Energy – It’s a give and take

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Have you ever wondered why your energy levels are changing depending on the weather, your mood, where you are in your monthly cycle or what’s on the daily schedule? Well, I have. When it’s rainy and dark, my safe choice would be to stay in bed (unfortunately that’s not possible 99% of the time…). When I’m in a bad mood, I don’t feel like doing anything. On the other hand, there are sunny, bright days, where I’m full of energy and can’t wait to get started with work.

But what if energy levels stay low-ish for days, weeks, even months in a row? If you find you are dragging yourself to work and Mondays are the worst, please read on…

Based on the Positive Leadership model[1], energy levels at work depend on three basic principles: Purpose, confidence and influence. In my opinion, this model doesn’t only apply to the job context, but really to any energy we put into action, but see for yourself:

Purpose: Does my work have a purpose? What are my contributions to the overall goal? What effects have my actions, both positive and negative? Are the results of my work tangible and visible? What values are guiding me?

Confidence: What are my strengths? What do I love doing? How did I achieve my biggest successes? To what extend am I able to use my strengths in my job? How comfortable am I with my tasks?

Influence: What am I responsible for? How much am I involved? How big is my room for manoeuvre? Can I take my own decisions? Where and how can I be influential? Do I feel empowered?

Now, think about it! Which of your tasks brings you the highest levels of purpose, confidence and influence? For me it would be, for example, teaching yoga: Yoga makes people feel good (purpose), I know a lot about it and am able to share (confidence) and I can design my classes how I want to (influence). Even after a few hours of teaching, my body might be tired and hungry (!), but I feel more energised than before!

If you don’t feel the energy at work, as yourself what aspect(s) you might be lacking at the moment. What can you do to improve your situation? Maybe you could become involved in a topic that you really care about? Or you take responsibility for a task that you are confident you can do better than anyone else in your team?

When I started to run out of energy in my consulting job, I initiated an internal side project on women empowerment in the company – together with Xtina, by the way! Even though it meant additional hours, it quickly became my favourite and most meaningful task between all the client work. It gave me purpose, confidence and influence – and it generated more energy for me than I put into it.

Energy doesn’t come out of thin air. Only the energy that you use will recharge and multiply. Therefore, it won’t help you to blame the nature of your job or the management style in your company for your lack of energy and motivation.  Instead, take control and see what YOU can change for the better.

Get involved. Find purpose. Be confident.



[1] Ruth Seliger: Positive Leadership (2014)

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