Finding your passion is a great accomplishment in life. Having something you love to do, either as a living or outside of your day job. Considering some people go through life not knowing what they love to do, or too afraid to pursue something because they are afraid it’s the wrong thing for them. And having a goal for your passion is key to getting it to where you want it to be. You love this thing so much that you hustle hard at it, any spare time you have is dedicated to building upon your passion. It’s something you love to do, so you double-down on spending all your time on it.
But what happens when that well goes dry? What happens when you spend so much time at this thing that you burnout from it.
Burnout is the feeling you get when you don’t have the feeling anymore. You feel nothing but dread when you think of going to do it. So you don’t, unless it’s your job and you begrudgingly have to do it, or leave it in hiatus if it’s a side project / hobby. You love this thing, so why do you not want to touch it, or procrastinate when it comes to getting back to it?
It’s because you’re burnt out.
Burnout can happen when you spend a lot of time at something either in short succession, after a long time of trying something new, doing nothing else but your passion, or when you see something that deters you from the thing your passionate about, ie. Shiny Object Syndrome. It’s a feeling when you see someone else doing what you’re doing and they either do it better or do it faster and you think of all the time you have wasted doing it your way which you will now have to learn that faster way.
You can’t afford to burnout from the thing you love. Especially if it’s your living.
It’s not because you don’t love this thing any more. It’s just clouded in a veil of insecurity. Burnout can lead you down a rabbit hole of insecurity about why you’re doing the thing you’re doing. Where you feel like you don’t want to show up because you think it’s the wrong thing for you, or it’s not worth your time anymore. You’re simply tired of seeing it day-in day-out, being surrounded by it and in its world for long periods of time without seeing something new, or being exposed to new hobbies, entertainment, events, spending time with friends or family etc.
It’s easy to feel burnt out when you aren’t learning anything new.
You need to schedule your time into chunks. Even on your days off you need to dedicate time to doing different things. Things that are not in the realm of the passion you are burnt out from. Do fun things. See new places, break your day up into segments where you do interesting things, or spend your time enjoying whatever forms of entertainment you like. When you enjoy different/new experiences, you remember them, they get engraved in your head and help distract you from the problems you have outside of these experiences. So much so that it alleviate the pressure on you and can even put your problems into perspective and quell the worry you had for it.
Drop what you’re doing, and take a break. Try something new.
There’s always more to do, even when the work is done, there is going to be more you could do. You need to get into a mindset where you aren’t exceeding your limit for this thing. If you feel like you’re about to get burnt out. Take a step back from it, you need to drop what you are doing with it for some time and catchup with the rest of your life.
Spent more time with friends, try a new hobby, doing things with your family. Visit new places, experience different things.
A technique you could use to combat burnout from your passion is to take a week off from it every 6 weeks. And on your 7th week, you take the entire week off where you can use that time to explore new avenues, hobbies, building something you like to do outside of your passion. We all like multiple things, so use this time to pursue those other things. Not in a long-term aspect. More so in a short-term. Use the week to have restful, fulfilling time off from your regular passion/duties.
In this week, you don’t do anything closely resembling your passion. Dedicate time to exploring something new.
Studies suggest that humans enjoy the anticipation of something rather than the actual thing. The enjoyment comes from thinking of the possibilities. Much like when you have an idea, it remains in your head in its perfect form. That is, until you actually pursue and act on the idea. Then you realise that it was not what you thought it was in your head when you start to encounter problems and scenarios that you couldn’t possibility foresee because you held it in its perfect state. in your mind.
Take more breaks. The benefits of taking a break from your passion when you’re close to burnout is unprecedented. I’ve talked about it before. Make your down time count. Set another goal for something on a smaller scale during that week off. Aim to go to bed earlier, or aim to wake up earlier. Go for a run everyday, or a cycle. Go to at least 2/3 events. Go to things outside of your comfort zone, things you will remember. Have a plan for your week off, as contradictory as that may sound to taking time off.
By having a schedule, you will be able to establish what it is that you want to do for the week and you can follow it so you don’t allow the time to slip through the cracks. If you don’t dedicate specific time then next thing you know it’s Thursday and you haven’t done anything with the week
The idea is to do different things that wouldn’t normally be on your schedule. Of course you can relax and enjoy your down time with your normal entertainment. But when it comes to the end of the week and you wonder where it’s gone and that you haven’t achieved anything or tried something new. You will be right back to square one of being burnt out with this passion.
If you work a day job that you are burnt out from. The best thing to do is to find a new one, one that doesn’t drain you of your creative energy. The energy needed to come home and do your passion. But if that is the only thing that you are burnt out from, then at least you have something you love to do when you come home from that day job.
What I’m aiming at with this post is not about getting burnt out with your day job, which may not even be burnt out at all, it may just be a bad day job for you where you don’t enjoy it. But rather, the idea of being burnt out from your passion. Where you want to still pursue it because you know you love it, it’s just that you need a break from it.
We all need a break, even from the things we love the most. It can become consuming, where you feel that the rest of your life is falling behind and you need that extra time to allow it to catch up.
So take that time, practice new hobbies, go to new events and see different things. Allow yourself a grace period where you are free to explore and discover something new for yourself and become engrossed in it.
You owe it to yourself not to become burnt out.