What’s draining you and causing dis-ease in your life? High-pressure jobs, relationships and stressful environments can weaken our mind, body and spirit. If you’re tolerating energy drains, there’s no better time than now to take action to reverse the ill-effects of these drains on your peace of mind, performance and productivity.
Energy is defined as an expression of vitality and a healthy capacity for action and accomplishment. It is a critical aspect of individual and organizational success, because it supplies us the power to enact change by transforming darkness, creating motion and stimulating growth. When you’re energy-efficient, you have the ability to do more with less power and can positively impact your organization through: (1) increased creativity; (2) enhanced performance and productivity; and (3) a healthier workplace environment.
Energy drains are those thoughts, habits, relationships, activities and events that suck the vitality out of us, often without our conscious awareness. Energy drains have no positive benefits in terms of moving our lives forward. Instead, they weaken our effectiveness by promoting stress, worry and feelings of powerlessness.
Draining Thoughts – Draining thoughts increase internal pain and suffering. When we harbor negative thoughts, believe we have no choices in life, replay mental tapes of the past, fret about the future, or tolerate unresolved conflict, we feed the energy vampire.
The Law of Cause and Effect says that we are the sum of our thoughts, which means our dominant thoughts are manifested in our lives. Releasing false beliefs, assumptions and ideas makes room for more productive thoughts by freeing us to channel our mental energy towards matters that actually deserve our attention.
Draining Relationships – We all know people who: (1) love to lay their problems and complaints at our feet; (2) enjoy highlighting the negative attributes of every person, idea or situation; (3) make promises they never keep; or (4) disrespect us in myriad ways. These people weigh us down and create conflict and chaos that draw us into a continuous cycle of negativity. Every person does not deserve a front-row seat in your life. Therefore, you can either release the relationship, or minimize contact with that individual.
Draining Habits – Each of us engages in counterproductive habits that limit our effectiveness and success: the need to be in control; perfectionism; overindulgence in food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, spending, or sleeping; negative self-talk; gossip; procrastination; complaining; unfinished business; or the inability to say ‘no.’ Breaking bad habits can be difficult, but changing them can create whole-life transformation.
Draining Activities – Seemingly innocuous activities such as e-mail, meetings, television, Internet surfing, electronic games, talking on the phone, and non-productive projects can consume a lot of time and energy. Consider the fruitless activities in your life and identify ways to minimize the time spent on them to make room for more important matters.
PLUGGING ENERGY DRAINS
Increased awareness of your energy drains can be both enlightening and liberating. When you eliminate from your life the people and things that are draining your energy, you can embrace new ways of being human. Here’s how to identify and plug your energy drains:
1. Keep a written log of your interactions and activities every day over a two-week period.
2. Review your log and make a list of energy drains.
3. Write down what each energy drain is costing you psychologically, emotionally and physically.
4. Ask yourself, “If I eliminate these energy drains, how will my life change for the better?” Also, ask yourself, “Am I really committed to taking action on this issue?” If the answer is yes, proceed to #5. If the answer is no, acknowledge that you’re enjoying a life of chaos, frustration and powerlessness.
5. Finally, ask yourself, “What can I do differently?” then develop a measurable action plan for change. Identify a family member, friend or colleague to help hold you accountable.
Positive energy fuels our capacity for creativity, innovation, problem-solving and decision-making. One of the best ways to maximize our energy is to channel it into action. State an intention to plug your energy drains to restore vitality, power and meaning in your life — and do it!
Until next time,