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Some of your talents and skills can cause burnout. Here’s how to identify them

We can’t focus exclusively on whether or not we’re good at something. Using some of our gifts can drain our energy

Source | | KAYVAN KIAN

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a collective shift in the way we approach our unique skills. Previously, the focus was on improving things you’re not good at. Now, to succeed in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), the common belief is that doing what you’re good at is the best approach.

In a way, this shift makes sense. Organizations are less hierarchical and structured now. It’s not about shoring up your weaknesses to accomplish the task a manager has given you. It’s all about utilizing your skills and strengths to add ideas that help achieve organizational goals.

However, we can’t focus exclusively on whether or not we’re good at something. That kind of one-dimensional thinking ignores whether or not we’re energized by what we’re good at doing.

As a result, more people are defining strengths as the skills they’re good at and that they draw energy from. But some of the things we’re good at actually drain us of energy, and when left unchecked, can lead to burnout. I sometimes call these “strenuous gifts” because of the way they sap our strength.

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