Energy – It’s the hot topic at the moment. Our current energy crisis has shone a light on how important energy is in our world. It’s the one thing we know we all need to make sure we have, the thing we feel the most when it’s not there. It’s what keeps us alive, fuels our ability to move and interact, keeps us warm in the cold, allows us to see when it’s dark, to travel to places so far away we couldn’t walk. It is the basis for a fulfilling life. It’s foundational because without it we don’t feel good, we don’t thrive.
It is everything.
Don’t just take my word, Albert Einstein said it too:
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.”
And it’s the same in the workplace. We need our own personal energy to drive productivity, maintain our wellbeing, and to connect and project our ideas and insights. In short we need a good dollop of energy to get stuff done and do it well.
So why do so many of us not pay much attention to managing it more effectively and make it a priority in our lives? Why do we instead focus on continuing to do more, achieve more, take on more without first checking whether we have the energy resources to do those things in the first place?
Instead I see women “powering through”, saying yes when they really want to say no, scooping up everyone else’s stuff that they don’t have the energy (or inclination ) to do themselves.
Why do we do that?
Well that’s a whole other topic…but we do. And when it comes to energy management, conserving and increasing our own energy levels, more often than not we only start taking a look at it once we hit the wall and fully depleted the tank. And then we apply the emergency plaster in a desperate attempt to get everything back on track again.
But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you moved your energy management right to the top of the list of things you need to do in order to succeed?
It’s something I’ve been playing with for the last few weeks. Making time to feed my energy first. Carving out space to breathe, reflect, ponder. Working out what fuels me best, so I’ve been increasing my water intake, eating better, exercising more, and as a result sleeping better.
And you know what? I feel amazing.
Many of you who have been with me for a while now know that for a long time I’ve had sleep issues. It’s been my achilles heel and the one thing that has taken away my energy to get to the bigger goals I have formed somewhere in my future. It’s been so frustrating to feel so depleted some days that I could hardly be civil with my family, let alone focus in on setting aside time to plan, scope, and explore. It has stopped me from getting to the good stuff.
This is basic needs. It forms the foundation to enable us to literally function and without getting a hold on it we often sink or flounder and it forms one of the 3 types of energy management that we need to be aware of.
The way I see we have 3 types of energy that we need to manage:
- Foundational energy – what we need to function, move, think, focus etc
- Projected energy – the energy we give out. This affects how others feel about us, how they see us, the opinions they have of us, the effects we have on their actions.
- Absorbed energy – the energy we take from or give to others and also energy that is taken from us through the actions we take.
So what’s projected energy?
This is the energy that we project. How people see us, who we draw to us. It’s largely subconscious to those around us but wherever we go we are emitting our own personal brand of energy.
You may have noticed it when you meet someone for the first time.
We often get a feeling, good or bad, about how they make us feel. We make quick decisions on whether we like them, want to be friends with them and whether we want to invite them into our world. And we make those decisions based on the energy they are giving off. Because it affects what they say, the body language they use and the actions they take.
We are either attracted to their energy or we decide they’re not for us. Because energy also attracts and repels, basic battery theory. It moves around constantly, looking for places to go and when we give out a certain signal or frequency then we often attract like with like – it goes both ways. So that good energy emitted will attract more good things back and negative energy can keep us in negative patterns of behaviour or around negative people.
And lastly there’s the energy that we absorb.
This happens when we are around people who don’t match our own energetic frequency or when we do things we don’t like doing that drains our energy rather than feeding it. The result is that we don’t feel good, we feel tired, we feel depleted. This is because our energy has been taken, someone else tapped into what is ours and used us as source of energy for their needs.
I think we need to manage all three to get the most out of life and our careers.
I could talk about this all day but for now, I’ll just invite you to all do your own basic energy audit to see if you can work out where your precious energy needs to go.
Take a close look at one of your days this week and tune in to what’s actually going on.
How many hours sleep did you get the night before? How do you feel?
Are you feeling energised after eating food or feeling sleepy?
How much water are you drinking?
Did you do any exercise?
How many tasks that you have to get through do you actually like doing? Make a note of the ones you enjoy most and make you feel uplifted (and vice versa).
Who have you interacted with today that you wish you hadn’t?
Who or what has drained your energy and made you feel tired?
How have you shown up today? Note which situations you feel like you have showed your better side to others.
Have you received any feedback, good or bad?
Have you had any situations where you’ve not acted in the way you wanted to?
So try this for one day and if you can extend it over a week, even better, because you may start to see some patterns and begin to work out what is at the root of your energy supplies and the effects it’s having on you and others.
Once you get a better understanding, then you can start to make the tweaks to get your energy working better for you.
So take note, become aware and start getting really conscious about where your energy is actually going because:
– If you don’t have enough basic energy to function you will never get to your higher goals – most of your energy will go on survival and just getting through the day
– If you don’t guard your surplus energy it can easily get wasted on people you don’t want to give it to or tasks you don’t want to do
– You have the power to change the energy you project out to get better results
Put in boundaries to safeguard it. Nourish your body to nurture it. Don’t give it away easily and experiment with it to see what results you get when you bring it.
Because everything is energy and energy is everything. Soon you’ll realise that it’s the most valuable asset you have.
Career Empowerment Coach
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