Are you running your life, job, or business on empty?
You have so much to do, but feel like you have nothing left to give. So instead of slowing down, you push and try harder. Reaching for anything that will give your energy a quick boost, such as caffeine, chocolate, or carbs.
And when you do have a day where you start to feel a little better, you unintentionally drain what little energy you had. You feel stuck in this burnout cycle and unsure what you can let go of.
While there are many things you can do to boost or refuel your energy tank. If you don’t get to the root of what is draining your energy, you will just keep repeating the same cycle. And the cost of burnout is great, not just occupationally or to your family, but also to your own happiness, health, and well-being.
So instead of looking for a quick boost, what would it feel like to be deeply nourished and supported? Instead of giving you a list of healthy habits for a quick boost of energy, I’m going to help you uncover the sneaky patterns draining your energy almost daily. Because the little-known truth is that people, including ourselves, drain our energy more than anything else!
Identifying Your Energy Drainers
At first glance, it can be hard to see the root of these sneaky patterns. For instance, if you feel like you need to be strong and productive all the time, you may push yourself to do more than is needed. And then you feel more exhausted, irritable, and impatient instead of more satisfied and relaxed.
So let’s uncover some of these sneaky patterns and ways that people, including ourselves, drain our energy. Which of the following best describe patterns, habits, or feelings you are currently experiencing?
- Guilt: Do you feel guilty when you tend to your own needs (physical, emotional, social), so you put your needs off or ignore them altogether?
- Push Harder: When something isn’t working, do you push yourself harder than is needed?
- Not Good Enough: Do you worry that others will think you aren’t good enough at what you do, so you take on more than you can do in a day or week?
- Pressure to Agree: Do you say yes to things out of obligation, pressure, or guilt, even when you really want to say no?
- Over-responsibility: Do you try to convince others to take responsibility for their problems or behaviors, only to be met with more blame?
- Busyness: Do you stay busy, so you don’t have to deal with feelings or get close to others?
- Self-sacrifice: Do you find yourself doing things for others without first considering what you also need?
- Peacekeeper: After a conflict, do you apologize or take all the blame, even for things that aren’t yours to own?
- Achievement Collector: Once you complete a big project, do you immediately look for the next big thing to do?
- Chasing Love: Do you keep trying to get support from someone who isn’t able to give you the support you need?
- Worry: Do you get lost in your mind replaying past conversations or worrying about the future?
- Critically Compare: Do you spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others or being critical of yourself?
Awareness is the First Step in Shifting Patterns
If you see yourself in several of these patterns, don’t freak out. Awareness is the first step in change. And you don’t have to work on all of them at the same time. Pick the top 1-2 patterns that you feel are most at play in draining your precious energy on a daily basis.
Then, write these down somewhere you will see them daily. And make an intention to become even more aware of how and when they show up for you.
Know that most people will need some support to shift out of these long-held sneaky patterns. Because strong people know when they need support and ask for it!
Once your awareness grows, you can start to see how you can reserve some energy for yourself too. Here’s to nourishing yourself more deeply and opening up to receive the support you need.
What 1-2 energy-draining patterns are you committing to shift and become more aware of?
Marci Payne, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist in Missouri and Women’s Empowerment Coach. She helps men and women create the lives and relationships they love from the inside out. For more information on individual counseling for burnout, people-pleasing, or divorce recovery, schedule a free 15-minute phone call with Marci. Or, get a copy of my “Guilt-Free Guide to Intuitive Self-Care” and learn how to focus more on yourself without feeling guilty.