Have you been feeling stressed, overwhelmed or even burned out recently? If so, you aren’t alone. Over half of women have reported feelings of burnout in the last year. But, even though burnout is common, that doesn’t mean that should be normalized or accepted.
Burnout is a serious condition that can lead to personal and professional dissatisfaction, social isolation, relationship problems, anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse. But, addressing burnout isn’t the same for every person.
There are 3 different types of burnout. If you are burned out, you might be suffering from one or more of these types of burnout. Discovering your type of burnout is so imperative because how you treat your burnout is somewhat dependent on the type you are suffering from. Additionally, your Enneagram Type may affect the Type of burnout you are suffering from.
If you want to learn what type of burnout you have, take our Burnout Quiz:
Let’s take a look at the 3 Types of Burnout:
1. Overload Burnout
Overload Burnout is the most common type of burnout. It occurs when someone works harder and harder, even to the detriment of their well-being, to achieve success or simply keep up with their job or work. When someone has Overload Burnout, they work to the point of physical and mental exhaustion. Overload Burnout is not only associated with jobs, but can also occur with caregivers or entrepreneurs, too. Often those who suffer from Overload Burnout might try to problem-solve, but end up creating more work for themselves, adding to their stress.
Enneagram Types 1, 3 and 8 may be more prone to Overload Burnout. Because Type 1s tend to have perfectionistic tendencies and are dedicated and hard-working employees, they may suffer from Overload Burnout. Type 3s may suffer from Overload Burnout because they are the Type that is the most driven to succeed. Finally, Type 8s may suffer from Overload Burnout because they often will take on more than their share of work and they will commit to doing something their way, no matter the cost.
Even though these 3 types might be more prone to Overload Burnout, that doesn’t mean that any Type can’t also suffer from it. It is not limited to those types.
If you are suffering from Overload Burnout, you might need to first separate your self-worth from your work. Creating some distance from your work, through detaching, can help you to avoid excessive entanglement with your work and personal life. Detaching from work is one of the steps within our 5 Step Framework for Burnout Recovery.
2. Under-Challenged Burnout
It seems counterintuitive, but Burnout can also occur when someone does too little. Under-Challenged Burnout happens someone is bored, under appreciated and not stimulated by their work. It happens when someone is constantly doing monotonous and unfulfilling work. When someone is feeling Under-Challenged Burnout, they feel like there are no growth or learning opportunities and they don’t have meaningful connection with their work or co-workers.
Enneagram Types 2, 4 and 7 may be more likely to experience Under-Challenged Burnout. Enneagram Type 2s may suffer from Under-Challenged Burnout if they are in a position where they are not appreciated or given tasks that use their talents. Type 2s have much to give, but if their abilities aren’t utilized appropriately, they will become disenfranchised. Type 4s more than any other type long to feel a meaningful connection with their work. If they don’t feel that connection or fulfillment, then they will sink into Under-Challenged Burnout. Type 7s may be subject to Under-Challenged Burnout because they can be overlooked. Type 7s are optimistic and may jump from project to project. But, underestimating them can lead to them feeling Under-Challenged.
Even though these 3 types might be more prone to Under-Challenged Burnout, that doesn’t mean that any Type can’t also suffer from it. It is not limited to those types.
Something that might help with Under-Challenged Burnout is exploring and mastering other curiosities and interests. Learning a new skill or hobby can create more fun and meaning in your life that might help you return some passion to your life. Learning or mastering a new skill is also one of the steps within our 5 Step Framework for Burnout Recovery.
3. Neglect Burnout
Neglect Burnout happens when someone feels helpless and worn-out in the face of challenges. It occurs if they haven’t received enough direction, support, guidance and structure. Often, if someone feels like they can’t keep up with expectations or the demands of their work, then will feel incompetent, frustrated and uncertain leading to Neglect Burnout. They often become passive and stop trying to make positive changes in their circumstances.
The 3 most common types to suffer from Neglect Burnout are Enneagram Types 5, 6, and 9. Type 5s thrive when they are prepared and have all the information they need to act. When they lack those resources, they are prone to Neglect Burnout. Type 6s particularly want support and guidance from others. When they lack those things, they will get frustrated and worn-out, leading to Neglect Burnout. Finally, Type 9s often struggle with inertia, due to their personality style. But, they might feel even more passive and unable to make positive changes when they are unable to keep up with the expectations of their job.
Again, please remember that these Types may commonly suffer from Neglect Burnout, but all types could suffer from that.
In order to address Neglect Burnout, consider trying to regain more agency over your circumstances. Consider what tasks can be delegated or outsourced. And, focus on the things within your roles that you can control. Taking more control over those tasks can help. Gaining agency and control is one of the recommended steps within our 5 Step Framework for Burnout Recovery.
If you have determined the type of burnout you have, your next step is to find a strategy for how to remedy and recover from your type of Burnout. I have created a 5 Step Framework for Burnout Recovery based on Enneagram insights and scientifically backed guidelines for burnout recovery. You can learn more about this Framework inside our Burnout Recovery Masterclass or Digital Burnout Journals for Each Enneagram Type. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!