What is a bore-out?
A bore-out is the opposite of a burnout. Whereas a burnout leaves you feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated, a bore-out goes together with understimulation and boredom. But watch out: often, this concerns inner boredom, and not so much a lack of work! For an extended period of time, you have not been actively involved in the things that you do, and you cannot truly put your heart in it. Your work, for example, does not sufficiently suit your specific interests and talents, or has you working on autopilot. Perhaps you no longer see the purpose of your work. This leads to a drastic decline in inspiration and energy, and along with it goes the fun. Which is far from surprising: all day, every day, you are doing something that goes against your nature. You cut off your own energy!
Recognizing a bore-out
It can be hard to recognize bore-out feelings. Some of the symptoms rather closely match those of a burnout: a lackluster feeling, stress, somberness, brooding on thoughts, insecurity… Some people discover after a while that they are not suffering from a burnout, but rather from a bore-out! It was not the overburdening, but it was the lack of purpose and involvement in their work that turned out to be the cause of their complaints.
Most people initially suppress their feelings. Meanwhile, deep down, something is brewing – and reaching its boiling point. You no longer feel any real connection to what you are doing, your qualities are not tapped… Deep inside, you already quit the job a long time ago. Practical circumstances may serve as painkillers for quite a while. Isn’t the organization quite nice? Will you ever find such great colleagues elsewhere? Responsibility and security often play a large role as well: after all, at the end of the month, rent has to be paid… And for this job, at least you know what to expect!
This way, you often linger for too long. Meanwhile, you feel your energy draining, your motivation fading more and more, while you aren’t doing your self-esteem any favors either… Slowly but surely, you enter a passive mode, in which you lose the courage and inspiration to make real changes. This makes it even harder to take action.
Bore-outs are not often discussed, which does not make it any easier to share your feelings. Therefore, the first step requires a huge amount of courage: recognizing that you are missing the connection with what you are doing. Something has to change – because you deserve it! It is an exciting process, because once you start taking your own feelings seriously, something starts moving, and you don’t know yet where it will lead you…
Then again, if you are not taking your own feelings and your own talents seriously – who will?
Enjoy your work!
Right opposite bore-out, you’ll find liveliness: enjoying your work! This comes into existence when your work is aligned with your passions, talents, values and your personality. This is why it is important to repair the connection with yourself and make it the basic rule of your life. Once you surrender more and more to the things that really touch and inspire you, it does not only bring satisfaction, but also a bunch of energy. This is the fuel that you need for taking concrete steps towards enjoyment of your work!
I am convinced that everyone has something unique to offer with his or her own talents, background and experiences. And yes: this is what others are waiting for as well! It is up to you to see the beauty of you, value it and make it visible – even if it requires getting out of your comfort zone. It will pay off!