Years ago, I was leading one of my Uplevel events in front of about 350 people in Atlanta. One of the participants stepped up to the microphone and let fly.
She blasted me for “ignoring her” when she had had a question earlier. She wanted the whole room to know how pissed she was. In her words, she was “expressing her truth.” When she finished, the room was so tense, it could’ve had its own theme song.
Did I collapse or cry or freak out?
Did I fight back?
Did I kick her out of the room?
Nope to all three.
I simply experienced what could best be described as a dimmer switch in my being. At that moment, it turned way up – as if every cell in my being began to radiate at the highest level possible in the face of someone going on the attack. I didn’t stop to reflect on it. I just noticed.
Then, without choosing to partake in a counter-attack or believing her story, I was able to compassionately and firmly coach her on her situation as she stood at the mic. Interestingly, she became a client for two full years after that moment. And I’ve received many notes and emails from people who were in the room who had been inspired by what I modeled for them in that moment.
Why was this so important for these people?
Because when you’re in the spotlight – be it writing articles, teaching on stage, coaching a group of people, or leading your team – you want to be in charge of your energy and emotional responses to the many things that might otherwise make you totally lose your shit. (And if you own a business, all the time you throw away in those shit-losing situations is worth a lot of money.)
So, how do you protect and build your personal energy? Here are a few simple starting points…
1 – Be Aware that You Even HAVE an Energy System
Too many people focus on things like “good” energy and “bad” energy – mostly in judgment of people around them.
But the best place to start is within yourself. Be meticulously aware of what drains you, what feeds you, when you feel strong, and when you give your power or attention away.
My Uplevel Academy mastermind clients spend an enormous amount of their year with me working on managing personal energy as a business owner. My trainings are all designed to get students relentlessly clear about where their attention goes, how they exit their own body, and how to transform the week’s experiences by bringing awareness to each situation that caused a trigger.
One exercise that has yielded amazing results for my client is an end of the day review – where you sit quietly for 10 minutes and rewind the day. You watch yourself in each situation and see where you got triggered or drained. Then you “call” your energy back to you from each and every situation.
It sounds simple, just try it! You’ll be amazed at the changes it creates in real-time situations.
2 – Accept Your Sensitivity
Many of my clients are super sensitive human beings.
It doesn’t make them better than you. It doesn’t make them wimpier than you. It doesn’t mean they are more or less set up to succeed in business.
It does mean they need to embrace this element of themselves.
If you are sensitive, do not turn into a diva drama queen type and go around telling your story to anyone who will listen.
Instead, set up your days, weeks, travel, client meetings and team to honor the fact that your personal energy is highly sensitive. Most likely, it’s what makes you excellent at what you do.
Don’t try to become someone else or fix all of your problems. Just own it and take the necessary actions. (Also – get a great coach or be in a mastermind. Don’t go it alone.)
3 – Set Up Key Habits and Rituals
Intention and attention are key pieces of your clarity and energy. But they aren’t created once and forgotten. Set up key habits that will return you to center and keep you clear.
Personally, I believe that anyone who owns a business needs to start a meditation practice, even if (like I did at first) it’s only for 5 minutes a day. Other habits include morning pages, writing, working out, yoga, nightly reading, the Sunday Summit (a ritual I teach in all of my programs), play, and gratitude journaling.
My clients LOVE the Sunday Summit!
4 – Eat For Your Type
I hardly ever drink wine.
There. I said it.
I have, maybe, one glass of wine every two or three weeks.
This sends people into all kinds of drama states. They look at me like I’m anorexic, like I’m depriving myself of all the joys of life, I am a bore, and they don’t want to be around me.
And I love wine. I really do. When I do enjoy it, I get the most expensive Montepulciano on the menu.
But you know what I enjoy even more than wine? Not being low energy the next day. It’s not worth it to me.
Often, when I coach my clients on anything diet related – they freak out. They think I am depriving them. I am demanding harsh things.
I’m really not. This is not an eating disorder. It’s a recognition of the very real fact that what you put into your body has a profound impact on how capable you are of managing your energy the next day and even the next week.
Sugar, alcohol, processed foods that include MSG, HFCS and other excitotoxins are debilitating if you have a sensitive energy system. You probably won’t be able to master this one overnight – but with time, you will know what foods toss you into the toilet.
5 – Use The Dimmer Switch
In spite of the title of this article, I’m not a proponent of “protecting” your energy. Protection implies that things are coming at you, trying to derail you. It sets up a paradigm where you put on your Wonder Woman bracelets and make your way through a violent world.
That’s one way to look at it.
But rather than putting up energy “shields” of lavender light and protecting yourself when you are in the spotlight, consider that your presence and your awareness are the only forms of “protection” that you ever need.
At my client retreats, I lead short meditations that are designed to bring everyone back into their bodies and create a powerful flow of energy, awareness and wisdom. Once I guide them to simply feel their bodies and be in every limb, tissue, and cell – we play with the dimmer switch.
I give them a virtual dimmer switch that they can then use to amp up their level of presence in any moment they choose. When something gets challenging or confusing, they can, in an instant, return to their body, breathe and move the dimmer switch up to high volume.
The more present and aware you are in any situation, especially when you are tempted to flee, the more you can access your own needed wisdom. The best form of self-protection is contained in your presence.
What about you? How do you manage your energy when you’re in the spotlight? Any tips you’d like to share?