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Basic Problem 1 No Energy Part 3 look after yourself

If you are feeling that you have no energy, and that it is useless to help people or change anything; feeling bitter, jaded and cynical; you are likely experiencing what is called ‘burn out’.

Burn out usually happens to idealists. People longing to make things better, often captured by the vision of a better world, who are usually driven, and push themselves. And then they find people don’t change just because they are told to, or presented with a vision, or have the situation explained to them; that other people are less motivated than they are, more stuck, and so on. Which is frustrating and can be infuriating. And the idealist can end up banging their head against a brick wall. Idealists can be not very good at self-care.

This no energy state requires some deep work.

It means caring for yourself. We all have a child within that needs nurture. Doing things for fun and pleasure. Meeting can be essential, productive and satisfying; they are less often fun. A life of plans, goals and meetings may be what is needed for us to survive – we also need fun, giggling, delight and just hanging around.

It means caring about being wounded. That disappointment, the damage from the awful things done. There is no need to diminish the brutality and callousness. There is just the need to acknowledge what happened, and how it has effected us; in small, safe, easy steps. Likely you coped as well as most (perhaps even better than most – even if not as well as you would have liked, or as well as your hero(in-)es. As we begin to acknowledge how awful it was, the bitterness and disappointment can begin to melt.


A First Step

What did you find delightful as a child that you would still like to do?

Do this.

See if you would like to make it a regular part of your life.

Perhaps you will, or perhaps you have thought of other things you would like to do.

Next Steps

You will likely find some attitudes that don’t serve you well.

Perhaps you will find traumatic incidents (from childhood or later) that you will need to heal.


Eventually, you will probably come to a place of wanting to do things again. But perhaps not on as big a scale, and as quickly, and in such a force-things-through kind of way. More in a way that cares for you and others in the work to be done. Your energy will probably be more centred and calmer.

Healing from burn out can happen. It can take a while, it will probably mean changing radically how you do things, and what you believe about yourself, others and the world. And all the changes will be in the direction of feeling good.

I'm Evan Hadkins. To find out how to live a more satisfying life you can download my manifesto on living authentically. It is a book of exercises to guide you to finding, nourishing and living from the core of who you are.

If you would like me to write about some aspect of living an authentic life please don't hesitate to get in touch. There is a box in the sidebar where you can leave a question anonymously if you wish, or you can email me, use the contact page, or comment on this post.


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