Stress vs. Burnout: can you tell the difference?

Stress vs Burnout: do we know how to differentiate them?

Stress is the condition that is usually associated with huge work overload – particularly with the feeling of losing control, is almost accepted as “normal” among entrepreneurs. 

Burnout, on the contrary, is more like a hidden threat. 

Which are the common signals of stress?

Are they different from burnout?


I hope this visual will help to understand them better.


Stress vs Burnout


If you want to dig deeper, check out this article: Stress vs Burnout


At risk of burnout? Watch out for this 4 signals

If you are a busy entrepreneur, we need to talk about burnout.

Yes, I know we all have in mind that sort of “collapsing” scene that usually depicts it. You know, the one of a person that, after months of being completely unable to cope with the daily tasks, full of worries and responsibilities, feeling tired and not interested, in desperate need of sleep without being able to get any, finally collapses.

But this is the “final scene” of the movie.

Burnout is not something that suddenly happens, without warning.

It is a slow, cumulative process that, let me tell you, is more common than what you think.


So, what if tell you that there is a way to avoid burnout? What if I tell you that your body talks to you and that if you learn to understand its language, you might be able to prevent it?

Your brain is not only capable of recognising the first symptoms, but that it also sents out certain signals through the body?

So, if we want to talk about prevention, fundamentally, we need to recognise first the signals, and then we will be able to do something about it.

Of course, ideally, we wouldn’t need to arrive at that extreme if we were able to take certain precautions and adjust a little bit our way of doing things. But I will leave this topic for the future.

Today, let’s concentrate on the signals. There are many, but the main four are the following:




The right questions that you can ask yourself to check if you are at risk are:

Do I feel depleted?
Do I feel completely run out of energy, like spent?
Do I feel tired all the time?

Note: Remember that exhaustion can also be emotional.


burnout risk


All of us get to experience some lack of motivation now and then. Even if we love what we do, it is pretty normal to be less enthusiastic about things, for a short period of time.
Moreover, we don’t need to love every single task involved in our work, so we might find ourselves procrastinating, for example.

But what if we lose the enthusiasm completely?
What if we have no more interest whatsoever and cannot fall back in love with what we do?

And what if on top of that, each task seems a mountain to climb, to the extent of having difficulties to drag us into work or even getting out of bed?

Pay attention. It could be symptom N2.

burnout signals


The right question to ask yourself here is related to your vision of the world and the future.

After so many dreams and disappointments, ups and downs, you might have begun to lose optimism. Moreover; you are almost convinced in the end, everything is pointless, and you feel hopeless.

You might also have begun to wonder about the real meaning of your purpose and mission and why it is worth to keep on trying.

The whole world appears negative at this point, and you might be secretly feeling like you don’t care anymore.
But you don’t share this thought with anyone.

Beware: frustration and cynicism can also be burnout signs.



Have you been facing memory problems lately? And what about the ability to stay focused and centred?

Consider that burnout interferes with your abilities. If you feel foggy and somehow lost, making an effort to concentrate and pay attention, or if you have experienced repeated episodes of loss of memory, it’s time to stop and make a consultation.

More signals and symptoms are usually present in a burnout syndrome, but only a physician and a psychologist can make the final diagnosis. Burnout can be easily confused with chronic stress, for example.

What you can do is to pay attention to your body and check if you’ve been having 2 or more of the signals we discussed here.

Don’t wait to collapse. Be proactive.

If you want to learn more about this topic, feel free to send me an email or, even better,

Book your Free Discovery Session


I am happy to be of help.

Achievement orientation: the secret weapon for meaningful impact

Achievement orientation: the secret weapon for meaningful impact

Achievement orientation is a skill that shows your capacity for permanent improvement.

Setting high goals and working hard to achieve them, calculating – but ultimately taking – the appropriate risks in order for them to be accomplished, is the perfect definition of Achievement Orientation.


Achievement Orientation generates new interests and gives you a reason for continued learning and the expansion of your horizons.

But before we go on, let’s remember that any Emotional Intelligence skill refers to how you manage yourself, your relationships and the situations you encounter daily.

All the competencies, in fact, speak to us about a different way to be smart. Fortunately, Emotional Intelligence is something that we can all learn and improve.

Achievement Orientation, in particular, is one of the key features that can help us achieve our dreams. It falls under the umbrella of self-management and it is nurtured by a positive outlook.

Furthermore: it is a distinctive trait in successful entrepreneurs and leaders.

In this article, we will unveil all the secrets to mastering it.


What will be covered here?

Is your passion enough?

What is Achievement Orientation?

Motivation and Persistence

Main features

Note to Leaders

Route map

A coach can help


Is your passion enough?

We all have dreams and want to pursue our passion in life. We know that following your passion is the secret fuel that keeps you going forward.

But, is it really?

I mean: when you find an obstacle along the way, when you experience a setback, or when you are challenged beyond your limits, is it your passion that keeps you going or there is something else?

The truth is that dreams and passion are not enough to achieve your goals: achievement orientation is the critical element for success.


What is Achievement Orientation exactly?

This key competence entails striving towards your goal whilst maintaining a standard of excellence, accepting the challenges you might encounter en route, not in a blind way but in a calculated way, and at the same time, improving performance to be ready to welcome the opportunities whenever they present themselves.

achievement orientation


The importance of Motivation and Persistence

For this Emotional Intelligence competency to flourish, you need to welcome motivation and persistence in equal parts, especially in the face of setbacks.

Motivation is a powerful tool you can fuel on a daily basis by remembering your values and goals. Motivation, which belongs to the self-management area of Emotional Intelligence, is the hidden force that will drive you, relentlessly, to your final destination. If accompanied by enthusiasm, it is invincible.

External factors like prestige, money, power, are the typical external factors that ignite motivation, but the internal force of persistence is the one that makes the difference, converting a dream into an attainable goal.

For that, those who feel the need to get better and better by improving performance attaining more and moving up the ladder, are those who feed their motivation with their unquenched desire for, simply, achieving.


In short, an achievement-oriented person will look forward to

👉 learning the new and improving the old
👉 fostering excellence
👉 encouraging feedback
👉 accepting  challenges
👉 daring to explore
👉 knowing how to calculate risks
👉 going out of their comfort zone
👉 being open to innovation


One trait that every person with achievement drive distinctly presents is their unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Like the renaissance man, knowledge is seen as a mark of distinction, and being open to innovation; a passport to the future.

Leaders who have developed this skill are able to create an achievement culture within their organizations.

They set the scene for performance orientation by encouraging each member of the team to feed their own personal achievement orientation and thereby enable the whole team to make good use of it.

Great leaders coordinate actions and act with empathy, fostering relationship building and opening channels for better communication.


Achievement Orientation Top Tips

Learn to detect and feed your motivation. Be ready to adapt yourself and to explore and conquer new horizons.

Take a piece of paper and make four columns. Complete each one with the following:

What are my core motives?

What goals have I set?

What I am doing to achieve them?

How can I make room for improvement?



What steps should be taken to hone this skill? 

Route map

📍 Give yourself time to de-stress: a relaxed mind is a successful mind
📍 Develop the ability to gain (and regain) focus with ease
📍 Identify your next objective in the “big picture” of your plan
📍 Design a step-by-step strategy
📍 Calculate the risks
📍 Divide the next objective into small, attainable goals
📍 Identify the external resources you might need (people, materials, hard skills)
📍 Identify the internal resources you might need (motivation and balance, soft skills)
📍 Once each little goal is achieved, reward yourself
📍 Constantly monitor progress towards your ultimate goal


How can a coach help to develop, cultivate and improve this skill?

Mainly by working to identify your motivations and remove your internal blocks, help with self-esteem and challenge assumptions.

The right coaching can also support you throughout your strategy planning journey and help you create new spaces for growth and exploration.

Coaching can also help you to gain focus and create new habits; small actions performed in a consistent way can act as precursors.

But remember: you need to balance all the skills and work in tandem with them to really perform at your maximum potential. Isolated skills, even if at 100%, will leave you with a sense of imbalance and won’t add any real value to your work.


There is always room for improvement, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a “natural” and motivation is your daily fuel, or if you need a little push now and then.

Achievement drive can benefit us all: freelancers and entrepreneurs, leaders or employees.

By cultivating this skill we will be able to perform any task, to the best of our ability.