We all have times when we are low in energy. Whether it is after an intensive time at work, challenges at home or when you are not getting enough sleep.
Last year my family and I visited San Diego Zoo. We spend ages watching the polar bear attempt to keep a ball beneath the surface of the water. Sometimes he used his paws, his snout, even his backside! Other times that ball hit him square in the face!
He kept at this game for sometime, until he knew it was time to go have a lie down in the sun! This powerful animal was unable to sustain his energy indefinitely.
As human beings we often push ourselves to the limit, we hold on to things (and sometimes people) that are not good for us and hide our true feelings, thoughts and dreams. The cost is our health, our relationships and ultimately our passion for life.
So how do you deal with the common energy drainers in your life?
The first step is to identify what is draining your energy. So let’s address some of the common ones. Next time I will share some of my favourite ways to deal with them.
Bring this to life… As you read make a list of your main energy drainers in each of the five categories. Take some time to reflect on how they impact your life.
Five Common Energy Drainers
1. Activities that you just don’t enjoy
Regardless of whether you love or hate your work there will be aspects of it that you enjoy more than others. Sometimes you will feel like you are in flow. This is when you are doing what you do well and what you love. If only you could do more of this!
Other times it my feel like you are dragging your feet through the mud. You could be doing something that you find uninspiring. It could be something new that you lack confidence in or it could be something that is better suited to someone else!
Sometimes these things have to be done. We call this a Level 2 Activity. It is good for you, it is good for others and good for the greater good – the trouble is, it feels bad! Sometimes these things are simply time and energy wasters – better off out of your day. The key is to tell the difference!
How much energy do you waste procrastinating?
I know I am guilty of this one at times! Facebook, even housework can be very alluring when I have something pressing to do – especially if it is something I don’t enjoy or is unfamiliar to me. Working at home is a great place for procrastination!
Putting off things, whether it is a decision that has to be made or a task that has to be done takes more energy than actually doing the thing! I am sure you know what I mean. Those times that you spend arguing with yourself about whether you will or won’t do so is exhausting.
The key is to identify why you are procrastinating. Is it because you lack confidence in what you are doing? Is it because it is one of those Level 2 Activities that you just need to get in and do? Or is it a message that whatever you are attempting is really not that important.
3. Relationship challenges
Take a moment to think of the key people in your life. There will be people that you communicate with easily. You share similar values and interests. There will be people that you struggle with.
How much energy do you spend having conversations in your mind with these people? How much time do you spend thinking about them, talking about them or trying to ‘fix’ the problem? This really drains your energy.
It takes so much energy to keep things in, hiding how you feel. It is a little like that polar bear at the San Diego Zoo. Trying to keep that ball beneath the surface of the water only to have it hit him in the face!
Do you need communicate how you feel and work together to improve the relationship? Do you need to take some time to look at why you struggle with them so much? (There will always be something to learn here!) Or do you need to let them go from your life. These questions can really help.
We can’t possibly have a talk about energy drainers without mentioning lifestyle! There are things that you need to stop, things that you need to start and things you need to change.
You probably even know what they are! What is stopping you from making one small change today? I could go on… I think you already have the message.
5. Unfilled dreams
This one is probably my favourite one – the one that is the least recognized. You have dreams, I know you do. They make themselves known in those rare quiet moments when your voice in your heart calls to you.
Once again, just like our polar bear and his ball, the energy it takes to keep those dreams inside is enormous. Hiding who you really are and what your really want from your family, friends and even from yourself is one of the biggest energy drainers of all time.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs.
Until next time,
Listen to the wisdom of your heart.