4 mindset shifts to resolve nurse practitioner burnout

Mindset shifts

Creating mindset shifts was an important component of overcoming healthcare burnout.

Before you stop reading this article because you’re not into the fluffy, voodoo, mindset stuff, hang with me. In order to resolve my burnout, I had to do things I had never done before. And before I could build the strength and confidence to do those things, I had to shift my mindset and believe overcoming the burnout was possible.

I had to realize that I was the only one in control of my life. I determined if I was happy. I decided how I responded to certain situations. I was the one who could make the changes I needed to overcome burnout. I would not be here talking about resolving nurse practitioner burnout if it wasn’t for changing my mindset.

As humans, we are constantly bombarded by limiting beliefs, opinions of other people, and negative thoughts trying to “keep us safe.” Sometimes, these thoughts are the only thing holding us back from achieving our goals. Nurse practitioners have to shift the mindset in order to achieve the goal.

First off, what is a mindset shift? A mindset shift is the ability to alter one’s thoughts into a different way of thinking. Shifting a mindset changes the negative thoughts into positive thoughts. These positive thoughts help to increase confidence, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

Shifting your mindset is an important component to overcoming nurse practitioner burnout.

While I still work on positivity shifting my mindset on a daily basis, I am much better about reprocessing my brain to avoid these negative beliefs. I could write a book on the necessary mindset shifts needed to overcome nurse practitioner burnout, but we will look at a few of the mindset shifts that helped me overcome burnout.

Mindset shifts: Growth mindset.

I used to have a “fixed mindset.” I used to feel stuck, as though I could not change the cards life had dealt. I thought my life was the way it was because of how life happened, there was no way to change that.

I never knew that I was ultimately in control of how I live my life and the decisions I made. I was not aware that I can change the current state of life by shifting into a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, a person acknowledges they can improve and develop their thoughts and skills. There will always be negative thoughts such as, other people’s opinions, inability to overcome obstacles/challenges.

A growth mindset helps nurse practitioners believe overcoming nurse practitioner burnout is possible. That achieving their goals is possible. With a growth mindset, nurse practitioners realize their lives are always changing and advancing. Nurse practitioners are open to challenges and learning. They accept the continued growth in life and never feel like they are fixed to certain circumstances.

I encourage all nurse practitioners to work on a growth mindset and resolve the nurse practitioner burnout.

Mindset shifts: You are what you think.

When I first heard about the law of attraction, I brushed it off thinking that voodoo stuff wasn’t for me. But the more I learned, the more I started to believe. The law of attraction is a philosophy that positive thoughts will bring positive outcomes to one’s life. Whereas negative thoughts will bring negative results to one’s life.

For example, think about a time when your co-workers complained about their job. This sparked your own negative thoughts about your place of employment. You then went through the work day in a bad mood and the day showed that negativity. Because you had these negative thoughts about work, you attracted a crappy day at work.

Think about the alternatives. When you have been in a good mood, positive results presented throughout the day. A good day just keeps getting better. Work on adjusting your thoughts. If you find yourself constantly having negative thoughts, working on shifting your mindset to more positive and optimistic thoughts.

Mindset shifts: Gratitude.

Acknowledging the blessings I had in my life helped me to change my mindset and resolve nurse practitioner burnout. I know it can feel difficult to be grateful in life when you are struggling with nurse practitioner burnout. You may be mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted and can’t even create thoughts of gratitude.

But part of shifting our mindset is acknowledging the things you do have. You can be grateful for the fact that you are reading this post right now on an electronic device. That you are living and breathing. That you make good income as a nurse practitioner (I know it’s not as much as you would like, but you are likely in the top 10% of worldwide income).

It is so easy to look at the things we don’t have in our lives. But remembering to be grateful for what we do have can dramatically change your mindset and help you overcome nurse practitioner burnout.

Mindset shifts: Overcoming imposter syndrome.

I used to be  paralyzed by imposter syndrome . When I first started my career in nursing the fear and insecurities were crippling. I second guessed every single clinical decision. I excessively looked up information and pestered my charge nurse with questions I already knew the answer to. I spent so much time and effort stressing out about my limitations and negative beliefs, it ultimately led to my burnout. So many new and experienced nurse practitioners (and all people in general) struggle with imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome can look like:

  • Limiting and negative beliefs that hold us back from living out our true potential
  • Second guessing our clinical decisions
  • Lacking the confidence needed to practice as a nurse practitioner
  • Inability to accept a compliment or take credit for our successes
  • Feeling like a fraud or imposter and fearing someone will figure you out
  • Feeling like you’re not good enough and everyone is smarter than you

These negative thoughts hold us back from achieving our goals and  cost nurse practitioners more than they think . When I realized how much insecurity and limiting beliefs other people have, I didn’t feel like I was weird for having these negative thoughts. I worked on shifting my feelings of imposter syndrome and realized its ok to not know everything. Healthcare is ever changing and there is no way to create a “perfect treatment plan.” Healthcare has developed evidence based practice and clinical guidelines to be just that, “guidelines.”

Nurse practitioners don’t have to get everything perfect. We don’t have to feel debilitated by these negative beliefs. We don’t have to feel like we’re not good enough.  Controlling the imposter syndrome  helped me to avoid thoughts of perfectionism and overcome nurse practitioner burnout. (To learn more, check out The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s online course:  Control the Imposter Syndrome ).

I hope these mindset shifts will challenge your own thoughts. Personal development was such an important step for me to overcome burnout and create a more fulfilled life. I will have bad days and complain about things, but I am definitely in a better place than I was during my burnout.

If this article was helpful to you, there is an entire lesson on Mindset Shifts in the online course Burnout Resolution for Nurse Practitioners. I created  Burnout Resolution for Nurse Practitioners  to provide the framework and mindset shifts to empower nurse practitioners to create a better work-life balance and resolve the burnout. The framework and mindset shifts are the same ones I used to overcome my burnout.

Check out  Burnout Resolution for Nurse Practitioners  for more information!

Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, overcome nurse practitioner burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at www.burnedoutnp.com

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com

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