Is your energy a life-giving river or a stagnant swamp?
The odds that you even exist is, according to this infographic by author Ali Binazir, about, well, zero (or 1 in 102,685,000). Think about that for a second. So many things had to align, starting from the first single cell organism, to all your ancestors meeting, to your parents meeting, to that specific sperm and egg finding each other. Your life, even in its most challenging times, even when you feel the cards stacked against you and your energy tanking, is a miracle.
So, what are you going to do with it?
Energy that doesn’t move is stagnant water that festers. But energy that moves is a river oxygenated and abundant with life.
Energy is multi-faceted
Every facet of energy – mental, physical and spiritual – matters, and it not only affects you, but those around you.
If you show up to a meeting with your shoulders slumped with your mind still in bed from hours prior, chances are, it won’t be a productive meeting.
Your energy isn’t just what keeps you going. As a leader, it’s what keeps your team pumped and excited through any endeavor.
Fortifying your energy
Our entire lives are filled with competing demands . Whatever gets our attention wins.
People have millions of stimuli hitting our bodies at every second, and we can only give our attention to a tiny fraction.
We have the demands of our kids wanting to play with us, and the worries our jobs bring. Every day is spent putting out fires in every aspect of our lives. Many spend most of their time out of alignment with their purpose.
So how can you fortify your energy, so you can consistently show up as your best self every day?
We help companies fortify their businesses for the future, to become “Antifragile.” And we can apply the same thinking to making our energy Antifragile.
Identify what fills and depletes you
While there are proven methods for increasing mental, physical, and spiritual energy (like health-conscious eating, exercise, good sleep, going to your place of worship and fellowship), each of us is wired differently in terms of what makes us feel our best.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Name five things that always give you energy – your go-tos.
Don’t count on just one thing (like sleep) for all your energy. Think of energy-givers like a financial portfolio. Lots of options so you always have a tool ready!
- List five things that deplete you.
Like being around toxic people, not going for a daily run, worrying.
- What are five things you want to try that you think may give you a boost?
These lists build awareness so you can limit what drains you and schedule time every day for what boosts you. Put one “try” in your calendar for the next month!
Don’t let yourself get so depleted that it becomes a Herculean task to get it back (an energy paradox).
Elevating the energy in the room
Now you can enter your next conference room feeling enthusiastic, pumped, and ready. But what if you scan the room and see a dozen glazed-eyes staring back at you? A visible yawn? A doodler? Obviously, your team is checked out.
Your energy is the most powerful tool you have to elevate your team.
Below are some techniques we use when facilitating meetings that always raise engagement in those around you. Because as the late George Prince said, “Life is a series of meetings.”
- Set the climate for the room by asking questions such as, “When was the last time you felt amazing or did something courageous?” and/or “What is the energy we need here?”
- Invite people to stand up and stretch, do their favorite dance move or a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing.
- Create psychological safety for the team to express their unique energy. Build rapport by actively listening. Engage in an energizing, explorative dialogue rather than a circular, draining debate.
- Remember, the buzz of the room is often a reflection of what you are projecting, so project the state you want the team to be in. Enthusiasm is infectious!
You and your team’s energetic state affects behaviors. Behaviors dictate results.
Courage Your Energy Tool
Activate and sustain your energy by identifying what gives you positive energy and what takes it away.