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Gary Vee Is Wrong – Why Passion Does Not Prevent Burnout

Written by: Ellyn Schinke, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Ellyn Schinke

I’ll never forget when I first experienced burnout. Not only was Google maddeningly unhelpful—telling me things like work less, sleep more, and quit your job—but social media didn’t help either. In particular, I remember something from Gary Vee saying how “you only burnout if you don’t love it.” Immediately, I felt like something was wrong with me. Why didn’t I love it? I was in grad school, working toward a Ph.D. I was pursuing work that I had always loved and, not only was I physically and mentally exhausted, that love I’d once felt just wasn’t there anymore.

happy woman in front of her computer

I remember that, along with the burnout, there was shame. So much shame. What is wrong with me? The sunk costs and time, money, etc. that had already been invested in that path were abundant…and yet, I didn’t want it anymore.

And here was Gary Vee pointing a finger at me saying essentially saying, “Your burnout is your fault. You’re not passionate.” And I felt like I failed.

It wasn’t until years later when I was looking up burnout statistics that I found data that wholeheartedly disagreed. In a Deloitte study, 87% of polled workers felt passionate about the work they did. Yet, of those, 67% still felt intense stress and burnout. For the first time in my life, I’d found information that told me a different story.

The more I read, the more I realized that passion doesn’t burn out. If anything, passionate workers might struggle more. Why? Because people who are passionate about their work are more likely to put themselves on the back burner for the sake of their work. They might also struggle to set the boundaries they should. Passion might also mean you have a harder time disconnecting, making you too available to your clients and your peers.

Passionate workers might need harder boundaries than someone who is not so passionate

If somebody's not as passionate about their work, they're able to say “peace out” at the end of the day and check out without any qualms or any reservations. That might not be you if you are passionate about your work. So, you might need harder boundaries and you might need more accountability to check out at the end of the day.

For example, I just installed an application called Freedom on my computer, where it literally won't let me go to certain websites during certain times of day. If you're somebody who's passionate about your work, you might need to implement things that are as extreme as that if you truly cannot disconnect from work without them. So, you might need harder boundaries.

You might also need to do a little bit of self-reflection to find out what is draining you

Burnout ultimately comes from exhaustion in whatever form it might take—emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion—and it also comes from overwhelm. Those are the three of the four different types of burnout. I'm not including the fourth type.

So, what we might need to do is create some self-reflection to ask yourself, what are the things that are draining me emotionally? What are the things that are draining me physically? And what are the things that are overwhelming me? Look at your job, but also look at your lifestyle. Burnout is holistic, so it might not purely be job factors that are leading to your burnout.

I would venture to guess that for somebody who is very passionate about the work they do; they might be finding themselves emotionally exhausted because they are taking on the burdens of and emotions and problems of their clients and peers.

Take a nurse, for example. A lot of people go into nursing—or teaching as another example — because they’re incredibly passionate about helping people. For a nurse, they're probably very passionate about helping people get healthier, helping people overcome their ailments, the chronic diseases they might be experiencing, etc. A teacher might be passionate about helping their students create a love of learning, help them overcome imposter syndrome, or deal with self-critique and comparison. They might be passionate about those types of things.

So—in both situations—when their clients are struggling or when their patients are struggling or when their students are struggling, they might take a lot of that emotional burden on themselves. They might feel like they're a failure when they're not able to help somebody. That's a massive emotional burden to take on. So, in these situations, you might not only need harder boundaries, but you might also need to self-reflect to get very, very aware of what the things are that are draining you or what the things are that are overwhelming you.

Lastly, you might need more intentional breaks and rest times

If you're passionate about the work you do, as we said before, you're likely to put yourself on the back burner for the sake of your career and your job. However, doing that is going to be the last thing you should do because it's going to drain you and it's going to burn you out faster.

So being more intentional about taking breaks and being more intentional about the things that you do during those breaks is going to be very important for you. It’s going to be about spending your rests and breaks making sure that you're doing things that are filling your cup back up so that you're able to pour into others. Those might all be incredibly, incredibly important steps for you to take if you are passionate about the work you do.

So not only does passion not prevent burnout, but you might actually be more susceptible to it.

And I want to debunk that myth right now…

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Ellyn Schinke Brainz Magazine

Ellyn Schinke, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ellyn Schinke is a former scientist turned top coach and international speaker specializing in burnout and stress management. After burning out while pursuing her Ph.D., Ellyn was sick of all the cookie-cutter, BS burnout tips online and sought out the real, tangible tactics that would actually make a difference in her life. As a result, burnout when from being her lifestyle to her passion. Now, she's focused on helping corporate professionals and businesses free themselves from burnout and take back their lives. Ellyn is the founder and CEO of Coach Ellyn LLC, one of the top burnout coaches on Google, host of the Burned Out to Badass podcast, and more. Her mission: Make burnout a choice.



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