Mindsets that Lead to Emotional Burnout, these beliefs and stereotypes make us unhappy. It’s time to let them go

From childhood, we are instilled with certain “truths” and behavioral rules that we take for granted and continue to believe in, even as adults. Some of these mindsets truly motivate us, help us work efficiently, and remain good people. But others only evoke feelings of guilt, make us feel worthless, and drain our energy. We should remind ourselves more often that not all beliefs we’ve adopted reflect reality.

Work is just work. It shouldn’t be easy or enjoyable

For a long time, we’ve had an unchanging perception of work as a grueling and joyless endeavor. Work is necessary to avoid starvation; its most important outcome is money, and relaxation and joy should be reserved for the weekend—if we still have the energy and desire.

Expecting job satisfaction, interesting tasks, a comfortable atmosphere, and a great team where everyone supports one another seems unusual. People say these expectations are deceiving and ask, “Who has it easy nowadays?”

During tough crisis periods when there aren’t many options and one needs to eat, indeed, one might have to choose a job from whatever is available, primarily thinking about the pay. But in other times, looking for an occupation that interests you and a place where you’ll feel good is entirely natural. Just as it’s natural to leave a company that you don’t like.

Psychologists and HR specialists agree: monetary motivation isn’t the only important factor for effective work. Among the causes of burnout, a small salary isn’t listed, but overload, lack of recognition, unclear terms, and a weak sense of satisfaction are.

Every minute must be used wisely

In classic time-management books, there’s an idea that you need to be efficient and productive virtually around the clock. You’re either working, engaging in self-development, immersing yourself culturally, or sleeping.

One shouldn’t merely ride the subway or fly on a plane: you must definitely read professional literature, set weekly goals, or at the very least, listen to Mozart. Under no circumstances should you lie on the couch after work and watch a series. Why waste precious time on this when you can work a little more or attend an organ concert?

This concept isn’t new. Some start suffering from it in childhood when they are enrolled in ten different clubs so that the child doesn’t laze about, isn’t left to their own devices, and grows up as successful and multifaceted as possible.

In reality, such constant busyness and the inability to relax can lead to sensory and information overload—a state when the brain becomes so tired of the influx of data that it begins to “stall.” As a result, our productivity drops, and our mood goes down with it.

Therefore, it’s essential to take breaks when needed and even occasionally experience boredom and idleness. After all, boredom fosters creativity and helps find new interesting solutions.

Never ask for anything. Do everything yourself

If you need help, it means you’re weak and incapable. If you share tasks with someone else, it implies that your work and its results become less significant and valuable, as one can only take pride when bearing the burden alone.

This kind of logic is typically followed by adherents of the “do everything myself” mindset. “She quickly got in shape after giving birth? Well, of course, she has a nanny, anyone can do it that way.” “He started his business? It doesn’t count; his parents gave him the money.”

This mindset is harmful and utterly unconstructive. If you need to delegate some tasks, why not ask for help? If the job can be done by four hands instead of two, why not proceed that way? You’ll finish faster, and you’ll have more energy for the next endeavors.

6 Exhausting Mindsets that Lead to Emotional Burnout

Every task should be seen to completion

If you’ve started playing the guitar, keep going until you become a professional guitarist. If you began reading a book, never drop it, even if it’s boring. If you’ve chosen a profession, work in it for the rest of your life until you make a successful career and earn numerous accolades. Otherwise, you are inconsistent, frivolous, and weak-willed.

Indeed, there are some tasks you simply cannot abandon halfway, such as a treatment course or duties that affect the comfort and well-being of others. However, if your goals and plans change, or if a task proves too challenging or drastically different from your expectations, you can confidently abandon it at any moment without becoming a bad person.

Stereotypes that lead emotional exhaustion

If they succeeded, so can you

Losing weight, earning a lot of money, moving to another country, having four children, and simultaneously advancing in your career — someone managed to do it, so there’s no reason you can’t. And if you genuinely struggle, perhaps you’re not trying hard enough. Anyone can serve as a role model, from Mark Zuckerberg to the son of your mother’s friend.

Yet this straightforward “if they could, so can I” formula often overlooks various factors. These include health conditions, mental makeup, initial capital, social class, family background, education level, place of residence, support from friends and family, fortunate circumstances, and so on.

Every other person isn’t you, and there’s no sense in blindly basing your goals on others’ successes and then berating yourself for not meeting an ideal. Get inspired by others, learn from their mistakes, but always stay grounded in your personal reality and pace.

Feeling emotional

Achieving results requires sacrifice

Whether it’s your health, sleep, family, friendships, happiness, good mood, or leisure time. It seems that major achievements don’t come without significant sacrifices. Thus, it’s entirely acceptable to neglect your hobbies while saving up for a house or missing your child’s school events to earn a good reputation and get a promotion.

There are situations where sacrifices seem inevitable. However, experts have long determined that balancing career, personal life, family, and self-care enhances job satisfaction and overall happiness.

When we neglect things that interest and matter to us, like hobbies or time with loved ones, focusing only on work, we risk entering a cycle of burnout and exhaustion.