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Burn-out: breaking open new life force

On the wall

On Friday afternoons I have white hands, I wear a belt attached to a rope. This is to prevent me from making a free fall to the floor of the climbing hall. When I start climbing I am looking forward to the climb and have lot of energy. I have an open mind and a relaxed body. As I get more tired and the grips become more difficult, the finish line seems far away. I have to make it! My energy is starting to run out. I have to be faster or I will fall. I don’t want to fail! This startle response narrows my gaze, stiffens my muscles. It is no longer enjoying the climb, but surviving. It is clear that this pattern, which occurs out of fear of failure, does not serve me at the moment. I feel my feet on the handles I can rely on and let my body weight rest on them, my arms, neck and eyes relaxed. There is space again and deeper breathing. Ah! That’s my next grip!

The exhaustion

What costs a lot of energy and does not provide energy causes fatigue. It’s that simple. This is the basis of burnout. There is an unconscious pattern that used to be functional, but no longer works. With patterns I mean thoughts, emotions and sensations that are intertwined and that are triggered in certain situations from conditioning. For example, that the sound of your alarm clock can cause a contraction in your body, the thoughts of “oh, not again!” And after that “I have to!” And then the experience of stress. This is a conditioning in your system that takes place when the alarm goes off. It takes a lot of energy for us to move forward with an ineffective habit. The result that we long for don’t come, so we work harder and harder and start using adrenaline and willpower. The idea that we might fail will cause fear in us. So we go even harder. This is putting extra energy into a dry sucking pattern. We get overtired. We cannot build on these old patterns and we have not developed new effective patterns to fall back on. Here we are, exhausted because we have tried so hard, desperate because we see no way out and no longer trust in our abilities. Congratulations! There is a great wisdom in you that will not continue in a way that is not according your heart. There is something brave in you that dares to fall deep to the bottom. There is something in you that makes room for something new!

Fear of the tiger

Imagine having a tiger behind you growling. Really do this for a minute and feel what is happening in your body. You are probably not relaxed, you are not open to new information and you certainly do not feel creative. When we experience fear, enjoying and being creative is irrelevant. That comes only after survival. This is very appropriate when a tiger runs after us. But does this apply in your daily life? No. Strangely enough, at work, in social occasions and on the climbing wall, many of us feel the panting of the tiger in our neck. This is a dysfunctional fear of death linked to situations where risk of death. There is no tiger. Our life is not in danger. Fear does not help at the moment. On the contrary: it narrows our view and our possibilities. And our ability to follow our hearts and stop doing things that don’t work for us, and start build up things that do work for us.

Somatic Experiencing

Fear is the feeding emotion behind burnout. This is driven by the reptilian brain in the nervous system. To break through dysfunctional patterns around anxiety, it is essential to work at the level of the nervous system. Meet your fear and open new life force! If you want to know more about this, check out my website: www.consciousinvitations.nl