By Elizabeth McGrory
Working Moms Expert
How often are you stuck feeling anxious or worried? When you feel these negative emotions it takes a lot of you. It uses up personal energy which leaves you tired. So how could protect your energy from negativity?
One answer could be to practice being self-aware.
Self-awareness means that you understand who you are (your VP’s), know and own what you’re feeling (emotional intelligence), and being aware of how much personal energy you have.
Knowing your values and priorities
Being self-aware protects your personal energy in many ways. When you know your values and priorities you do not spend much time being indecisive, conflicted, or confused. Self-awareness fights off the disease to please. When asked to make a decision, you base your decision on your values. Next you check your priorities. Would the decision be in line with the things and people that are important to you? Knowing who you are speeds up the decision making process because of a solid foundation that provides confidence, support and energy.
Let's say you're asked to make a decision between work and family. Your number one value is your family but your priority is a big work project. Your support system knows about this project so when you feel conflicted about a child activity you'll have to miss, you are aware of your values and priorities. Although you choose to go against a value your priority, the work project, supports supporting your family.
Owning your emotions
Another way self-awareness protects your personal energy is by getting you in touch with how you feel and how other people feel. This protects your personal energy from dipping too quickly or igniting too fast. Self-awareness is about keeping emotions in check and/or managing your reaction to either your emotions or others.
While you are working on the big work project you begin to feel mommy guilt. You can't focus, you're a little tired, and you feel stress and overwhelm about the project. To help you get back into the groove you take a minute to reflect. You shut your screen off, sit back in your seat, close your eyes and check in with yourself. You remember your children are safe and cared for. This moment ten years from now won't matter much, but your career will be better off. Another perspective is that you have everything under control. You are capable of doing the work. This perspective gives you the energy boost that you need to get the job done. Guilt stopped, clarity received. Time to work.
Protecting your personal energy
Your personal energy is extremely precious because so much of your life is spent working. You are taking care of others, your career, and most importantly yourself. When you become self-aware of how much energy you have you become mentally stronger. You respect your personal energy more because you see how it fuels you. You only have so much of it! There are things that deserve your energy and there are things that do not.