We all have moments when we discover we’ve been tolerating something that is ‘not for the best’. You know those moments when, if we had taken the time to tune into it, we’d have intuitively changed a situation for the better.
I’m going to share below 9 powerful questions that will help you surface things you might be tolerating. Fabulous questions you can also use as reflection questions for discussion with your partner, family or work team.
It’s more common than not in a series of coaching sessions, that we will spend at least one session identifying the energy drains the coaching client is putting up with, so she can take positive steps to change them. That plus identifying and releasing toxic relationships comes up fairly often as well.
If you know that you have been coping, or someone you love or respect has been doing so, a challenge to this is:
“What if, instead of coping with this thing, I/you dealt with it once and for all? What would my/your life look like if this was totally gone?”
Tip: If you are asking someone else this question, be mindful to ask from a non-judgmental space and in a non-confrontational manner. Your opinion doesn’t matter for them. You’re asking the question for him or her to think about, and that is enough to start a ripple effect of change.
Sometimes we grow used to coping with our shortcomings
We laugh them off as personality quirks; we niggle at ourselves with self-talk about our weaknesses, or shrug and say “it’s just the way I am”.
I often find, that clients coming to me for coaching will have created coping strategies, or ways to live with things, instead of finding genuine change strategies.
Do you ever find yourself doing that? Do you find ways to live with things that don’t bring you peace and joy? Or maybe you know someone who does this? You know, that loved one, friend or colleague who might one minute be getting something off his or her chest, openly – in a good way or an unproductive one. Then you watch him or her shut the imaginary shutters and shrink back down into inaction and an “it’s OK it’s just the way it is.“
Before I share the 9 Questions I’m going to firstly set out an exercise you might like to try to identify Energy Drains in your life, by using these questions.
SUSAN’S COACHING EXERCISE: ENERGY DRAINS
Use several of the questions set out below to create a list of energy drains: the little things in life you are putting up with that sap your energy.
- It may help to keep a list on your desk, or in your diary, so you can jot down things you’re tolerating as you experience them: or
- you might want to take ten minutes each evening to review the day and tune in to what is bothering you.
At the end of the week, choose three (3) energy drainers to eliminate, and create a strategy to either change your circumstances to remove them, or change your perspective to embrace them.
The 9 Questions that will help you surface things you are tolerating:
- “Name 3 little annoyances in life that steal your energy or rob your joy.”
- “What are you tolerating in your life? What are you putting up with that maybe you haven’t even thought about taking action on until now?”
- “What are you putting up with in relationships? Name any conflicts, boundary issues, or problem situations that you’re coping with instead of resolving.”
- “Close your eyes and imagine walking through your house, room by room. What in each room do you want to avoid? What needs or unfinished tasks do you see? What rooms are energising or enjoyable, and which give you negative feelings?” [that’s my fav!]
- “What possessions that you no longer need are cluttering up your life?”
- “What worries clutter up your mind that you could let go of today?”
- “Does it feel like life is happening to you in this area? What proactive step could change that?”
- “What are the little quirks that you react to over and over in your relationships? What are your quirks that bother your friends and family?”
- “Where do the petty arguments with those you care about most get started? What unresolved hurts or past injustices are you carrying around with you that open the door to conflict?”
As a coach, business owner, wife, mother, daughter… to name a few of my life roles, I do know there are many issues and circumstances where it’s not easy to release yourself from the energy drains resting heavily upon your shoulders. In some instances, circumstances need to be accepted as something you cannot change too.
Peter Temes, author of The Power of Purpose, puts forward the idea that when we experience difficulties:
- the Western response is to change our external circumstances,
- whilst the Eastern mind-set is to alter our inner attitudes and responses to make peace with those circumstances.
In the next newsletter, I’ll be sharing some questions that focus on changing inner attitudes instead of external circumstances. This can be a way to ease the possible resentment felt when accepting what you can’t change is the answer for now. To receive that, just subscribe to my Member Community. That way the posts will come direct to your inbox as and when I’ve thought of something worthy of sharing.
If you are interested in dealing with energy drains, through coaching, I’d be happy to chat with you about that. Please don’t hesitate to reach out via the Clarity Call button below. Book a time for a 1-hour chat and we can take it from there.