Shifting Your Mindset To Avoid Burnout

Wandering Aimfully Through Creative Business

Shifting Your Mindset To Avoid Burnout

Caroline ZookCaroline Zook Caroline ZookCaroline Zook

Written by

Caroline Zook

Creative burnout is that feeling of exhaustion and lack of inspiration that comes from pushing yourself too hard for too long in too many directions.

It’s that frazzled state when you feel simultaneously at a dead stand still and also like you’re a lost chicken running around with your head cut off. You know the feeling I’m describing, right?

The longer I’m in the game of running my own business, the more I’m starting to understand the patterns that emerge when it comes to burning out. In my personal experience, this feeling can come from a few different places:

Do any of these burnout sources apply to you right now?

The first step to battling burnout is knowing where it’s coming from, so if you’ve identified it, you’re already on the right track.

But, my question for today is…

Is it possible to actually prevent burnout? Can we create lives in which we never allow ourselves to get to the end of our ropes in the first place?

In the past I thought the secret was simple enough: Just take more breaks. Manage stress better. Be present. Rest.

However you want to say it, I thought this issue could be solved with a walk around the block or a Saturday spent in bed with my favorite book/Netflix binge session.

But after mulling it over this weekend, I’ve realized it takes a lot more than that.

Preventing burnout is not about taking more breaks.

Preventing burnout requires a complete mindset shift in the way we operate as creatives, and especially as business owners. 

“Preventing burnout requires a complete mindset shift in the way we operate as creatives, and especially as business owners. ”

Instead of framing work as a sport where we’re one player in an endless sea of other players trying to grab the same prize (success, money, visibility, legacy), we have to think of work as a game with only TWO players: ourselves and our craft.

What we do is not a highly competitive sport; it’s a highly personal craft.

The ultimate goal of this personal game then should be to make sure that the actions we’re taking are aligned with who we are at the core level and that we’re practicing our craft in whatever way that feels congruent with that core self.

To me, that’s not a recipe for burning out, that’s a recipe for burning bright.

This mindset shift creates a few very important distinctions that protect us from burnout:

If I’ve learned anything about avoiding burnout, it’s that while a morning ritual or vacation days or breaks from technology can help, these things can’t solve the underlying problem.

We have to retrain ourselves and our minds to see our path as separate from those around us. 

“We have to retrain ourselves and our minds to see our path as separate from those around us. ”

But you can’t just flip the switch and start thinking this way. It requires a DAILY reminder that you are the master of your own game and you get to decide how that game gets played.

Focus on burning bright — on doing whatever feels best to you on your terms — and if you manage to stay in your own lane playing your own game, I truly believe you can avoid getting burnt out.

This week I challenge you to a week of burning bright.

Create a reminder for yourself to keep playing your own game — whether it’s a post-it on your computer or a Google Cal reminder, or today’s Abstract Affirmations print below — and pay attention to how it feels after one week. Did you feel more jazzed about your own path and your own craft? Did you come back from the edge of burnout? I truly hope so.

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration, energy and light!

Shifting Your Mindset To Avoid Burnout

(Big Fat Takeaway)


This article written by

Caroline Zook

Artist, designer + writer passionate about helping soulful creatives grow into their brightest selves. Lover of bright colors + even brighter people! One half of the crazy duo running these parts!

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