Start at B: Begin Where You Are
Begin Where You Are
Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. - Lau Tzu
What It Means:
Beginning where you are when you are burned out is a very important first step in finding out where you want to go. When you plan a vacation, you don't blink your eyes and land at that destination. It takes careful planning and support. That planning starts with where you are and, therefore, planning a path for where you want to end up. Here’s how you can begin your journey out of burnout:
Join The Burned-In Teacher Facebook Group and share your results. No judgements, no shame. (Read this blog post if you’re feeling ashamed of your burnout: Stop the Shame: Admit You Are Burned-Out and Do Something About It.
Have a conversation with yourself:
Questions You Can Ask Yourself:
How long have I done this thing that I am doing?
How long have I physically been working in this place? Where did I start teaching and where am I now?
What have I done to bring me to this 'place' emotionally, mentally, and physically?
Journal about it, have a conversation about it. You may be having a small rough patch or you could be full-blown burned-out and ready to move on, but feeling teacher-stressed and teacher-tired is something that can be fixed. Of course, if you hate teaching vs. you’re feeling like you need to change something with your classroom management, those two feelings need to be addressed differently.
It all starts with “Beginning Where You Are.”
Talk to someone about your feelings with burn-out. But please try to remember that being vulnerable and being a victim are two different things. Too often in my experiences, teachers (myself included sometimes) think that 'venting' = problem solving. I wish it was, because it would be WAY easier to complain and *SNAP* the problem be solved. Unfortunately though, that's not how it works, my friends. Being vulnerable starts with creating a habit of:
- Identifying the problem.
- Trying to Understand it.
- Seeking out answers.
- Offering possible solutions.
Jump onto our Burned-In Facebook Group and tell us about your journey so far, ask questions, or support another teacher. We're in this together!
THINGS I HAVE USED TO HELP ME ALONG MY JOURNEY OF 'begin where you are:"
- I will be the first to admit it, I have gone back and forth in my journaling practice. However, the easiest and quickest way I have found to keep the habit is through using The 5-Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day by Intelligent Change. I know it sounds gimmicky, but it really is 5 minutes a day. Do you have 3 minutes in the AM and 2 minutes in the PM? I'll bet you do! Try it. Don't you want to track your progress on this incredible journey you are on?
- Either listen to or purchase 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin. This book has completely flipped my mindset upside-down. The entire time that I listened to it and then read it, I cringed. I am not a naturally mentally-strong person at all. This book helped me to open my eyes and look at the way I behave daily very differently.
Take a deep breath. We are our own heroes. You can do this. Burn on.
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