Why keeping your energy up isn’t just about doing more?
When most people think about energy they often think about the energy they need to get things done, wanting more energy so they could perhaps do more. But very rarely do people seeking more energy ask themselves who they want to be.
If I use the analogy of a car to illustrate my point, having a full tank so that you can drive it is only really meaningful if you know where you are going. It is even more meaningful if you are going somewhere you have chosen to go.
Many get trapped with the idea of building their energy levels up without questioning whether the fuel they have is being put towards a clear destination and one they actually want to go to. Often, what they find is their fuel is being used up in driving towards someone else’s destination of choice.
How many of you are spending your time and energy fulfilling someone else’s vision?
Start with getting to know you first
This quote is one worth remembering….
“First say to yourself what would you be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus
It’s a message in getting focussed. When you decide who you want to be and understand what that involves, you begin to be more discerning about the choices you make and where you invest your energy.
Focus your energy where it matters to you
Many people in this world are afflicted with the disease to please, saying yes to things when they want to say no. The impact of this is that they experience the effects of their own intentions.
An example to demonstrate what I mean by this would be, a person losing energy and time away from the things that they actually love doing due to an intention (conscious or unconscious) they have of being liked and not wanting to be considered a bad person if they say no.
If you begin to pay attention to your intentions, you’ll begin to see how you are experiencing the effects of them in your life and what that does to your energy levels. The intention of wanting to be liked will always have you choosing to do things that please others more than yourself.
That’s a sure way to keep draining your fuel tank.
Know your truest intention
When you set your intentions on being your true self and only doing what it is in alignment with your heart you begin to ask questions such as “does saying yes to this move me closer to what and who I want to be and where I want to be going?”
When you act with the intent of being your true self you learn to say no to the things that don’t align with that. You keep your fuel for the destination you want to go to.
If you’re unsure on how to know your true self – ask yourself “when do I feel most alive?”. Because that’s what your life and being your true self is really about.
So, just to recap, before you can start managing your energy you need to know who you are and what is your truest intention.
Then learn how to manage your energy
When you understand what you want you can begin to prioritise managing your energy to help you reach the destination you have set.
Here are some measures to consider when it comes to managing your energy:
1. Fill your own cup first and then let others only drink from the overflow, that way your cup is never empty. Take the time to always give to yourself so that you can be better placed to give to others. Remember you can’t give others what you don’t have, everyone loses when you are empty. Also, when you give to everybody else and not to yourself, it’s like saying I have a life that I don’t believe I’m worthy of living – seriously what’s the point of being alive if not to feel alive yourself?
Do what nourishes you, whether that’s reading a good book, having a soak in the bath, catching up with a good friend, meditating, writing a gratitude journal, do it to fill you up.
2. Protect your time, it is your life. How you spend your time defines your life. Every day is your full life in miniature. Every day that you are blessed with is another opportunity to use the time you have here for doing better. Don’t let people who are energy vampires suck your time and energy and don’t let them rob you of the light you have within. Protect it fiercely – set boundaries and stick to them. Remember when you are wasting time you are ultimately wasting your life. Choose to spend it wisely with those that value it.
3. Make time for exercise – even when you don’t want to. It will give you energy but also will help you to keep your resolve on doing the right thing for yourself overall, including eating healthier and living a healthy life. Know that nurturing your body is the best investment you can make and the return is absolutely priceless. Don’t trade your health for wealth as tempting as it is because soon you’ll be trading your wealth for health and there is a lot that money can’t buy.
4. Take time to rest, we aren’t meant to be 24/7 like machines. In fact, giving yourself time to just ‘be’ is essential to your mission on this earth. Through rest and recharging we get the clarity and energy we need to make the impact we seek to make. You have a unique contribution to make so don’t lose that perspective by getting caught in the grind.
5. Listen to your inner voice - tune out distraction by tuning into yourself. If your body isn’t giving you signals that indicate a resounding ‘hell yes’ then stop and pay attention to the doubts that you have – as they can often mean don’t do it and they could be an indication that you may be headed in the wrong direction. Your inner GPS is often a signal to whether you are acting in alignment to your truest self. Your body will give you clues long before your brain catches up. Re-centre yourself before making any decisions and when every cell in your body is giving you a resounding yes – then move forward.
6. Focus on your breath and get present to the moment– it’s the only one that you exist in. Release any tension you are holding by letting your breathe be your anchor, inhale slowly and exhale and let go of anything you can’t control. Let go so you can re-focus on what’s right in front of you. It’s easy to let your energy be drained by things you can’t control but by being mindful you allow yourself to stay focussed on what you can.
7. Decide what you most want to give and let the things that don’t align with that intention fall away. If you don’t begin taking action on the things that you value the most your day will be filled with other people’s priorities. Remember who you are and the destination you have set for your life – this includes knowing the contribution you want to make. Stop doing anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly support you in achieving that mission.
8. Declutter your thoughts and your life. Say good riddance to thoughts that don’t support self-care, self-esteem and self-worth. Say goodbye to, or limit time with, the people that discourage your growth, drain your energy and don’t support you. Stop repeating patterns that don’t serve you. Get rid of the things in your home that are not bringing you joy or serving any useful purpose. Ultimately remove anything that doesn’t enhance you to be the best of you are. Give yourself some tough love and press the reset button if you need to.
Keeping yourself full
Remember needing energy isn’t about being able to do more. It requires you understanding who you are and what you want so that you use the fuel you have to create a life in alignment with your vision not somebody else’s. Pay attention to your intentions because the effects that you are currently experiencing in life are all linked to the intentions you have set for yourself. Be aware of the intentions that aren’t serving you or your vision for your life and get connected to your truest intention - being yourself and making an impact, and living a life that makes you feel most alive. Learn to manage your energy and keep your own cup full – let others drink from the overflow because then everyone wins. Also notice what you have enthusiasm for and what feels like effort that is draining because that’s where your energy source is.
And here’s how you remember……
Enthusiasm Not Effort Resourcefully Grows You – Glin Bayley