causes of burnout

Updated: Jan 4

In today’s society, most people have either heard of the term burnout or they’ve experienced it for themselves. Burnout can be accompanied by feelings of detachment, lack of motivation, and sometimes even depression. Someone experiencing burnout may feel like they are failing, but they don’t have the motivation to make changes, or they may even avoid their responsibilities altogether.

Most people are under the impression that you can start to experience burnout simply from working too much, there are certain personal and environmental factors that can increase your chance of experiencing burnout. In today’s post, we will discuss some of the most common causes to help you try and overcome burnout before it’s too late.

high-pressure environment

When you’re first starting out at a new job, a high-pressure environment may feel like a blessing in disguise. You may mistake the pressure as motivation to succeed. However, over time, the high-pressure environment can start to feel more stressful and hard to keep up with, which is when you may start to experience burnout.

With so much pressure to get the work done and do it well, you may find yourself being too hard on your own work, or you may start to feel like nothing you do will live up to the expectations of those around you. As you continue working in a high-pressure environment, you may start to wonder why you even bother, especially if the work you do is never good enough. At this point, you’ve already started experiencing the effects of burnout.


You may not always realize it, but your community and the people around you have a huge effect on your motivation, your stress levels, and your ability to continue doing your job without experiencing burnout. In the example of a workplace, your community represents your coworkers. If you’re working with people who always try to make your job a competition, or who are constantly offering their feedback disguised as criticism, it can make it difficult to feel motivated and keep up with your responsibilities, which can inevitably lead to burnout. However, if you work among people who are constantly offering support and understanding or trying their best to help you succeed, there is a reduced chance that you may experience burnout, or at least not as quickly.

perfectionistic tendencies

Some people are perfectionists by nature, and while there’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, those who have these tendencies can often have a better chance of experiencing burnout. Perfectionists tend to be their own worst critic, even more so than others, and they set high expectations for themselves that cause them to work harder than those around them. As you can imagine, constantly working harder to achieve their own expectations can be exhausting, and after working hard for so long, they may start to feel the effects of burnout.

reluctance to delegate

A reluctance to delegate can sometimes accompany the perfectionist tendencies. If someone is a perfectionist, they may feel as though they are the only person who can do the task correctly, therefore, they may refuse to hand off the work to someone else. As a result, the individual may start to feel as though they are buried in work, which can lead their quality to suffer, which can make them feel like a failure — eventually, it all ends in a downward spiral of burnout. Even if the person isn’t a perfectionist, if they don’t fully trust the people they’re working with, they may have a harder time delegating, leading to the same result as above.

working in a dysfunctional team

In any sort of environment or situation where you have to work with others, it’s important that you’re able to trust your teammates. However, if an individual finds themself working with a group of people who can’t delegate, have a hard time making decisions, is constantly distracted, or a number of other dysfunctions, it can make it hard to get the job done. Depending on the personality of the individual, working in a dysfunctional team can make them feel as though they are the only person who cares, and as a result, they may end up putting all of the work on themselves to compensate. This situation can cause burnout from many different angles. Not only is the person doing all of the work more likely to experience burnout, but those who are trying to do what they can to reach the high expectations may also start to feel the effects.

overcome burnout with karuna!

Burnout can be extremely toxic, but our team at karuna is here to help. Come join us in the completely free reimagine happiness™ community, where you can become part of a vibrant network of karuna warriors and discover the transformational tools and resources we have waiting for you. It's time to start your personal happiness journey. See you there!

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