the next steps, big ideas, running your business, being resourceful or keeping your organization innovative.

But day after day you’re realizing and frustrated that you can’t tap into that creative as easily. More coffee perhaps, you rely on different hacks to keep you focused.

Your performance lags and you’re just beginning to not be able to keep up anymore. It’s that realization that you might drown, and you’re getting more stressed and exhausted…

And then one day you do.

You make a mistake when your creativity is needed the most. You let yourself and your team down.

Now it’s easy to blame your team and organization right? You’ve tried your best, but ultimately you can’t be responsible and creative for everyone…

You feel guilty, angry, responsible and almost helpless all at the same time, and those emotions are draining you from your most creative self.

That turns into a vicious emotional rollercoaster and ultimately gets you on the path of burnout.

Everyday you clock in and clock out, and you let your wounds heal, but they really don’t.

From the once creative and future forward self, you now have a more cynical outlook you call being “real”.

Bitterness and resentment is masked with being non-committed. You look to your wounded past to create your carefully calculated future.

It’s like you want to move forward by freely stepping on the gas pedal, yet with a sense of being realistic that also puts on the brakes.

Your creativity is inconsistent because your thoughts and emotions are turbulent.

Plan for the best, but expect the worst.

It’s a dim road to walk, and for those who are on the path of burn out, that’s how the outlook for your career might feel like.

Are you feeling that now or know someone in your organization that does?

When that reality finally settles in, it turns into an attitude of non-commitment and not fully showing up.

It’s like you’re physically there, but your heart and spirit are somewhere else. By loosening your commitments, you don’t deliver your work when it’s needed. You refrain from making promises so you won’t disappoint. You play it safe, but really that means not playing at all.

From being a key player to a bench player. You coast through work with high disengagement. As that attitude sinks in, you begin to fog up the mind and it’s hard to focus because you aren’t very motivated.

Concentration and memory are becoming more sporadic, and it really gets your attention when it begins to affect you in other areas of your life

[Further Reading: Part 4 - Muscle tension, Hypertension, Poor Immune / Easy to Get Sick, Weight Gain]

Now it’s not as grim as it sounds. If you consider it, and what we call the rat race of life, many of us are operating like lifeless zombies.

We wake up, snooze alarm, drudge out of bed, get our coffee and hop on our commute. Check our emails on our phones. We get into the office, greet our colleagues politely with a smile, then heads down in our cubicles.

We plug in and plug away. Meetings, lunch, meetings and back on the commute. Get home, spend some family and social time, dinner, TV, into bed and we go away at it again.

Just like how we process our foods, our lifestyles are very industrially processed as well.

Vitality is rare for the lives of modern developed cities. Honestly ask yourself, do you feel alive? Does your heart sing everyday? Are you your most creative and fulfilling your greatness?

That’s why burn out isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For most of us who are asleep in life, it’s a solid pathway we can use to wake up and live full on!

I like to call it our own purpose awakenings.

It’s a moment when we’re just barely awake, groggy and and uncomfortable enough that we have a conscious choice to either fully wake up or crawl back into bed.

So if you or someone you know are on this path of burnout, then I welcome you to use this opportunity to really reconsider what’s deeply important to you

And consider a career that fully engages your talents and skills to fulfill who you’re meant to be.

That’s what I believe will make this world a better place, and that’s our mission at the Burnout Clinic.

We create meaningful work for leaders, organizations and communities who want to empower the people, causes and communities important to them.

If you’re on the path of burnout and looking to rapidly turn that around, feel free to learn more at and check out our Breakthrough Burnout program.

Book a discovery strategy appointment with our team and we look forward on how we can assist you on this empowering journey.

A little about me... Hi! I'm Duncan So, Executive Director at, the Founder & Chief Catalyst of, a Systems Change Agency, and the Head of Global Education at the Phinklife Institute for Social Impact empowering leaders for social impact.

Want to breakthrough your burnout and creating meaningful work for yourself or your organization? Start here at: