Home > Achievement and Perfectionism, Health and Well-being, Uncategorized > Overwhelmed? Bling Out Your Energy Reserves

Overwhelmed? Bling Out Your Energy Reserves

The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results. ~ Tony Robbins

Energy is like money.  Some of us are very good at managing it and have an abundance of it; others have no clue what to do with it and have little of it. Overachievers tend to have little respect for energy and spend it like it’s burning a hole in their pocket.  They may wake up on a Saturday morning and find they have a little extra energy in the till and immediately start thinking of ways to spend it and inevitably decide to do something like take  a nice little bicycle ride up the coast –from Nevada. They will work on a presentation they are giving on Monday (solving the global warming problem, for example), in between patients during their neurosurgery graveyard shift at the ER Saturday night and put the finishing touches on it between vows during their wedding on Sunday. Overachievers are grateful for things like coffee and meth.

The problem with following the overachiever’s energy management program is that, initially, you may end up with a lot of achievement bling, but over time, your energy portfolio becomes so depleted from all the impulsive and compulsive spending you’ve been doing, you will have zero in your energy budget to shell-out for future projects and commitments. This is typically referred to as burnout. If you burn the candle at both ends and  find that you get sick and injured often, lack motivation, battle fatigue and/or depression, you may be experiencing burnout. If you continue down this path without correction, your body will eventually take you down – for your own good. Ironically, you will end up spending far more time doing nothing than is remotely comfortable for you (which, by my estimation, is around 2 minutes and 28 seconds).  When you spend your energy to the point of depletion, it takes a whole lot of nothing-doing to replenish your energy account. I can tell you from personal experience, this sucks.

If you’ve reached the point of total energy depletion, your body is most likely forcing you to practice doing nothing or very little already– good work, keep it up!  If you are on the verge of total energy depletion, you are probably feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and a little rundown. If this is the case for you, slow down. You don’t have to stop, but you do have to apply the brakes unless you want to potentially crash and burn.  Here are some tips to pull you out of your energy-depleting nose-dive and bring you back up to a nice cruising altitude:

Always work from a place of passion, not from a place of stress. You will feel free and light when you work intensely but with passion, there will be a flow to what you are doing.  If you’re working from a place of stress or anxiety you will feel burdened, pressured and drained; you will feel like you’re swimming against the current. If you reach this point it’s a good sign it’s time to stop and rest. (See my previous post to assess whether you really need to be doing the project in the first place). If working from a place of stress is your M.O. then you are on high alert.  Ask your future 80 year old self if he/she is excited about the way you are spending your youthful years (trust me, your 80 year old self sees you as a youngin’). Be prepared for expletives if your 80 year old self does not agree with your current lifestyle, and listen carefully to the advice you are given.  Your 80 year old future self is way smarter than you.

Replenish.  This might mean simply stopping whatever you are doing and taking a few mindful breaths (deep slow inhalation that originates from your belly, not your chest, followed by a slow exhalation – repeat), getting outside for some fresh air or perusing a super trashy magazine – whatever you find restful and takes you out of your head and puts you in your body (dancing around the kitchen to my favorite tunes does it for me). If you are really feeling wiped on a consistent basis, replenishing may mean doing nothing or pulling way back (even sleeping) for a week or longer.  If you are normally a driven person and now find you lack motivation and all you have been doing is working, training or doing some other project that is taking up a healthy percentage of your time, chances are good you are experiencing burnout.  Rest!

Question any stressful thoughts. If you feel anxiously compelled or compulsive about completing the task(s) at hand, stop and ask yourself why it’s so important you get it done. What does it mean if you don’t get it done? What does it mean if you do get it done,  but you are physically and mentally depleted afterwards? Notice any negative feelings and thoughts that come up and question them using tools like The Work or Self Coaching 101.

There’s nothing wrong with drive and passion, in fact, without these qualities it would be nearly impossibly to create or accomplish anything cool.  When we cross the line into compulsion, however,  not only do we harm ourselves, but we hamper the achievement of the very goals and visions that got us excited in the first place. Taking the time to care for ourselves and replenish our stores of energy is like putting money in the bank. Make sure you are working in a way that will put you back in the black.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: