My CLiCK Retreat is happening in Asheville next week, so I’m going to share something personal about being on stage. I want you to understand that the work you do – yes, even the great stuff – can occasionally come with challenges. And what to do when that happens.
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 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 operate at a different level in the face of someone who was clearly reacting to inner pain and doing the only thing she knew: going on the attack. I didn’t stop to reflect on this. I didn’t think about her or all of her problems. Or seek to defend myself. I didn’t take it personally. 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 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 – and understandably – 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 – Start with Awareness
First, you have to understand 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 (in advance!) of what drains you, what feeds you, when you feel strong, and when you give your power or attention away.
During their first year with me, my Uplevel Academy mastermind clients focus just as much time on managing personal energy as a business owner as they do on making money, selling and marketing messages.
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 place you can begin: At the end of your day, sit quietly for 10 minutes and rewind the day. Observe 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. But you’ll be amazed at the changes it creates in real-time situations.
2 – Accept your Sensitivity
Many of my clients are pretty sensitive human beings. It’s what makes them excel at what they do and how they serve.
It doesn’t make them special. 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 or Rituals
Intention and attention are key pieces of your clarity and energy. But intention is never created once and then forgotten. There are key habits that you can implement to 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
Confession: 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 having zero energy the next day. It’s just 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, of course.
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 always open with 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.
How do you manage your energy when you’re in the spotlight? Any tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.