Years ago, I had a coach tell me to only work when I felt like it. For years I bucked that. Having worked in the corporate world for so long not only was that an alien concept to me, it felt like a cop-out. “I need to be working” was always my answer. My coach would push back with, “Why?” If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. My concern was that I would never feel like it like so therefore I’d never get anything done. To a former Type-A person, that was terrifying.
The gap in the story that I was missing was energy.
Go with Your Energy Flow
It was more than just a matter of if I felt like it. It was about my energy.
It was about listening to my body, mind and soul. Tapping into that unlimited energy source that we all possess.
People sense your energy whether you do or not. The opposite is also true. You may sense other people’s energy and they don’t consciously sense yours. Subconsciously we all sense each other.
Let’s say I send out an email to you and I’m not feeling well that day. My energy will be low. People can and do pick that up, whether they realize it or not.
People that are sensitive to energy will immediately catch it. Those not sensitive to energy may shrug it off and ignore the email altogether with no reason given. In reality they’re ignoring it because subconsciously they’re reacting to my low energy.
If I send out the exact same email the next day when I’m feeling good, chances are much higher they’ll open it then. Why? Because while they weren’t consciously aware the first email didn’t have good energy, they ignored it. Subconsciously they’ll feel the improved energy in the second email and now it catches their attention. Now they have the urge to open it and they do.
It’s All About Energy – Yours and Mine
Just like some days have you noticed that you ignore texts and emails yet the next day or two you’re drawn to open them? It’s either because of your energy or theirs. Either their energy wasn’t great so you subconsciously ignored it, or your energy wasn’t great so you didn’t feel like it. If their energy was off then you won’t resonate with their message, so you avoid it. If it’s your energy that’s off, then you won’t resonate with what they’re saying so you still avoid it.
Either way it’s all about the energy. You’re reacting to it consciously or subconsciously.
If you’re in the corporate world and your boss asks if you read his email, you can’t answer with, “No, I don’t feel good today so I skipped it.” That doesn’t work. You’re forced to read the email and to act on it.
If you’re sensitive to energy yet you have to work in that environment, then you have to figure out a way that works for you. When I worked in the corporate world, I didn’t realize I was so sensitive. My strategy was to do what everyone else does – just do it. Don’t think about it, don’t react, just do it.
After years of just doing it, I got burned out. Even after running my own business for so long, I got burned out. You’d think having the freedom of having my own business wouldn’t burn me out, but it did. There are a number of reasons why it burned me out. The one that relates to this post is the energy of the people I dealt with.
It took me a long time to realize that I’m just not a mainstream person. I may look like one, but I’m not. After years of dealing with the unawake, unaware, demanding, entitled public it took its toll on me. I was getting really tired of being the ever-professional responding courteously to requests when I really wanted to tell them the truth.
It was time to get out. It was draining my energy. The last few years I owned the business minor health issues continually popped up. Why? Because I was very sensitive to the people’s energy that I had to deal with. Not only did I not realize that I was so sensitive to them, I also didn’t see how much it was zapping my strength. Since I was unaware of all of this, I didn’t honor myself and get out sooner. When I finally did it was such a huge relief.
When I say work when you feel like it, it’s about honoring your energy. If your energy, your body, your spirit, says no, then don’t. If you work for someone else, I realize that’s not always an option. If you can, push off deadlines or small tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
Be Aware that You May be Burning Out
Just being aware that you are burning out or getting overloaded from other people’s energy is a huge first step. Knowing that, make sure to take frequent breaks during the work day. Listen to your favorite music, go for a walk during lunch, call a friend. Even if you work for yourself, do the same thing.
If you don’t work or are retired, make sure that you’re making time for you, not just serving everyone else because you have the time. We all know that care-giving, even babysitting, can quickly lead to burn-out. Other people’s energy can overwhelm you.
What I’ve learned the hard way is to honor your energy. I tell you so that you have the heads up and don’t have to learn the hard way too. Yes, it’s great to motivate and push yourself, but take it from me, someone who had a fast-paced career for years, eventually you burn out. Dealing with other people and their energy all day long wears you out.
Even if you know how to protect your energy, breaks are still important to rejuvenate yourself. That’s why we all love vacations. You don’t have to leave your house to go on a mental vacation. Slow down, put your feet up, do something different to change your pace.
That way, when the week-end comes you can ask yourself if you feel like doing such and such. If the answer is yes, do it. If you’re too tired or whatever, don’t do it. There will be a day when you do. It may not seem like it, but there will be. As I said, I needed a long break to rejuvenate from many years in the corporate world, then as an entrepreneur. I just now feel like I’m getting my mojo back.
Take your breaks, honor your energy to avoid burn-out. If you’re recovering from burn-out, it will come back as long as you honor yourself. Go where your energy leads you. Do what feels right. Listen to your body, mind and soul as it never steers you wrong.
If you’re not sure how to listen to your body, mind and soul, then learning to listen to your intuition is just what you need to establish that connection.
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