Are you tired, rundown, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you accomplishing what needs to get done but doing it without any oomph or enthusiasm?
Has feeling tired, depleted, or ambivalent become your norm? If so, then you might be experiencing an energy crisis. By definition, a crisis has negative consequences for anyone. However, this lack of vitality can be professionally terminal for an entrepreneur.
Energy is not just the power and capacity for vigorous action; it is what fuels your ability to:
- maximize resources,
- efficiently exert your strengths, and
- think with clarity, focus, and creativity.
Our energy exists on a spectrum and can take a positive and negative form. Positive energy helps us to be open, accepting, and curious. Negative energy prompts us to be reactive, critical, and judgmental; thus, limiting possibility, restricting opportunity, and dampening our spirit. Either way, both forms of energy are self-generated and can inspire or infect those around us.
What if you aren’t meant to get through the day just trying to maintain status-quo, being exhausted, and at best, settling for feeling fine? Can you imagine life if your new normal was energized?
Before you are able to shift your energy, you need to know what an energized YOU looks and feels like. Think of a time when you felt invigorated, eager, and driven. What values were you living? What elements were involved? Were you alone or with other people? Were you at work or at play? Were you relaxed or running on adrenalin? Did the moment arise spontaneously or had you been working towards it for a long time? Use the acronym FIRM to identify what strategies and structures help you generate positive energy.
- Fuel = What foods and beverages will provide you sustainable energy to get you to where you want to go? Are quick fixes of caffeine and sugar negatively impacting your energy and endurance? Are you refueling at night with enough sleep to feel fully awake during the day?
- Inspiration = What inspires you to think outside the box, to feel creative, to notice beauty, to experience wonder, to appreciate what is working in your life, and to take time to play?
- Rejuvenate = Do you feel energized by quiet moments alone in meditation? Do you need to treat yourself to a massage or read a murder mystery? Or do you find stimulation and motivation when engaging in group activities, hosting a game night, or going out for a night on the town?
- Movement = One way to increase your energy is to exert it efficiently. Rather than feeling depleted by physical activity the body becomes stronger, more flexible, and more able to meet the challenges ahead when it is in motion.
Action begets action. Shifting your energy a mere 10% can make you feel 100% better. Why wait for a crisis, be FIRM now! Monitor your fuel intake, look for opportunities to be inspired, take time to rejuvenate, and move! The more you focus on strengthening your own positive energy, the less vulnerable you will be to the negative energy of others.
Below are five questions to help you understand and optimize your own energy.
- How do you define energy?
- Where does energy come from in your life? Where does it go?
- How are you affected (mind, body, and spirit) by positive and negative energy?
- How does it feel to be at optimal energy? What level are you at now?
- For this week, notice the energy you take on and give away. Write your observations at the end of each day.