It is sad to lose joy over something you used to love. Burnout is often described as a decrease in desire to do a certain activity. Often times it makes us feel numb towards an activity that we once loved. We can even begin to feel resentment toward this activity that we are in. The thing is, usually this activity gave us excitement and joy at one point in our life so it can also be discouraging. This can change though!
In some cases, burnout can be a sign that it is time to leave this activity. But this article is not addressing those times. I am addressing burnout for youth who deep down, still want to do a particular activity but they are experiencing the burnout I described above.
Here a few suggestions that have a history of success:
1) Dig up a photo(s) of yourself doing this activity when you very first started and at times that you loved it. If you can, get a photo of yourself participating in that activity when you were very young. As we learned in the Higher Power Mind Skill of Mental Movies (Motivation LESSON), pictures are powerful. Sometimes all it takes is reliving the feelings and reason of why you started doing this activity in the first place because after time we can forget.
2) Set micro goals. Micro goals are small goals of accomplishment that can spark new motivation. For example: I will put 100%, focused effort into 10 minutes of practice today. Then, reward yourself when you do it. Keep doing this until the desire is back. You can even set emotional goals. For example: I will focus on joy for 10 minutes of practice today, or I will encourage 2 people today. Leverage skill, process, mental, and emotional micro goals to set off sparks to ignite a new fire of motivation. You can get guidance for this in the Higher Power Mind skill of GPS (Motivation LESSON)
3) Take a break. Literally, do not go to that activity for a day, week, two weeks, three weeks…whatever seems fit for that particular activity. Cut the cord. Disengage. Sometimes you just need to miss something. Of course, let your coach/instructor know your intent and move forward with your best interest at heart. I know it’s easy to think it will ruin things, but just think, you may actually come back even stronger.
4) Pray: this should actually be #1! We can pray to God to give us our love and desire back. Psalm 20:4 says-Let God grant what is in your heart and fulfill all your plans. Psalm 37:4 says-Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. He can do things we can’t if we just ask.
Dear God, I pray that whoever reads this gets a word, thought, or actionable idea that will help them or someone they know overcome burnout and get their joy back.