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Planting Your Authentic Self in the Context That Feels Right

There is magic in being aligned.

Key points

  • When your personal or professional life is misaligned with your values and sense of identity, you can experience burnout.
  • Burnout is especially common for young people who rush into the milestones of adulthood.
  • Identifying where their life is misaligned and determining what can change and what can't can help someone cope with burnout.
Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels
It's not uncommon to experience feelings of burnout.
Source: Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels

Many people experience feelings of burnout, boredom, and outright dissatisfaction when it comes to their career, position in the family, and daily routines. In my observation, one explanation of where this feeling comes from boils down to one word—misaligned. Being misaligned means being out of order or lacking harmony.

For many young adults, life has a way of moving so fast that they do not get the time for self-exploration and discovery to truly know what they want out of life and what works best for who they are. After high school, the most common sequence of life milestones includes college or vocational training, dating, marriage, parenting, and working until the age of retirement. Although this fast track into adulthood legitimacy is most common, far too many adults are suffering from the adult existence that they so quickly created.

Part of that suffering commonly presents itself as a health concern related to burnout. Burnout (noun) is defined as fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity. When I reflect back on my educational and professional journey thus far, I can certainly recall times when the symptoms named in the burnout definition ruled my existence. I am grateful that by this point in my adult life, I have created space in my professional journey for self-exploration and discovery. As a result, the endeavors that I now choose to engage in are closely aligned with my endowed purpose in life and who I authentically am. Subsequently, I have been able to produce a highly satisfying career and personal life.

If you are struggling with feeling burnout in any area of your life, pause, take a step back, and evaluate the context of your life that you’ve created and embedded yourself in. Ask yourself: Does this make me feel alive? Does this drain me? Are there parts of my life that I can change while others remain the same?

Simple questions like these can help you identify areas in your life that either need to be eliminated or revamped. Doing so, getting aligned with what is right for you, will open endless doors to what I call “the magic of being aligned.”

Aligned: A definition

Aligned (verb) means to bring into cooperation or agreement with a particular group, party, cause, etc. Synonyms include order, synchrony, harmony, and uniformity.