Who is in Your Circle? Energy Drainers and the Art of Setting Limits

Vital Energy

There are many ways to be depleted of the vital energy necessary for a fulfilling life!

The most surefire way to deplete your energy is to give too much of yourself, your skills, your talents, your time and your attention to-

  • people,
  • things,
  • events,
  • opportunities, and
  • obligations that don’t merit your presence or attention.

A List of Everything You Love…

Yet there are many among us who are not prone to overextending ourselves. People who stay in their lane and don’t continuously add more to their already full agendas.

What can we learn from those that rarely overextend themselves? Perhaps what we can learn has to do with being present to our priorities and what is most important to us. Recently a friend of mine posed the question, If you were to make a list of everything you loved, where would you fall on that list?

I believe it came from a coach or a personal development program. Regardless of its origins, it is a thought provoking question. Undoubtedly, we may be fortunate enough to love our work; our faith; our home, our family etc…

It makes perfect sense that with so many potential factors on our “things we love”  lists, some of these priorities will collide.

Well that is an acceptable challenge. It may be difficult. But it is an acceptable challenge to try to decide between things, people, events etc… that matter.

Who is in your Circle?

What ultimately sabotages our energy and leads to us feeling drained… is likely the realization that sometimes we are engaged in activities and giving our time to people and things that don’t make our list.

So people who are not overextended…likely keep what their true priorities are in their consciousness and make decisions to say “yes” or to say “no” according to those priorities.

When they receive invitations, opportunities and requests, they consider whether or not the person or event is aligned with what matters most.

My guess is that they also consider whether or not the person asking, inviting or requesting is in their circle. So the question is, “Who are the people in your circle?” Your circle could include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • your self;
  • your family;
  • your friends;
  • your colleagues;
  • your community;
  • your church;
  • your charities;
  • your clients;
  • etc….

The challenge then becomes…that each category has its own “circles.” Even when you consider yourself, you have competing needs for rest/sleep, social engagement, work, exercise, connection with others and a host of other important aspects of self.

When it comes to family there may be children, spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents etc… to consider. So for each category there are sub-categories. There is the potential to have divided attention, divided focus and to feel overwhelmed.

What is yours “To Do?”

There may be a very simple way to determine what is yours to do and what is not. When the questions are:

  • Should I take on this new project?
  • Should I volunteer for this committee?
  • Should I attend this party?
  • Should I go to bed?
  • Should I attend this church service?
  • Should I go to the gym?
  • Should I return my family member’s call right now?
  • Should I keep “date night?
  • Should I eat this slice of pizza?

The first consideration should be, “Is this aligned with my expressed and intended values? Is it an energy drainer? Or will it add to my fulfillment?”

And then consider “Am I really available?” “Do I have the time?” “Can I give my attention and is my intention clear?”

Lastly, I would add the question “Is my choice based on fear? Hopelessness?

If you are afraid that an opportunity won’t come around again or you are choosing to say “no” because you don’t believe in the possibility of a good outcome, then it may be best to let your previously expressed values determine your course of action until you are in a better frame of mind.

Whole Self vs. Expressed Self

It is quite possible that when given a choice, we choose to do the things that we feel most proficient at…creating an ever increasing gap between the needs of our “whole” self and our “expressed” self.

Our expressed self involves the things that we do. Our whole self includes what matters to us fundamentally.

  • If your health matters;
  • If your family matters;
  • If your friends matter;
  • If your community matters; then don’t use up all of your energy making a living…save some of that energy for making a life!

Be ever conscious of the right timing, the right priorities and your fundamental needs.  Chief among them is your well-being.

Copyright © 2016 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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