What do we mean when we use the term 'energy' in coaching? By definition, energy is a power that fuels life, actions, strength and vitality. Energy is the force driving our motions and reactions; it moves the earth, keeps our feet on the ground, heats our homes, lights up our cities and even powers our bodies.
Energy powers us on every level - not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Energy coaching aims to help us unblock, tap into and utilise this energy. Different coaches will have different approaches, with some also having training in energy healing practices to complement their coaching work. Others will focus on unhelpful energy patterns and support you to align with your purpose and let positive energy flow freely.
We all have days where we feel less energetic than we’d like. We are human and therefore have ebbs and flows in our energy levels. To help you find more of a balance, it can help to think about what gives you energy and what depletes it.
What makes you feel alive, invigorated and energised? On the other end of the scale, what drains you and leaves you feeling tired and unmotivated? By thinking about different aspects of our lives, we can start to identify where our energy boosts and drains are.
Identifying your energy drains
Knowing what drains you energetically is a great place to start. Think about what leaves you feeling drained of energy - are there certain people you find exhausting to be around? Are there certain parts of your life that particularly get you down? It can help to look at these things so you can focus your energies away from them and towards the things that make you happy. Here are some examples of common energy drains:
Work can be tiring - after all, that is the nature of work. We carry out tasks all day that can't always be easy, fun, or interesting. If you feel bored, undervalued, out of your depth or unhappy at work, it may be time to reconsider your situation. Staying put in a job you dislike for too long can cause your energy to stagnate, leaving you stuck in a rut.
A coach can help you re-engage with your energy levels, so you can focus on changing your situation. Perhaps you need to learn better negotiation skills, better time-management, or better leadership qualities; perhaps you need the motivation to quit your job and start an entirely new venture altogether.
Although our families are important and valuable parts of our lives, it isn’t always plain sailing. For some, family problems can be a big energy drain. Arguments, changing family dynamics and miscommunication can all take their toll.
Mental and physical health problems can have a big effect on our energy. Depression and anxiety often result in the inability to sleep, while physical pain and chronic illness can be extremely exhausting, emotionally as well as physically.
Relationships, or lack of, can often entirely consume our thoughts. How are we supposed to reach our full potential at school, work, or elsewhere, if we spend all our time feeling sad or worried about relationship problems?
Coaching can help you channel these negative feelings into positive activities. Once you’ve identified your energy drains, a coach can help you identify what shifts you need to make (big or small) to change the situation.
After finding out which areas of your life sap you of energy, you can look at what makes you feel good. What puts the spring back in your step? What gives you the motivation to get out there and seize the day? There are lots of different things that give people energy, from certain activities to the company of certain people. Here are some of the most common energy boosts:
On a biological level, most of the energy in our body comes from the food we eat. Our bodies are essentially walking, talking energy generators - they take in nutrients from food and then convert those nutrients into energy.
There's plenty of evidence to suggest that different foods have varying impact on how we feel and function in everyday life. Most of you will know from personal experience that some foods make you feel drained and groggy, while others give you a lift.
If during your coaching sessions you come to the conclusion that your diet is impacting your energy levels, your coach may suggest investigating a diet change.
Although exercise might drain your physical energy initially, research shows that in the long run, regular exercise can boost general energy levels. Think about how you feel after a brisk walk outside in nature - the fresh air and movement will no doubt have given you a boost.
If you decide this is an area that needs attention, you can work with your coach to prioritise regular exercise and reap the benefits.
Where you live is just as important as how you live. Feng Shui is an ancient belief based on the idea that there are energy pathways flowing through everything in the world, including me and you. This energy is known as 'chi'. People who practice Feng Shui believe that the way they position their homes and possessions can affect the quality of their energy. Clutter and disorder are thought to block chi pathways which can lead to unhappiness and ill health.
Your energy coach might therefore ask you about your living environment. Are you happy where you live? Do you have a good cleaning routine? Do you feel relaxed in your home? One simple way to boost your energy levels in the home is to declutter old things you don't really need and have a thorough clean. Living in a pleasant environment can help:
- boost your creative energy
- relax and de-stress you
- prevent you from misplacing important things
It needs to be: relaxed, secure, personalised (i.e. your home needs to mirror your tastes and personality), connected (i.e. residents in it feel connected to one another and also to the outside world), adaptable, and nourishing.
- Nichi Hodgson on what makes a happy home
How you channel your energy
We all have 'energy' but some of us have more negative than positive energy patterns. This is often down to limiting self-beliefs we hold, or patterns we picked up in childhood. During your session, your coach might ask questions about how you typically channel your energy.
For example, do you tend to react in anger, experience jealousy, extreme guilt or perhaps even competitiveness? These are all-natural reactions, but if they become your go-to reactions every time something challenges you, it may be worth seeing if you can disrupt and change this pattern.
Learning to channel your energy into positive reactions more often can help you be more motivated and reach your full potential. Soon, you’ll find that these positive emotions and constructive activities will take up so much of your energy that you simply won't need to channel it in negative ways.
Balancing your energy
Often, the more energy we have, the more productive we become. Energy allows us to communicate more effectively, and gives us the confidence to say what we mean and to be the best possible version of ourselves. When we feel drowsy and drained, we switch off. We stop concentrating, we avoid taking risks and may lose out on opportunities that we might otherwise have taken, had we had the energy.
Coaches help clients become more energised using a variety of different techniques:
- NLP - reprogramming thoughts and behaviours to change energy patterns.
- Meditation - helping to improve mindfulness and self-awareness.
- Questioning - getting to the core of the problem through specific questioning.
- Motivation - using motivation techniques to inspire new ways of thinking.
Of course, balancing energy levels isn’t just about boosting them. No one expects you to be full of beans and positive at all times. An integral part of energy coaching is to protect your energy, rest when you need to and practise self-care. This may include:
- Cultivating a self-care routine to support your energy.
- Setting healthy boundaries and letting go of people-pleasing behaviours.
- Understanding your personality type and how this impacts your energy.
- Aligning yourself with your core values so you don’t waste energy on ‘shoulds’ or societal expectations.
- Utilising energy healing practices such as Reiki and crystal healing.
Getting to know what you need, and recognising your own feelings, is important – and mindfulness can help with this. This can help you replenish your energy levels too, making you more resilient and able to handle other people’s emotions.
- Read more tips to protect your empath energy
Benefits of balanced energy
This work can take time and practice, but once you find ways to balance your energy, you should see the impact this has on your life. You may notice an improved performance at work as you become more alert, more creative and more ambitious.
Your leadership skills may improve as you have the confidence to take control and lead others in a positive direction. If your team at work is stagnating, you could be the breath of fresh air to turn it around.
Hopefully, you’ll start to enjoy yourself more as you have the energy to indulge in the hobbies and interactions that nourish you. Ultimately, you should feel more confident in making changes to your life. Perhaps you have something you've always wanted to do - write a book, travel the world, start a business. It takes a lot of effort and energy to overcome fear and do the things that scare us.
With the support and guidance of a coach, you can develop the motivation and confidence you need to achieve your ambitions.