A recent article from the Society of Human Resource Managers cited excerpts from the book “Extinguish Burnout” by Rob and Terrie Bogue.  Their take is that there are three interconnected components of burn out  —  exhaustion, cynicism and low personal effectiveness. 

Being exhausted doesn’t mean we’re burned out.  Often times we feel exhilarated and the most fulfilled when we push ourselves hard.  However, if we begin to feel used up, that could be a manifestation of burnout. Cynicism is another thing that, alone, doesn’t indicate burnout.  But if you feel you’ve been let down, there is no way to change the world, so it’s okay to complain about it, take stock.  Cynicism is a clue that you may be heading down a path to burning out.  

But, the biggest problems ensue when one reaches the stage of learned helplessness.  In that frame of mind, feelings of personal effectiveness wane and burnout can really set in.