What’s Stealing Your Energy?
Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up and immediately want to crawl back into bed? No sooner do your feet touch the floor when a list of things you really don’t want to tackle starts floating through your mind.
Your mood is heavy, but you’re determined to make it a good day. So you start the coffee, turn on the shower and focus on positive things. You pick up some steam and before you know it you’re on with your day…until…
…mid-morning rolls around and you’re excited for your lunch break. Even though you’re trying to remain positive, your nerves are on edge and you could use the time away. You enjoy lunch and are able to breathe a little easier while plotting how you’ll make it through the rest of the afternoon.
But your energy never fully returns and you pull yourself through each meeting and task as if you are hiking up a steep mountain. Before quitting time, you’ve given up on being productive and you move on to the typical distractions: Facebook, online recipes/fashion, the news, solitaire…Or you’re wandering around looking for others who have also thrown in the white towel.
If you’ve had similar days, don’t lose hope! There is a solution. But like most remedies, it will take a little work to see actual results.
Your energy is being consumed by the things you are tolerating
Our energy is impacted by more than just our diets, sleep, exercise and aging. It is also impacted by how closely we live according to our values. If we have something in our lives that goes against our values, and we tolerate it, we need to use a lot of our energy to make it okay.
Imagine spending 15 minutes sitting on a couch that is up against a wall. Now imagine spending those 15 minutes digging your heels into the floor trying to push the couch further back, even though it doesn’t move.
That’s the difference between living according to your values and tolerating something that doesn’t work for you. One feels natural and easy, while the other slowly drains your energy.
Often times this looks like saying “yes” when you really want to say “no.” Spending time with negative people, listening to gossip, having your good will taken advantage of, putting up with people who don’t keep their commitments…these are all things that you are tolerating.
Tolerance can also resemble avoiding a noise that your car is making or when the check engine light goes off. This could be a bodily pain that needs to be checked out or an appliance that doesn’t work as well as it used to. You might be tolerating your finances, your health or your relationships, even though they need some work.
If you want your energy back, resolve those things you are tolerating one by one
Go back to that moment when you first woke up. What floated across your mind that made you dread the day? Were you dreading going into work? If so, what don’t look forward to at work? Don’t settle for the vague, easy answer. Find the specific source of your unhappiness and frustration!
As you go through your day, what brings down your mood?
Start making a list of these things. These are your energy vampires.
Once you have your list, you’re ready to tackle them one by one. Schedule the appointments, have the difficult conversations and make the changes that are going to put you back into alignment with what you value.
I’ve seen this work time and again. My clients make simple changes and find themselves flooded with the energy that has been missing for months or even years. They start rearranging their offices, cleaning out their garages, or tackling other projects that have been neglected for some time.
What is one thing you are tolerating that you can take care of this week? Share it in the comments below!