We misguidedly believe that we’re in control of our fortunes, but where the real control lies, is not always immediately obvious to us. The invisible and intangible world is the real architect in the universe. If we align ourselves to this world then we can be co-creators. If not, we simply become casualties of fate. If we want to influence our own destiny, we need to understand the relationship between free will and the world of energy, both metaphysical and physical. Only then can we plug the holes in the soul and stop our energy seeping away.
This is a vitally important aspect within the huge subject of energy and is something we need to understand in order that we can manage this phenomenon and avoid losing our energy, otherwise our best efforts will continue to be undermined.
The list of energy stealers is quite extensive and so I won’t cover them all, but I would like to draw your attention to some of the primary ones. The list below is in no particular order because some will apply to some people and not others and also the extent to which they apply will be different from one person to the next. See if you can pick out your energy stealers.
Making mistakes and not learning from them:
This is a major energy stealer. Mistakes are arguably our best tutors but when we deny and justify our actions, we are denied the lessons and the growth they offer and are destined to make even more mistakes of the same nature.
Trying to unnecessarily control situations and people:
To take control can be a virtue in the right circumstances, but so many of us are trying to control things out of fear; fear that we won’t get what we want, fear that s/he will get it wrong, the belief that only I can do what’s required, which simply disempowers all parties. This kind of control is toxic because it harms the one doing the controlling and those being controlled.
This is one of the most common ways of covering up what we haven’t done. It’s often our attempt to make us look better and to cover our shame. All it really does is stunt our growth.
Defending oneself and one’s perspective at all costs:
A dogmatic approach to life is responsible for nearly every conflict and war that’s ever been fought. When we hold onto our prejudices, points of view and beliefs, unwilling to see another perspective or negotiate, we make ourselves blind.
Harsh negative thoughts against oneself:
Negative thoughts are arguably the worst energy stealers. They can send us spiralling down at a great rate of knots. Compassion towards oneself is the swiftest way to achieve positive change. The kind mind erases all negative objections, enabling us to find a smoother path.
Negative, critical judgement towards others:
Hardening our hearts towards others denies us access to our better natures and we are weakened in the process. We cannot avoid making judgements because it’s the nature of the mind to try and make sense of what it’s seeing and experiencing. However, we can ensure that our judgements are kind.
Not facing one’s own demons:
There is much talk about ‘living in the now’ but can we truly live in the now whilst we have a litany of issues that remain unattended to? Without resolving the past to the best of our ability we remain chained to it and the gift of the present is never fully unwrapped.
Impatience is responsible for so many disasters. It believes that the best route is always the shortest or the quickest and yet impatience almost always doubles the length of the journey. Impatience mistakes force for strength and doesn’t realise that the reason the fruit has not ripened is because it has sucked the life out of it.
Not accepting the way things have played out:
Non-acceptance has us constantly revisiting the past, seeking a different outcome. This is futile because we can’t change the past, but we can change how we relate to it. Acceptance is a great virtue and requires much strength. When we fight against the way circumstances have unfolded, we can waste so much energy and time, which would be better spent learning what we need to learn and planning a better strategy.
Those who disrespect time will find their best laid plans in tatters at their feet, often looking for someone to blame. It’s impossible to claim back time that has been wasted because it is gone. What we can do however, is to take our lessons with us and make a pledge to value and respect time going forward. Those who do this will find she has a very forgiving nature.
Maintaining unhealthy relationships:
Company colours. The people you spend time with and share your mind and heart with are the people most likely to influence you. This is why it’s important that they are hand-picked. Those who do not add value to your life should not be condemned but are best avoided.
Inadequate investment in self-care:
Self-care is the key to positive change. You cannot be the best version of yourself whilst you neglect your own core needs. Identify what those are and prioritise them. Then you will turn from a stone into a diamond.
Human beings are made up of food, water, air and light. To achieve the best in well-being we need all four, in sufficient quantities. Nutrition is essential to physical and mental health. Where there is inadequate nutrition both body and mind struggle to fulfil their meaning and purpose and we are plagued by stress.
A lack of order in one’s life:
Order creates peace, chaos creates confusion – look honestly at your life and the people around you and the proof of this will be blindingly obvious. So many of us waste time and energy wading through our mess and in the process our contentment is replaced with frustration and fatigue.
Poor sleep hygiene:
Most of the body’s housekeeping and maintenance duties are carried out whilst we are asleep. Sleep is one of the cornerstones of good mental and physical health. So, ensure that you take all the necessary steps to make your sleep beneficial. Focus on creating an environment that naturally induces sleep. In the hour before going to sleep it is best to avoid overly stimulating activity.
We are vertical rivers. Our bodies cannot perform any of their functions without water. Of the things we put into our bodies, water is by far the most important. Without it we cannot even think straight and focus properly as dehydration undermines all cognitive functions. This energy stealer accounts for so many problems in relation to human health.
Not being sufficiently vigilant with one’s own health:
If you listen in, you will notice that your body is communicating with you all the time. It prods and pokes you in little ways, inviting you to meet its needs. So, don’t neglect these nudges (symptoms/feelings). They are often the best indicators of something needing your attention. Listen to that voice within.
Lack of personal responsibility:
The blame game may be very comforting as it provides the illusion that the only thing right with the world is you! To those who find comfort in this position, all learning and growth is denied. It’s only when we take responsibility for those ‘things’ we get right and wrong, that we can find our way through the maze of life.
Not chewing food thoroughly:
It has long been said you are what you eat. However, it is more accurate to say that you are what you absorb from what you eat. Digestion begins in the mouth. Bowel disorders are on the rise and a lack of chewing is arguably the number one reason for this, because undigested foods cause a plethora of problems – altering the brain and body chemistry in the process.
Saying one thing and doing another:
Words are powerful vehicles of energy. They can uplift and inspire. They can undermine and destroy. We need to employ them mindfully. We also need to realise that when we say one thing but do something else the incongruence of this resonates within us in such a way that we are unable to find peace or clarity.
As I said at the outset, this is not a definitive list, but it is a good place to start and clearly shows that there are many ways that energy can seep away from us and if we are to prevent that from occurring then we need to be aware of these drainage points and plug them with the appropriate response.
If you’re not sure if something is an energy stealer, the simple test for checking is to ask yourself the following questions:
Does it lower your mood?
Does it steal your focus?
Do you keep going around in circles, experiencing the same disappointing outcomes?
Do you find that no matter what you do, you can’t progress?
Test anything you’re not sure about against these criteria. If you feel weakened by a course of action you are taking, then something is wrong.
These are the best ways to make positive investments in your life. They also provide you with some of the antidotes to the energy stealers.
Make a list of non-negotiables:
There is no doubt that the best way to break the negative cycles that send our minds spinning in the wrong direction, is to create a set of non-negotiables – promises and pledges to oneself that we aim never to break. What this means in practice is carrying out these non-negotiables at least 80% of the time. You will then find you accrue the power to meet all life’s challenges with grace and strength.
Forgiveness unblocks our energy fields:
Forgiveness is often mistaken for letting the other person off the hook, having not secured justice. As a result, many shun forgiveness, not realising that a lack of forgiveness weakens them. For those who can walk this challenging path there is healing and transformation. Their anger, revenge and pain are converted into a more useful force for change.
Gratitude strengthens our resolve:
One of the positive statements I use a lot in my work is ‘a mind full of gratitude has no room for complaint’. This attitude to life really works. The more we count our blessings the more blessings we end up having to count as the magnet of appreciation creates good fortune and positive outcomes. Practise saying thank you, which will create feelings of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation will follow.
Humility always wins the day:
For some humility is the greatest virtue of them all and experience has taught me that this is indeed true. It has been postulated that if you put humility on one side of the scales and all the other virtues on the other side, humility would still be greater in value. Humility should not be mistaken for weakness. One who stands in this position is not interested in being right but pursuing what is right. Humility is not false modesty. It knows its own value and celebrates that, whilst never seeking to diminish another. It does not seek or need title, recognition, or reward.
Listening – the jewel in the crown:
The best way to see is with your ears! The eyes miss so much and are easily flattered and deceived. The ears on the other hand are the portholes to insight, clarity, and the ‘real’ conversations of life. To one who is really listening, every moment is packed with benefits. The listener is a perpetual student, researcher, and expert and as such is always growing. A true expert is one who is experienced in the topic(s) they are presenting. Theirs is not merely a theoretical appreciation of the subject. They have immersed themselves in that subject over time to such an extent that they embody it.
Patience is the mother of wisdom:
Those who understand that change is a process, not an event, are happy to wait because they know life guarantees to match their intentions. They do not fret and stress because the outcome they seek has not yet turned up. They are anchored to faith… they know that by doing the right things the best outcomes do eventually emerge in their lives. This attitude and approach conserves so much energy.
Feed the mind and body well:
It is important to make introspection a central feature of each day in order that the mind is adequately fed. I’ve covered introspective practices comprehensively in my work and those familiar with The Reach Approach will know there is no shortage of options. The mindfulness and meditation revolution that’s taking place is also helping to underline the importance of cultivating our inner world. The body needs daily attention too. This has been well documented in my work entitled Persuading the Body (to find out more, see the Reach website). So, make sure you fulfil the needs of both, and you will flourish.
Make time for joy:
We live in the world of our attention. Where our attention goes our energy flows. No matter how busy you are you must make time to soak up the wonders of life. There is so much joy to be found in both the great and the small things, but we really need to be paying attention so that we do not miss those treasures.
Find and fulfil your meaning and purpose:
A lack of meaning and purpose is one of the key reasons that mental ill health is on the rise. We need to find value and meaning in our lives – to exist is not enough. Many find themselves slipping into anxiety and depression when they can see no light on the horizon. You must first find and cultivate the light in you and your path will be illuminated.
Pursue kindness in all things:
Kindness tops up your pot of good energy. It keeps the virtuous cycle spinning. If you treat others the way you wish to be treated, you’ll find that life lifts you up onto its shoulders, helping you to wade through troubled waters more easily.
Empathy changes our experience of reality:
The more we practise seeing reality from the other person’s position, the more our own awareness grows. Empathy makes us more than we would otherwise be. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes enhances our connection with the world, it also offers greater insight and as a result our spirit soars.
Sincerity ensures our success:
Sincerity unlocks every door. The sincere heart can access the unseen parts of itself. It can also find solutions where there appear to be none. The whole universe conspires to help sincerity to achieve its objectives. The more sincere you become, the richer your heart and soul.
Aspire for authenticity in all things:
Keep trying to be the best you can be. Authenticity is not about pretending to be something you’re not. It’s about accepting the truth about yourself and kindly nourishing that. Those who aspire for authenticity are helped by all that is good in the world and will eventually meet their very best selves.
Courage teaches you to fly:
When we take a step in the right direction, even when it’s the last thing we really want to do, we are elevated by our ancestors and all those courageous souls who’ve gone before us. Every time you find the courage to face your fears, fear loses its grip over you and your spirit learns to fly. Be brave!
Embrace your ambivalence:
Integrity does not mean we are without flaw and contradiction. The one who lives a life of integrity is the one who accepts their ambivalence and finds ways to be true, whilst they are changing. They do not condemn themselves because they know transformation will not be possible without acceptance. Integrity is to be transparent, to be truthful about where you are. There is great power to be had in this position.
Become part of the solution:
It’s so easy to keep finding fault with everything and everyone. This really takes no effort. The real challenge is to find goodness where there is little, to find hope where there is none, to find a way forward when the path is blocked. Those who are looking for solutions to the problems are the ones most likely to find them. And surprisingly they seem to have extra fuel in their tank. Life loves those who are trying to find the best way forward and goes out of her way to support them.
There are many more ways to invest energy and to sustain yourself and maintain your growth. However, this list is a good starting point. These energy enablers feed off one another. The more you immerse yourself in them and incorporate them in your life, the more resilient and resourceful you’ll become. You will feel yourself growing in stature and real power will emerge. As a result, you will find the confidence to continue pursuing the best path for you.
Those who conserve their energy and invest in the right things, find they care very little about how others see them. Their focus is on how they feel about themselves because they know this is where they will find peace of mind and bliss.
Also see: Energy Signatures and Energy Contracts