Ways to Avoid Burnout

Ways to Avoid Burnout

Today, I was doing my early morning bible reading in Exodus 18 when I was enlightened by Jethro’s advice to Moses.  Moses had been spending so much time dealing with minor complaints from the people that he had little time to handle more important things.

Jethro asked him, “Why are you trying to do this alone?”

Moses responded, “People come to me to seek God’s guidance.”

Jethro’s advice was simple. “Then get help and delegate!”

Getting help and delegating sound simple, but it’s not as easy as it seems?  In actuality, a lot of people don’t do it.  Even biblical heroes like Moses had to be reminded to let go of trying to handle everything.  He had the best intentions, of course.  But over time, he was going to burn himself out.  If this scenario feels all too familiar, then you’re also probably someone who seeks to do everything on your own.

I used to be that person.  I was used to having a lot of responsibility at an early age, so it was hard for me to ask for help.  However, as my responsibilities grew, I learned the importance of identifying reliable and knowledgeable resources to assist me.  If you want a balanced, healthy life where you don’t feel overwhelmed and worn out, then you will need to ask for help and delegate when necessary.

Don’t fall victim to the misconceptions below:

  • Depending on others is a sign of weakness.  This is false.  We need others to help us to do what God called us to do effectively.
  • If I ask someone for help, they may say no.  Yes, this is true.  But it’s okay if someone says they cannot help you.  People have obligations or conflicting priorities that may prevent them from being able to help.  Don’t take it personally.  Just ask someone else.
  • They won’t do the job as I would do it.  Yes, this is also true.  However, we all have unique gifts and preferred ways of completing tasks.  Give clear and concise direction to ensure the job is achieved in the manner in which you would like.  Check in periodically to see if further clarification is needed.
  • I don’t trust people.  Get referrals from trustworthy resources and give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.  They may disappoint you at times, but that happens to everyone.  There are times when you disappointed others, even when you didn’t intend to.  Learn to practice grace and forgiveness.

Asking for help and delegating are essential for emotional, mental, and physical life balance.   God did not create us to do life alone!

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