Many of us are, but may not have put a name to it.
A friend of mine wrote an article on this recently. Go here to check it out: Understanding Compassion Fatigue
Not every type or function of leader will encounter the same level of fatigue, but we will all encounter it at some point. Compassion fatigue is unique to those in care of others, in pastoral roles, and those offices which create heavy reliance on the leader in all situations. Some might say that is every leadership position. The difficulty with authentic and collective leadership, which often finds its presence in church and non-profit settings, is that it is based on the ability to care for others. Many times this is the gifting of the individual, and other times it is not. Both create strain on the leader.
Picture doing something you love for a living. Many of you are already there. Now imagine never getting a break from it. The misnomer that is present in this scenario is that you will not require a break simply because you love what you do. Or you are called. Or you are very good at it. Or you unable to set proper boundaries. Those are the usual qualifiers for continuing with something until it breaks you down. A good candle still burns out. Healthy soil still needs water.
Sam gives a couple of good questions for you to ponder, and some great advice for you to consider as you strive forward as a leader in a collective situation. Caring is a wonderful skill and trait, but fatigue is not.
Are you able to recognize compassion fatigue in your own life?