The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for Positive Energy

Waterfall 2

Energy is life. So what gives you positive energy? What gives you negative energy?

How can you get more positive energy in the future? You may then be able to give even more to other people. Let’s explore some steps for making this happen.

Clarifying the things that
give you positive energy

When running workshops I sometimes give people the following exercise on this theme. Here are some of the things they write.

Positive Energy

The things that give me positive energy
in my personal or professional life are:

Being with our children … Gardening … Listening to the sound of our waterfall … Singing in the choir … Taking walks by myself … Playing the guitar … Cooking for our family … Caring for our horse … Doing exciting projects at work … Sleeping deeply.

Everybody needs to replenish their batteries, but people who are Givers sometimes find it hard to give to themselves. Sheila Cassidy is such a Giver.

During the 1970s she was imprisoned in Chile for providing medical care to opponents of the Pinochet regime. Returning to the UK after being tortured, she went on to become Medical Director of St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth.

Sheila gave to others, but starved herself of pleasures. Hard work took its toll, however, and she began taking more care of herself. Writing in her book Sharing The Darkness, Sheila explains:

Sharing The Darkness

“Perhaps the final fall from my self-styled perch of grace came at the beginning of the winter season when Brideshead Revisited was serialised for television.

“Until then I had stalwartly refused to have more than a transistor radio and tape recorder, but now I could bear it no longer and rushed into town to buy myself a TV.”

Sheila found that, far from corrupting her contribution, she gave even more to other people.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the things that give you positive energy.

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Clarifying the things that
give you negative energy

Stimulation is crucial, but sometimes it can also be good to identify the things that sap your energy. Here are some of the answers that people have given to this question.

The things that give
me negative energy are:

Being with negative people … Sitting in pointless meetings … Listening to bad news on the media … Eating stodgy food … Doing work that doesn’t seem worthwhile.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the specific things that you find draining.

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Doing more of the things
that give you positive energy

“Nowadays I spend more time with encouragers,” said one person.

“They help me to feel more real, more myself.

“Music also lifts my soul. So now I start the day with upbeat music, rather than listening to bad news on the radio.

“During my twenties I became so depressed that I made Eeyore look cheerful.

“Certainly I keep abreast of current events, but now I focus on doing what I can to improve the world.”

Givers also need encouragement. Bearing this in mind, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to do more of the things that give you positive energy.

Describe the specific things you can do to deal with some of the things that give you negative energy.

Describe the specific benefits of doing more of things that give you positive energy.

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