Attitude and intent

Our energy ebbs and flows in response to how we think and feel about ourselves and others. Try this as an experiment next time you are struggling to open a jam jar and see how positive thought affects energy: think a very clear positive thought about yourself (it has to be something you genuinely believe). See how easy it becomes to release the lid as positive energy floods through your body.

Our working environment can be competitive and stressful - a breeding ground for negative thoughts, about ourselves, about others: "I'm not up to the task." "He's being stupid." Entertaining such thoughts depletes our energy and leaves us less effective - leading to a further downward spiral of negativity.

To keep our energy levels optimal at work, our first responsibility is to ourselves; to build our self-esteem.

Self-esteem these days has something of a bad press - the view being it is possible to have too much of it. I would disagree. True self-esteem (as opposed to cocksureness) places us in the position of "I'm OK. You're OK". We come to recognise our own true worth and this, in turn, leads us to recognise the worth in others.

New green leaf (Photo:



Frequent praise from colleagues is not always forthcoming in a business environment. So we can help strengthen our own sense of self-worth and raise our energy levels by consciously giving ourselves positive affirmations - frequently. "I've written a good report", "I make a good team member", "I ran that meeting really well". Saying it out loud in front of a mirror with a grin is even better. Feel the warm glow of energy that spreads from the solar plexus.

Discovering how good it feels to receive praise, take every opportunity to give praise, sincerely and specifically. The ratio ideally is five praises for every one criticism. Spend time noticing the little things that people do well, thank and praise them for it.

Key (Photo: Brilliant Green)

We can also alter energy levels (in ourselves and others) if we are conscious of our intent. Are we debating a point in a meeting because we genuinely want to reach an understanding? Or because we think ours is the only right point of view and we want to "win"? Is that tinge of aggression in the pit of our stomachs really raising our energy and achieving a good business decision? The sense of self-satisfaction in forcing through a decision despite other valid views often leaves our energy depleted. The nagging ache behind the eyes or the back of the neck is telling us there was a better decision to be made.

Acknowledging the dark side of our egos and that our intentions to our colleagues are not always honourable helps us manage our energy flow and keeps it high and light.