How to Tell If You’re Burning Out

By Scott Couchenour


manonrocks“How do I know if I’m in burnout?”

I get that question from time to time. It doesn’t happen in a sudden instant. It’s more like falling in love (not that burnout is like love). But think about it for a moment. How do you know when you’re in love? Let me pull back the curtain and let you hear what was going on in my mind after I got to know this great girl with brown eyes and a southern accent (who later became my wife):

“I can’t stop thinking about her.”

“I want to be with her.”

“She’s all I want to please.”

“I wonder what she thinks of me.”

There are similarities to this kind of inner self-talk when you are falling into burnout.

“I can’t stop thinking about the pain.”

“I want to be by myself all the time.”

“All I want to please is myself.”

“I wonder what others are thinking about me.”

The key to knowing whether or not you are experiencing burnout is if you can’t get out of these feelings and get back to your normal self. You are stuck. Personal growth isn’t happening. Your, “Yeah I’m in pain, but God is still in control.” has morphed into, “Yeah I’m in pain.”


Have you fallen into burnout? Seek help, period. Put your pride aside and seek out someone who will help you regain the fire you’ve lost. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, asking for help is a little known aspect of personal growth.

Source: Serving Strong



Scott Couchenour

Scott Couchenour is a certified life coach and founder of Serving Strong, a resourcing and coaching service to ministry leaders. Serving Strong exists to eliminate burnout from the ministry equation. He is also VP of Operations for Cogun, Inc., a company that helps churches expand their ministry facilities through consulting, design coordination, and construction. Scott flies around in an empty nest in Ohio with his wife of over 26 years. He has two grown children. Scott believes in the local church and pursues a God-given passion to enable pastors to serve strong. You can visit Scott's website at and follow him on Twitter. Follow @servingstrong