What comes to mind when I say that word? Does it feel overwhelming, like something that you can never quite reach? Or does it make you feel like Superwoman, ready to slay and save the day?

It may be a crazy thought, but – I used to think that all I needed in life was my drive and God-given abilities. And if I had both, everything would fall into place.

So, like most of you, I went out and got a few fancy degrees, certifications, and credentials. But no one ever talked to me about the energy that I would need to sustain, what my drive and ability had granted me access to. No one ever coached me on the necessary stamina to consistently execute at high levels once I actually leveled up.

But sis, now, we are here. We are at a level above our last.

The level up may look different than your neighbors.

Maybe you:

stepped out on faith and finally – started that business
received a promotion at work
had a child (or a second one)
got married or are trying online dating for the first time
bought a home

Regardless of the decision, you have decided to be braver in your life and take it up a notch. You did the thing and are ready to face it — but now that you are here, you are prepared to give it your all, but without that energy that you had in the past. You may be at the point of full of burnout and questioning it all. That boundless energy and fierce drive, the fearlessness you once felt, now feels more like a burden than a blessing. Sometimes it’s the lack of energy holding us back and keeping us stuck. We have to talk more about that. Let’s break it down.

The fundamental definition of energy is “the ability to do work,” and because there is no work without energy, you need to figure out three (3) things:

1. What (personally) gives you energy?

There are somethings specific to your life that give you energy. I am not talking just about things that you like. There are somethings in your life that actually energize you. After you do these things, you feel rejuvenated; you can go a little bit further.

Friend, you need to figure out what those things are.

The truth is, “energy cannot be created or destroyed”; it just changes from one form to another. Therefore, when you are low on energy, you have to plug into your socket; you have to seek the things that give you power.

These things are different for every one of us. For me – I know that when I wake up before everyone in my house for prayer and exercise time – I start my day charged up. Life does not affect me the way it does when I don’t fit these things into my day.

2. What drains your energy?

Next, you need to figure out – what drains energy from you.

For me, there are some people (no matter how much I love them) that drain energy from me, no matter what time of the day that I speak to them. — they’re like vampires coming for my energy stores.

There are also activities that we engage in that drain energy from us. Think about it for a second. After you do this thing (or things) – you are tired. You have to know what activities, people, and things take away energy from you, which takes us to my last point.

3. How do you manage those levels always to remain positive?

We have to know how to balance the giving and draining.

It is not wise for us to engage with a person or an activity that we know drains us when we have zero (0) left in our tanks. At our higher level, our goal is to never go into the negative.

When we go into the negative, we get in trouble. We make decisions we wouldn’t make if our energy levels were anywhere above zero. We engage with people and activities – we would not, typically. We eat things we’re not supposed to eat or say things we’re not supposed to say (hello, pop offs)!

Being negative in your energy stores is the danger zone.

My mom always told me that I needed to memorize and learn scripture because it is what’s inside me that will come up when I am under pressure. I think the same thing goes for your energy stores. We have to know what fills us up and what brings us down – before it happens. We need to practice it – so that us protecting it is our quick reaction and not our last resort.

Journaling Exercise

Grab your journals and favorite pens, and let’s journal about how this looks so that we can start practicing these things before actually dealing with burnout.

To help you get started, here are a few journaling prompts to work through:

1. What personally gives you energy?
2. What drains your energy?
3. How do you manage those levels always to remain positive?
4. What does the best version of yourself look like? What resources do you have?

Friend, soak in the knowledge that no matter your circumstance, you are where you need to be for the story of your life to unfold into all that God has written for you. Once we know and embrace that, we can focus on the things that help us sustain in the story.

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