As a coach, I have a unique viewpoint. I am able to identify trends and similarities with problems that my candidates often experience. To the individual, they are going through a unique and personal experience however I see similarities at times and this gives me a greater insight.
This week I had a candidate who arrived to our session emotionally and physically exhausted. I could see there was nothing left in the tank yet this candidate had to muster all that was left in them to get through Christmas. I knew what the coaching session would entail and hence a theme was identified.
We need to view our own energy system (mind, body, spirit) as a well. The water in that well is our vitality, our energy. When we give to others either as friendships, relationships, parenting or in our careers we should only be giving what overflows from our well. Yet too often in our society we dip into our well and start to give more than we have. This would be ok if we only do it for short periods however many people I see don’t. They have usually kept dipping into their well and giving more of what they have for years and years until there is very little left.
People who are in this situation are exhausted on so many levels. They have so much to do yet absolutely no energy left to do it. They feel like a failure, that something is wrong with them and they become even more self critical which only worsens their situation. In the back of their minds they remember they didn’t used to be like this and they fear that they won’t be able to escape this moment.
Once we have unpacked things in our coaching sessions, they begin to see that they have been giving more of themselves for far too long. They realise that all energy on this Earth whether it be physical, mental or spiritual is finite and that law needs to be respected.
The frustrating thing is that when we dip from our well, we dip with a bucket. Yet when our well is replenishing imagine that of a slow dripping tap. This is the speed we replace our vital energy.
So if you have hit a wall and feel overwhelmed, maybe it is time to reflect on your own energy source and ask yourself “have I only being giving what overflows” “how long have I given more than what I can reproduce” “If I had a friend in a similar situation, what would I tell them to do”.
If you have exhausted your vital energy, the journey back is slower than you will need it to be but it is a journey that cannot be rushed. You will need to be a lot kinder with yourself, more forgiving, patient and be prepared to just accomplish nothing some days. In time, your well will re-fill, but only if you nurture it and let it.
Danielle Beck – Professional, Performance and Personal Coach