On Day 7 of Defying The Challenges, we are going to look at: What Energizes, What Drains?
I’m not going to talk about “universal energy” in this post or any related esoteric concepts of energy that some scientists insist are nothing more than anecdotal. What I will be discussing are feelings; when we feel energized and when we don’t. What leads to high-flowing energy and what leaves us feeling down and drained of energy. We all know what energizes, what drains. Or, do we?
In my work, I frequently help people to discover positive and negative energy and they are often unaware until we run a few simple exercises.
What Drives You?
One of the big differences I find between people who report feeling energized and those who do not is those who frequently feel energized have a purposeful driving force that takes precedent over everything else. If something negative and potentially draining crops up, they deal with it quickly and move on. They don’t allow things to become bigger things; at least most of the time.
Apart from a few short years after leaving school, I have always worked in the personal development industry. Initially under the umbrella of UK based education authorities, eventually within my own business. I have no doubts that the double-edged sword of personal development helps me and clients as we navigate our way through life. It is completely energizing regardless of the challenges it presents when I come across clients who are drained of positive energy. This is my driving force.
On A Scale of 1 to 10
My driving force never scores less than eight. It is matched to my skills and strengths and it never drains my energies. That is not to say there are things that aren’t energy sapping, we all have those, it’s part of the human experience yet we do have a choice to allow them or, not. Interestingly, when I score less than ten, there is always something external interfering with the positive flow.
The Current Climate
Not the weather, the rules we are expected to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For the greater part, these rules are in place to help although some seem a step too far. Daily, I ride a mountain bike to a high-level. It energizes, keeps me physically fit and contributes to positive mental health. Currently, I am instructed not to ride more than 1-kilometer from home and stay within 1-hour. I live in a rural community and ride trails that are usually deserted even during normal times.
Yesterday, a woman shared an experience where her husband was fined by local police while out walking their dog within 400-meters of their rural home. He was carrying the correct papers. Also, yesterday, my wife, a healthcare professional, was stopped by police on her way to care for a patient. Despite all papers in order, the officer attempted to delay and fine her. Assertiveness and a positive attitude enabled her to continue the journey and deliver the care required. What was noticeable about both of these situations is that neither of the officers wore face masks or gloves. I wonder how many people they are interacting with each day.
If I allowed it, these examples are potential positive energy drains that could very easily divert attention from my driving force. I have to find solutions to disallow. There is no value in questioning why police officers don’t wear masks or gloves or why their interpretation of the rules seems at odds with government directives. My thoughts will change nothing and will only lead to an internal fight that will drain positive energies.
Daily Tasks and Challenges
Bills arrive, the children won’t cooperate, the house needs cleaning, again. There is a myriad of things in our daily lives at home or at work that we either don’t enjoy or are not particularly good at because we don’t have the motivation, skills or experience. Paying the bills might be a worry because there’s not enough money coming in. The children challenge us because they are bored and disconnected due to confinement at home. All of these and more potentially impact our lives in negative ways and take energy from the positives.
How Can We Challenge The Negatives?
Not by ignoring them or sticking our heads in the sand, that’s for sure. We have to accept that they exist and that they will crop up. A system of management is essential. But first, let’s find out what energizes and drains you with this simple table. I have given five lines for each, try not to use more. Include only those that come in your top-5 matter right now.
Make A Plan
Using a diary, notebook or sheet of paper; plan out your day. I prefer to do this the evening before. It’s obvious where my appointments are so they have their fixed spaces. Starting with something positive that you know will generate energy, add it to your plan in an empty space at a time that suits you. Early in the day is best because on the back of the positive energy that this generates, you can add something less palatable to follow it. Leave a space for something that “crops up”. Add another positive to your plan or repeat the first one and follow the same process.
This exercise has several positive benefits:
- It balances positive and negatives
- The likelihood of getting everything done increases
- Worrying about the challenges decreases because you have planned to get them done and left space for things that might crop up.
- Taking control is energizing
Once you have developed the flow of doing this daily, try extending to two days, a week . . . whatever works for you. It’s a positive habit that generates positive energy and over time, your draining list will decrease because you will know that you can effectively deal with it. Only add to your “What Drains” list after you can honestly say, “I have a plan for that item and it works”. Celebrate the feeling of removing negatives from your list. Every victory deserves a celebration.
You have a choice to feel drained or positively energized. If working at this alone is a step too far, consider one of our free sessions to get you started or enlist the support of a friend, colleague or member of your family who will allow you to share your goals and hold you accountable.
More Tools That Help
Relating to these there are plenty of tools in addition to the practical examples presented here that can help with your Personal Growth and Development whether you feel challenged or just seek to advance the way you respond to your world. If you would like a free 20-minute coaching session on some of these, please leave your contact details in the comments and you will receive a prompt response. Alternatively, you can send an email. Please understand that your contact details will never be shared outside ExGro.
Please note that free sessions are extremely popular and have become limited although every effort will be made to honor requests or refer to another available practitioner where appropriate.
There are many ways to effectively explore and advance your Personal Development in any area of life that matters to you. A box of tools to challenge the boundaries and move forward toward realizing success is extremely beneficial.
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Comments and Questions
Leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience coaching in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, clinical psychologist and friend, Leo Faerberg.
4 thoughts on “Defying The Challenges – Day 7”
Hi Steve. There are many things that distract me from my goals on a daily basis, if I let them.
Starting the day with something I Like 1st certainly does make it easier. It makes it even easier to get out of bed when my 1st activity is positive.
I usually start my day with some simple Qigong for 15 minutes and some fresh lemon juice in water. Then, I face into emails which doesn’t require much thinking so I can warm my brain for the day ahead 🙂
This way of being didn’t come over night and requires discipline, sometimes guidance. Thank you for your guidance and sincerity Steve, you are one in a million.
Thank you Ger. Sometimes the simple things bring the greatest benefits. Wishing you a happy Easter too.
Firstly I’ll start by saying I love the topic. Yes, Facing challenges is part of human experience but how we deal with those challenges is crucial as well. Worrying and complaining about challenges also doesn’t help and that can sap your energy and the challenge may eventually appear insurmountable. Acknowledging what is helps because at least you are not in denial of what’s happening. Managing things is key so that nothing gets out of control which can be draining. That way your driving force will remain intact no matter what comes your way because you have a plan and/or a system of managing things and making adjustments as and when it’s necessary especially when new things crop up like you say. Without a plan your energy will be all over the place and nothing will be achieved as a result.I love your tips on how to balance positive and negative energy to stay on top of the game. Great and realistic article as always. I have taken away few pointers. Thanks for sharing
Such beautiful thoughts. Thank you Maggie. The present world situation is sapping the energy of many people. They simply don’t have the coping strategies to balance the challenges and stay on top. It’s evident too in the inquiries that are coming through. This has to be managed just as much as the pandemic. Take care, Steve