Leaders Can Burn Out

As I spent time this morning in our prayer room, this post began to formulate in me. I am working on improving my blog and I am in the midst of a 30 day writing challenge. This is the writing challenge for Day one “Free Write for 20 Minutes – Unlock Your Mind!” I am going to do my best not to edit this post and just write as it comes. Enjoy!

Unlock Your MindI began to think about why leaders get burned out. As I thought about it, these three thoughts came to me:

  • 1. Whose drinking from you well?
  • 2. How do you replenish your well?
  • 3. Athletes actually eat more calories than the average person because they burn it off.

Let’s start with the first thought:

Whose drinking from your well?

Who do you pour your life into every day? Your employees, your family, your neighbors, your students? Whose drinking from your wellspring of life? Do you find yourself on empty at the end of every day? May be you are already empty and all people are getting are the dregs of your well…You may be burned out or you are well on your way to being burned out.

How do you replenish your well?

Every leader gets tired or drained at some point. It is imperative that you take some time to replenish your well so that those that look to you for strength and sustenance can find it. Imagine being thirsty and dipping your cup in the only well that is available for miles and finding no water there to drink. That is unacceptable for leaders. When you are the captain of the ship, the lead dog, the head haunch, you have to have something to sustain your organization and the people that make up your organization. What do you do to replenish your well? Some people replenish their inner well with:

  1. Exercise
  2. Prayer
  3. Thinking
  4. Reading
  5. Getting away
  6. Reading a book
  7. Sleeping
  8. Writing

Athletes actually eat more calories than the average person because when they do what they do, they get depleted. In other words, their training depletes them. They need the extra calories for energy. So eating more calories helps them continue to grow and train for their next event. I believe this principle is similar for leaders. You may not be training your body for the next marathon or the next athletic competition but when you are the one people draw from every day, you better be increasing your “caloric” intake to ensure that your well does not run dry.

Prayer replenishes my well. I can see times in my life when I prayed consistently and there was strength in my life to show for it. I can also see times when my prayer life waned and I was easily depleted by the workload and lives of people I was leading. Prayer helps me recharge and feel strengthened. It is an inner thing. It helps me draw near to the creator of the universe. It helps me to hear and get downloads, much like this post. I was praying and these thoughts or this download came to me. I stopped praying and let the thoughts come and I captured them on paper right there in the prayer room.

What works for you? If you don’t know – you should. It is very easy for people to drain you – to drain your well. There are other people who help fill your tank. Be vigilant to know which people are which. Do what you must do to draw away on a consistent basis and get your tank filled again so that burn out does not become your portion!

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