Some employees who have recovered from burnout shared what they called “the lies we told ourselves” related to denying the signs of burnout, even when loved ones pointed it out to them. These included:

• I am fine
• It is your nagging at me that is stressful
• I love my job
• I am happy to take more on
• I am just tired
• You don’t understand, no one else can do this
• People are depending on me
• I really want to be helpful
• I will be fine once this is done
• This too will pass
• I need to get back to the top of my game
• I’ll take a vacation and then be okay
• If people just let me do my job, I would be fine
• It’s not me, it is everyone and everything else

Most actually believed these statements to be true and to a certain extent, many of them were. The “lie” was in denying that their current situation was damaging their health and well-being and that changes were necessary. This denial eventually led to burnout.