Energy is your currency. What you do with your energy, how you manage it, and where you’re spending it leaves you feeling empowered or disempowered.
The question is: do you have command of your energy, or are you losing it in ways you don’t even realize?
Your Energy System
As a human being, you have a certain amount of biophysical energy available to you in a given day. There is a natural flow of that energy through your system. When you are spending the energy wisely and not creating blocks to the flow, you feel empowered: energized, alive and on-purpose. When the energy is spent unwisely (or leaking out unconsciously), you feel disempowered: drained, weary and irritable.
Your energy system is also intelligent. It has four components: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Small shifts in any of these areas provide huge payoffs in your energy and power. Many times, we are simply unaware of how we are spending, using and losing energy each day.
How Do We Lose Energy?
When I began a personal growth journey in 2013 I was depleted. I thought I was living life right, but I was tired all the time and each day felt like a lot of work to get through. As I started to peel back the layers of what might be happening, I learned we are all like bright light bulbs, always connected to our energy source. The problem is we cut ourselves off from that source and allow our energy to leak out in a multitude of ways, having a profound effect on how energized we actually feel.
In my case, I was walking around life feeling tense, anxious and weary because I was investing a lot of myself into what people thought and expected of me. While a naturally upbeat, positive person, my barometer for feeling good was externally-focused, so my wellbeing was constantly impacted by the moods, choices, and opinions of other people in my life. I was also cutting myself off of things that made me feel rejuvenated and alive. For example, evening wine with my spouse or friends was a favorite outlet, but that joy had the major downside of adding to the years-long sleep deficit I had going. As I stayed up late trying to squeeze every bit of fun out of an evening, mornings came fast and early, filled with work, responsibilities and the care and feeding of my two awesome kids. It seems crazy to me now, but I can see that my daily practice was misunderstanding how to feel truly good in my life, depending on others for happiness, putting myself last, and then slowly but surely getting resentful about it all. Once I realized how I was getting in my own way, I started taking responsibility and things began to change.
If you’re walking around life feeling even a mild case of worn out, drained, stuck or discouraged, it’s time to discover what barriers you have put up against accessing your most powerful and energized self. The barriers can take many forms, but they are always linked to one or more parts of your system: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual (soul-sucking) energetic drains.
Here are a few examples of the four ways we chip away at our daily energy, and how to reclaim it:
Clutter (Physical Energy Drain)
Did you know that clutter in your life drains your energy? Yes, the messy closet and those unfinished projects siphon off small bits of your available energy and contribute to you feeling depleted.
How to get it back: Clean up your physical space! Just clear out one drawer and notice how you feel. That’s your energy coming back!
Conflict (Mental Energy Drain)
The negative thinking involved in being in conflicts takes a huge toll on us energetically. How much time are you spending on whether your perspective is right in a given situation in your life?
How to get it back: The person you are in conflict with has a perspective that is as valid to them as your perspective is to you. Get more curious about their position. No need to agree, just be open to listening without any need to offer your own response.
Control (Emotional Energy Drain)
Most of us waste energy because we try to control what others will think of us or what others will say. As a result, we end up highly invested in fear—the most disempowered stance we can take.
How to get it back: Have one brave conversation where you don’t allow yourself to be distracted by concern over what someone else may or may not think of you. Just do you. Lead with your wise, authentic heart and notice how much better you feel.
Overdoing (Spiritual Energy Drain)
A big way we self-destruct is we get so caught up in all the DOING in life, we forget how to just BE. So often we stop doing the small things that feed our souls, light us up and make us feel like we’re growing.
How to get it back: Create space for something you love, something meaningful to you or something that allows you to just be, not do. It could be a walk in nature, mentoring someone or meditating. You have the duty to be loyal to your own soul.
Take the Quiz
Wondering how you might be losing energy in your own life? There is a direct correlation between energy drains in your life and how open, happy and alive you feel each day. Discover where in your mental, physical, emotional or spiritual system there is an imbalance so you can bring balance to it.
Take this free 10-minute self-assessment to find out.
Tags: Energy Draining Quiz, Energy System, Self-Assessment Energy Audit