4 Ways To Reclaim Your Positive Personal Energy At Work

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James Martin

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Hilltop Securities Inc.
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What’s zapping your energy at work—and how can you neutralize those challenges? Here’s some expert advice.

There’s a direct correlation between our energy and our overall sense of satisfaction (Getty)

If you’ve ever watched kids at the playground and wondered where they find such seemingly endless energy, you’re not alone. Sometimes it seems like the more life experience we have, the less energy we can bring to whatever we’re doing — including our professional pursuits.

Conversely, other times we might feel like we have too much energy — the destructive kind that distracts us from what’s going well and hyper-focuses our attention on the negative aspects of our situation.

The level and quality of energy we bring to our professional lives is a huge factor in our success — or lack thereof. In fact, our personal energy is so vital to our growth and contribution that it can make or break our workplace experience. Not to mention the immense impact it has on those around us as well.

Rebecca Ahmed, business consultant and author of The Energy of Success, believes that your personal energy index is one of the most important things about you. “Energy plays an integral role in our daily lives,” she says. “Studies show that there’s a direct correlation between our energy levels (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical energy) and our overall sense of satisfaction.”

I connected with Ahmed to discuss the core principles of personal energy—and how we can reclaim our own positive energy in the workplace, even if the culture doesn’t support it. Here’s what we covered.

Constructive versus destructive energy

Ahmed distinguishes between two very different kinds of energy: constructive and destructive. “The constructive or destructive energy of organizational leaders and team members plays a pivotal role in the dynamics of the workplace,” she says. “Constructive energy fosters productivity, creativity, and a sense of fulfillment among employees.”

Such constructive energy has a powerful effect on the rest of the organization, especially when displayed by management. “When leaders embrace positive personal energy, their positivity becomes infectious and leads to a vibrant and engaged workplace culture,” says Ahmed.

However, the opposite is also true. “Destructive energy hinders performance, breeds resentment, and stifles innovation,” she says. “These constructive or destructive energies significantly impact individuals, teams, and ultimately the entire organization.”

To tap into the benefits of personal energy for their entire team, leaders can use Ahmed’s Energetic Impact Index to illustrate and define the organization’s energy maturity. “It’s possible to create shifts that ensure a team operates within a constructive energy zone,” she says. “From there, leaders can leverage my five Energetic Success Principles—detachment, presence, creating possibility, curiosity, and love—to help them and their employees shift their own energy as well as the energy of those around them.”

Your personal energy profile

So, what goes into your personal energy profile? “The energy you bring to a situation is based on the way you see things, and the way you see things is forged by your biology, biography, and beliefs,” says Ahmed. “Therefore, you may have a ‘default’ setting, but it’s 100 percent within your control to change it.”

This is good news for those of us who struggle with low or destructive energy, because it’s not a fixed state. “Becoming more aware of what factors formulated your inherent perspective frees you to choose differently in ways that enhance your personal energy and draw you toward greater joy,” Ahmed says.

As a starting point to assess your own ‘E-factor,’ Ahmed points to her Energy Leadership Assessment™ , which is a quantifiable indicator reflecting the satisfaction, energy levels, effectiveness, and potential destructiveness of individuals, teams, and companies. “Once you know this baseline,” she says, “you can work to improve the energy patterns you project.”

Energy zappers

When I asked Ahmed about the most common things that zap our energy, she mentioned two very different things: our own inner critic (an internal force) and an incohesive team (an external dynamic).

We’ve all been there, listening to the critical voice in our head and imagining how we could have performed better. Usually our response is to try to silence that voice, but Ahmed doesn’t recommend that. “By leveraging the principle of detachment, you can distinguish between fact and fiction, understanding that self-criticism often stems from past experiences that you’ve adopted as your story,” she says.

“These inner narratives, often fueled by past traumas, can distort reality and hinder personal growth. By recognizing and letting go of these limiting beliefs, you empower yourself to create your own narrative based on truth and your desired energy.”

The other energy zapper — an incohesive team or coworker — is an opportunity to embrace diversity of thought. “Leaders should encourage incohesive teams to leverage their opposing viewpoints to problem-solve company challenges related to products, services, and processes,” says Ahmed.

“When people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives collaborate, they are more likely to generate creative approaches that can lead to innovative solutions. The common bond created in fixing a problem can improve the team energy, moving it away from destructive animosity and toward constructive cooperation.”

Reclaiming your own energy

Sometimes it may seem like everything is working against your ability to sustain positive energy. This is especially challenging when your workplace culture is a difficult or stressful one—and not showing any signs of improving.

If this is you (and changing jobs isn’t Plan A), Ahmed offers four steps to help regain your sense of personal agency.

1. Gain clarity

Ahmed offers a complimentary Values- Driven Solution Assessment to help uncover your core values. “With a clear understanding of what truly matters to you most, this newfound clarity becomes the compass guiding you towards a purpose-driven life,” she says.

2. Use the assessment to allow deeper understanding

Discovering how the way you see the world and your sense of self within it plays a significant role in how you manage obstacles and harness opportunities, says Ahmed. “You will identify key areas that are draining your energy and connect with a deeper, measurable understanding of how your satisfaction really does drive your success, and what you can do to create more of it.”

3. Become curious

If you’re experiencing destructive energy, get curious about why. “Are you experiencing a values misalignment? Are you creating a story that drives a limiting belief?” asks Ahmed. “Here is where you gain the power to choose how you want to experience each day and how much energy you want to invest in regaining personal agency to reframe your work into something that’s meaningful.”

4. Energize what you value

With the clarity you have gained from evaluating your personal energy level, you can start acting on that knowledge. “Once you understand what motivates and drives your energy, you can choose how to energize what you value at work,” says Ahmed. “Taking values-driven actions will help in aligning you with your desired energy.”

Our personal energy is what drives us to achieve our goals, and it’s worth protecting. Once you dig into the internal and external factors that are influencing your personal energy profile, you’ll be equipped to reclaim, cultivate and invest that energy in what matters to you—at work and beyond.

By Mark C. Perna, Contributor

© 2024 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved

This Forbes article was legally licensed through AdvisorStream.

James Martin profile photo

James Martin

Financial Advisor
Hilltop Securities Inc.
Schedule a meeting