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How to Increase Your Capacity for Action

Refreshed employees make happy people, resulting in higher intrinsic motivation and engagement


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Let’s face it, the high demands of work and home life can quickly snuff out our pilot light and flat-line our energy, compromising the highest version of who we want to be personally and professionally. We live in a society that values energy conservation to protect our planet, yet fails to put it into practice consistently.

Do you want more energy? Energy is your capacity for action. For a continual flow, the art of healthy boundary-setting is essential. Think of a boundary as the drawbridge, too often you leave your drawbridge down and you become compromised by energy suckers in life, knocking your lights out and leaving you sluggish. When was the last time you felt like a fish swimming through jello? When did the weight of the world feel so heavy that you could barely get out of bed?

We each have unique pieces of our lives – personality, goals, belief systems and insecurities – that render us vulnerable to energy leaks. Explore that which restricts your capacity for action. As you shine the light of your presence on those things that compromise the most vibrant version of you, you take back the power you give to the source of your own self-destruction and position yourself on higher ground where you can identify and adjust your perspectives and behavior for energy conservation:

Fueled by the shiny object syndrome

  • DISEASE TO PLEASE

My sense of worth and value is tied to how well I can please you.

  • MARTHA SYNDROME

If I don’t do it, it won’t get done right. It’s easier to just do it myself…and then complain that I do everything around here by MYSELF!

  • TIME THIEF

I will often start my day with good intentions to prioritize those important items, and by mid-afternoon I have added on several less essential tasks fueled by Facebook, email, routines all which steal moments and hours.

Your capacity for action expands when you feel a sense of intrinsic motivation and engagement. This comes from your innate need to direct your own life, to learn and create new things, and to do better by yourself and the world. To be engaged with a task or experience means you feel safe and connected to something bigger than yourself: A mission, a goal, an initiative that sparks your inner knowing..

Your energy flourishes in the presence of acknowledged worth, value and a sense of purpose: I am seen and I matter. As you anchor your sense of worth and value, your energy is restored and you find yourself in a position to share it with those around you: your team members, friends and family all benefit. You can’t give to the world around you what you do not take time to nurture and celebrate within.

Are you in a leadership position?

Do you want an energetic team?

Are you a parent? Do you model healthy self-care behaviors to your children?

Actions speak louder than words. When you take care of yourself, spending time each day doing at least one or two activities that push the refresh button for you spiritually, emotionally or physically, you exemplify the importance of self-care to your family and restore your own capacity for action.

Studies reveal an increase in productivity and life satisfaction around companies that require vacation time for their employees. Why is this the case? Refreshed employees make happy people, resulting in higher intrinsic motivation and engagement. Whenever you are in the HALTS (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sick) your capacity for action is highly compromised. Burn out walks hand in hand with the never-enough and the fear of missing out belief systems. Your capacity for action will diminish every time you ignore and push through your interior voice that says: pause…rest and refresh.

The world screams like a spoiled child for your time and attention and you are the only one who is capable of pulling up the drawbridge.

It’s easy to overlook your wellbeing in hot pursuit of ambition. The next time you feel depleted, over-committed and over-whelmed, pause and push the refresh button by setting healthy boundaries and giving yourself permission to delegate, down shift and say no when your plate is full. Your body will respond according to the care you give it on a daily basis. 

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Lauren Miller

Lauren E Miller, has a masters in adult education with a certification in human resource development. She has personally conquered two of life's top stressors at the same time, advanced cancer and divorce. Now Google's No. 1 Stress relief expert, award-winning author, speaker and certified executive and life coach, Miller provides process driven programs with structure, guidance, support and accountability designed to create positive change in behavior resulting in positive impact on business (IOB) and life purpose. For more on her work in the world please visit her main website: LaurenEMiller.com .

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