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Burnout prevention: How to recognize inner drivers

Constantly ringing smartphones, meetings until late in the evening and permanent availability even when on vacation: all of this eventually leads to a state of severe mental exhaustion. Burnout has many symptoms: Lack of drive, indifference and the feeling of experiencing severe failure. The imbalance between stress and recovery phases leads to an increase in mental illness in our time. But above all, it is inner drivers that control people and often drive them to peak performance. We have summarized here how you can recognize inner drivers for burnout prevention.

What are inner drivers?

Inner drivers are patterns and mantras that control the way we think and act. These drivers are important because they provide orientation in everyday life. However, if these drivers are overemphasized, they turn negative.

An example

As a child, you may have often been told: "Don't be like that". You had a stomach ache in the morning, wanted to rest, but were sent to school instead. "An Indian heart knows no pain" or "Only the tough get into the garden." These are all beliefs that are implanted in many people as early as childhood and have an impact well into adulthood. They lead to people dragging themselves to work sick later on, even in their professional lives, until they are completely physically and mentally exhausted. 

In psychology, a distinction is made between 5 different drivers, knowledge of which is important for burnout prevention:

  1.     Be strong!
  2.     Be perfect!
  3.     Make it right for everyone!
  4.     Make an effort!
  5.     Be quick!

Psychologists assume that every person has all the drivers within them. The strongest drivers come to the fore in stressful situations.

Why inner drivers lead to stress

Behind every inner driver lies a positive motivation: recognition, success, a need for harmony, diligence, perfectionism. These characteristics are very beneficial for teamwork and working life as a whole. However, what is important in other areas of life also applies here: it's all about the right balance. Stress fuels the strongest driver in you, which in turn leads to new stress and ultimately to a downward spiral. That's why it's so important to recognize these inner drivers and be aware of them.

Various methods of burnout prevention

There are various ways of dealing with burnout prevention. One option is to confront your inner drivers with enablers. The first step is to identify your dominant driver in order to dissolve it with an enabler. Each inner driver is matched with a counter-belief:

  1.     Be strong! - I can ask for help!
  2.     Be perfect! - I do my best and that's good enough
  3.     Make it right for everyone! - I can say no
  4.     Make an effort! - My strength belongs to me
  5.     Be quick! - I can take my time

Allowances are the key to dissolving the excess weight of one of your inner drivers. In addition to the initial realization of what is making you ill, this requires a great deal of inner work. Our experts can support you in burnout prevention as part of a coaching session. The aim is to build resilience and identify unhealthy behaviors. In addition to the downward spiral of "higher, faster, further", there is always a second path. As part of burnout prevention, we support you in finding this path.

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