As I am finalizing some of my thoughts for an upcoming keynote I have given a lot of thought to cognitive dissonance. When your mind holds two conflicting thoughts, it will change one or both in order to eliminate the conflict.
The more I thought about this the more it occurred to me that this is a leading cause of burnout. If you hold the view that your work is so important that absolutely none of it can be ignored or delayed in any way and yet you also hold the view that your quality family time is your number one priority you are in cognitive dissonance. One mechanism the brain has its disposal is to make you ill. If it exercises this option to resolve the work/family conflict it can lead to burnout. You are not abandoning either of these beliefs; you just simply cannot deal with either now as you are ill and need to rest. You will stay in this state until the dissonance is resolved. This will require you developing new strategies to achieve these conflicting goals.
Any thoughts on this?