I had been feeling more lethargic during my down time these past few months. At first, I thought my energy was low because of the state of the world (which would be a rational thought), but to my surprise, the source this time was actually coming from me.
I had a recent realization that one of my Type A personality behaviors was draining my energy. The trait, which I had thought served me so well in all areas of my life was beginning to cause anxiety because it was failing to be sustainable. What's the trait? Planning.
That's not to say planning is all bad, but for me, excessively following my set plans was turning into something I loathed. Life was becoming one big check list with no room for anything else. Without any wiggle room, I felt like I was running on an enclosed hamster wheel in constant motion.
For a long time, I prided myself on being a self-motivated organized high achiever. There is a lot of effort and deep thought behind these things. But to be an ever-evolving individual, wisdom sometimes requires you to end up in the very place you started.
Life can't be wrangled or controlled into submission or molded into what you want it to look like. I know this, and I never intended to use planning as a tool to pretend I could control anything; however, I was trying to heavily influence reality based on my actions according to my plans. I know now that the difference between control and influence is pretty much the same.
The realization that released me was accepting the fact that the overuse of planning would only ever leave me drained of my energy; this was because my mind was being taken hostage -- occupied by thinking about what I didn’t get done or what was coming next. My new approach is this: if I have a plan, I need to treat it as a loose guideline rather than as a ridged step-by-step instruction manual.
My biggest ah-ha was that I didn’t have to follow the plan at all. As a planner, this had never even occurred to me. This notion provided an instant relief to my mind and body. The shift happened so quick that I am confident I can still follow a plan but at a moment’s notice, I can also drop the plan. Why? Because it makes room for something I hadn't expected – a natural blossoming of spontaneity within life. I wasn't making room to flow with life’s opportunities. And my planning habits were becoming obstructions when new directions were beckoning me. I was following a boring gray sequential straight line instead of allowing the line to be colorful with sophisticated turns and loops.
It's good to have a plan, but it's better to have a balanced mindset that makes room to flow with life too. Yes, we’re all creators of our own life, but only co-creators. Letting go a little bit allows the rest to come into place naturally.
Since shifting my thoughts around this, I feel like I've had a big hole repaired in my figurative boat in this sea of life. My tight hold on the helm has loosened and I no longer feel guilty or consumed if I don't finish something. My energy isn't being drained anymore and I am gliding through my days with ease instead of angst. It's funny though because letting go has allowed me to be more productive since I have more energy.
More positive side effects I’ve been feeling are inspiration and creativity. I hadn't realized how much I was lacking this until it all came flooding back in. Lastly, I feel replenished with exuberance. In other words, making room for life to flow around and through me has allowed me to see and feel more love and gratitude for my life.
I am thankful for this ah-ha that stopped my huge energy drainer.
If these words resonated with you, and/or if you’re a busy individual who is on the metaphorical hamster wheel of life, here’s what I want you to remember:
You don’t have to stick to your plans
When you do plan, use it as a loose guide
You don't have to get it all (or the amount you think) done at once
Trust in yourself that you will have the same passions, drive, and values tomorrow
Most importantly, make room to co-create and flow with life and all its natural spontaneity
Affirmations that can help with this positive mindset:
“I allow myself to go with the flow of life.”
“I don’t have to stick to my plans.”
“I am a co-creator in my life and allow natural spontaneity in.”
“I prioritize my self-care to keep me grounded and balanced.”
When you flow with life rather than strong-arm it to conform to your vision, you will stop draining your own energy, you will no longer miss out on experiencing the lightness life has to offer, and you can enjoy every moment a little deeper.
Now that you’ve learned about an energy drainer, it’s time to learn about energy rechargers. Visit my free retreat page, which includes an exercise identifying your own personalized rechargers.