Two years ago, I was struggling… BAD! I constantly found myself asking, “what the hell is going on?” While I experienced joy and connection in moments, it felt as if I had become frustration, anger, overwhelm, and resentment. It was exhausting because while I was doing a lot, I wasn’t doing anything of significance. I couldn’t stand myself. I wanted a way out from my own thoughts and emotions. I wanted to be something, do something bigger, better – in line with the person I knew myself to be, but couldn’t find among the chaos of crippling emotion.
Every morning I’d wake up well before any human really should, excited to get a jump start with my daily workout. I practically ran to the gym to see my coach and friends, beyond eager to find out what was in store for us that day. To say my giddyness and motivation soars when it comes to working out is a gigantic understatement. When faced with a challenging workout, nothing stands in my way. I have every confidence I can and will make it through. So by 6A I was physically exhausted and on cloud 9.
By 6:15 no shred of that ready-to-take-on-the-world Lauren existed. It was as if my high never happened. The dread of work settled in, and it was very deep. So deep I would cry and then find every excuse to delay the inevitable of getting ready and making the commute.
- Scan FB and Insta for a good 20 minutes after I got home
- Put my clothes away from yesterday’s laundry
- Help get the boys ready for school (even though Brad was a SAHD at the time and had it all handled)
- Root through the fridge to see what I might make for dinner … tomorrow
If it distracted me from the suffocating anxiety associated with any thought of work, I was all in even if it wasn’t something I overly enjoyed.
By the time I arrived at work, the weight of the world was lighter than what weighed on my mind, heart, and soul. There was rock bottom, 50 ft. of crap, and then me. (Free mini coaching session if you know that reference…seriously. Schedule here). There were fleeting moments of laughter, joy, connection, and movement forward, though the majority of the time I felt trapped, suffocated, angry, resentful.
Every email was like straight pins under my fingernails. Waterboarding was more attractive than meetings. I couldn’t think or reason. My mind was a bowl of mush. I was short and defensive in communications. Actively avoiding certain people and situations just to breathe and find moments of clarity became my MO. “Are you ******* kidding me?” was my go-to, under-my-breath catch phrase. Yet stuff got done. Things moved forward. I received praise for what I accomplished. Though NONE of it was easy or of any interest whatsoever.
I was burned out, stressed, and worn down. Simply put, I was a hot mess. And funnily enough not just because of work, but because I intuitively knew my thoughts and feelings, and ultimately my actions, weren’t me.
It wasn’t until I was introduced to the concept of energy through coaching that this roller coaster started making sense. Simply having more succinct language to describe my thoughts and emotions brought peace and clarity. It provided a way to compartmentalize and separate what I was feeling from my person. I had felt such destructive emotions for so long I started to believe it was just “who I am” even though intuitively I knew it wasn’t. I couldn’t create distance between them and me until I learned about energy and how it shows up for me.
Types of Energy
Destructive energy is draining and noxious. It incites: worry, fear, guilt, shame, helplessness, dread, confinement, paralysis, overwhelm, anger, judgment, resentment, apathy, frustration, and resistance. All the things you feel when you’re burned out and stressed; pushed passed your limits. (i.e. work)
Constructive energy is uplifting and expanding. It incites: release, motivation, compromise, inclusion, love, forgiveness, joy, empathy, compassion, peace, understanding, joy, connection, passion, and spontaneous creation. All the things you feel when you’re completely committed to something and believe in your ability to reach full potential. (i.e. working out)
Neither are good nor bad, right nor wrong. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Destructive energy allows you to push through in the face of stress and difficulty. It’s your lizard brain at work! Something really challenging in front you? You experience a surge of stressful power to forge ahead. Experienced long term it will take its toll on your mental, emotional, and physical well being.
Constructive energy provides the opportunity to make your dreams come true. It gives you clarity and spurs inspiration to fulfill your passions and give you genuine joy. Stay in this space too long, and you can disconnect from those around you and the human experience, or perhaps take on more risks than intended.
Energy Awareness Deepens Self Awareness
The introduction to these concepts blew my mind and world wide open! Simply putting words to my thoughts and emotions brought about a new level of personal influence, particularly during my destructive moments. That it “wasn’t just me and who I am”. It’s a concept and phenomenon shared by all humans.
As a coach, energy is at the very heart of what I do. It’s the nucleus to every coaching relationship and the foundation upon which every client builds their awareness and thus makes their intended shifts. When I introduce it I’m usually met with a “oh this ‘touchy feely’ concept should be stunning” kind of look. Any new concept can be challenging to accept at first, particularly when it’s intangible like energy, so it’s understandable skepticism rises to the surface. But once we dig in, there’s no going back. It’s so powerful it’s hard to imagine life without the knowledge of energy and its influence on our individual and collective lives. Energy is the lens through which we view ourselves, others, and the world around us. It’s the essence of our success.
Making Energy Work for You
Destructive energy halts progress. It’s the barrier standing in front of you. It prevents you from making the leap to run after your dreams. You’ve been dying to do something big in your life, but find yourself stuck in a swirl of chaos. Now’s your chance to start getting out of your own way by understanding when you experience energy that works for you and when you don’t. Take the next week to scan your energetic environment. Each day record moments to bring more awareness and clarity. You’ll likely start to see patterns.
- What’s the situation?
- Who’s involved?
- What time of day?
- What kind of energy do you think you felt?
- What thoughts came to mind?
- What emotions surfaced in the moment?
- How do you react?
- How did the reaction serve you?
- What emotions did you feel a few hours after the incident?
- What did you learn about yourself related to that specific instance?
Awareness is the first step to every solution. Armed with the knowledge of energy and how it shows up in your life provides a level of empowerment and influence that puts YOU in the driver’s seat. Once you have a better understanding of how each type of energy shows up for you, then you’re in a position to start unraveling the why, which is the real game changer! More on that to come … 😉