According to a new study by Asana that looked at over 10,000 knowledge workers across seven countries, approximately 70% of people experienced burnout in just the last year.
Considering generations, 84% of Gen Zs report burnout along with 74% of Millennials and 47% of Baby Boomers, according to the study. Furthermore, 67% of women report burnout, and 59% of men report burnout. On top of this, sadly, 40% of the population believe burnout is an inevitable part of success.
The data is clear: people across the nation and across the world are burned out, exhausted and depressed.
Burnout is a feeling of being exhausted or trapped, particularly in a job. it is also characterized by cynicism and feelings of ineffectiveness. Burnout is also increasingly correlated with depression.
The article continued on to promote the power of positive thinking and importance of self-help to avoid burnout, and on top of that workers need to have meaning and belonging within their work. However, the article was left with questions about what this means in a world that is continually demanding more - more of its teachers, more of its parents, more of its nurses, more of its families.
When you ask people how they are doing, over 75-90% of people likely answer that they are “busy” to some capacity. Busy is a badge in a world that is on go-go; a world that says you must perform by doing more in order to be worthy.
So how do you slow down in a world that asks you to keep moving? How do you be content in a world that wants your continually improvement?
Can you find lasting encouragement through the power of positive thinking and self-help?
There are two key words in that question: power and self. Power is something that we think we can find for ourselves and that if we have the power, we can control things. That's a problem. We're not God. We're not intended to control things. And so the power of positive thinking implies that if I feel discouraged, I hold the power to change my circumstances in a way that will make me feel encouraged again.
But God's word says that God's power is made perfect through weakness. So I'm intended to come to my weakness in search of God's power, not in search of my own power. It's going to be problematic anytime I'm reaching for power that I control. The self-help movement has not helped us with that. The self-help movement says, “You can find it, you can buy it, you can do it yourself.”
And so we think that all we need to do is go to the Internet and do a little research, read a book or two, and that it's going to be very easy to get started on whatever self-help project we need help with.
But the bigger project is not our self-help, it is our sanctification. The difference is you have vast control over one and little control over the other. Sanctification is the work that God is doing in our hearts. And in times of discouragement, when we need help the most, God is at work sanctifying, shaping, calling, saving.
God is working for our good and for his glory. And if we are trying to manhandle and maneuver our ways around what God is doing so that we don't have to bend to his will, we're not going to be able to escape; we are going to maybe miss some of the blessing that God intends to provide and the ways that he wants to comfort us in those hard times.
And so I think that with self-help, the best thing that we can do is say:
"I am not the best person to help myself. I know that I need help and seeking help is not wrong. But on top of any self-help I seek, I NEED outside help that only the Spirit of God can provide. I need to surrender my day, my week, and my life to the one who is in control and live in joy and contentment in what he wills for me."
May you choose to make room for him this year in your life. Slow down by not worrying about doing more, but instead by simply spending time hearing from God through reading your bible. Join me in reading through the Bible chronologically this year utilizing the Bible Project.
Surrender your burnout to the one who burnt out his life on Earth to save yours. Slow down by spending time with your Creator.
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