How are you doing today?
When a colleague asked me that question recently my answer was, ‘up and down.’ There are still times when I feel very concerned and then there are days when I am full of great and positive energy.
There is something I know about my energy, though, that I want you to know too (no, not about my energy, YOUR energy) so that you know how to get yourself back on track, when and if you are feeling in a funk, or when you want to maintain your mental and emotional well-being and strength.
It has to do with what your nature is and what gives you energy.
Each of us gets re-energized in our own way
As I was explaining to a client recently, who was also in a funk and feeling off track in his life, there are those of us who mainly get energy from being on our own and with ourselves for a certain amount of time (it can even be twenty minutes a day) and there are others of us who mainly get our energy from being around others (again, this can be a quick connect or for a much longer period of time.)
You might be thinking, ‘oh, it’s the difference between being an introvert or an extrovert.’ While this is generally the way people define these two ways of, we’ll call it, being social in the world, I find that the way both introvert and extrovert are defined is a bit limited and I would love to suggest another way to frame these two ways of being in the world in a way that is empowering to you.
Introverts vs. Extroverts
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines ‘extrovert’ as “one whose personality is characterized by extroversion; a gregarious and unreserved person”, and defines ‘introvert’ as “one whose personality is characterized by introversion; a reserved or shy person who enjoys spending time alone.”
I find these definitions to be a bit limited as I personally know people who consider themselves to be ‘extroverts’ that also consider themselves to be shy, and I know those who consider themselves to be ‘introverts’ and are not shy or reserved at all.
It’s more about where you get your energy from and what tends to tire you out.
I’d like to offer another understanding of these two ways of ‘being’ that relates more to energy, that will help you understand yourself better and understand what gives you energy so that you can proactively maintain a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle that will help you stay on track and get yourself out of a funk, when you are in one, in a way that is authentic to you.
I’d like to suggest that if you consider yourself to be an ‘introvert’ that you understand that as you getting energy, or re-energized, when taking, and having, time to be alone or with yourself, and that if you consider yourself to be an ‘extrovert’ that you understand that as you getting energy, or getting yourself re-energized, when you are connecting with, and are around, other people.
I believe that all of us require both alone time and connecting with others, but that either one or the other (being alone or being with others) is the dominant way we each individually get re-energized.
For example, while I love interacting and connecting with people, I find that if I do that on an ongoing basis without having any alone time I get tired out. It is when I make sure to incorporate alone time, even if it is for 20 minutes or a half an hour each day, that I feel ‘full’ (similar to a fully charged phone battery or a full gas tank in a car) and more ready and able to connect with and interact with others in a positive way. It is the alone time that gives me the energy to be effective in interacting with others and in other areas of my life.
The same is true for someone who gets his/her energy from interacting with others. This connecting with others is what gives him/her energy and fills them up in a way that they are now able to be more effective and successful in those tasks they are required to do alone.
Of course, as I mentioned above, because we are human we benefit both from connecting with ourselves and connecting with others, as both are important for our general mental, emotional and physical well-being. What you want to consider, so that you are as effective and successful as you can be in relationships and in your career or your studies, is to know where you get your energy from and what re-energizes or recharges your ‘batteries’, so to speak.
By knowing whether or not you get more of a recharge when you are alone or when you are connecting with others, you can be proactive and incorporate either having alone time and/or connecting with others into your daily living so that you can be successful and fulfilled in your life, career, and relationships in a way that is in alignment with your nature and is authentic to you.
How about you?
Based on what I describe here about energy and how we can re-charge or re-energize ourselves in accordance with our nature and what re-energizes us, where do you see yourself? What is it that energizes you more – having alone time or connecting with/being around people?
I would love to know and would be happy to discuss further with you, if you like, and am also happy to answer any questions you might have about what I share here.
Please do get in touch.
In support and admiration,