Why is it that some days we’re ready to take on the world, and other days we can’t seem to get ourselves out of bed?
Sometimes, we feel the need to react to that situation by increasing our ENERGY.
- we will see why increasing our energy is not the only option.
- we will understand at a deeper level the distinction between performance and pressure.
Let me share my mistakes, how I put pressure on myself to get more energy…
When I was in Paris, at the beginning of my career,
I would have spent years looking for ways to increase my energy.
Here the list of things (but not limited to) that I’ve done to increase my energy:
- waking at 5am to workout every day: done.
- committing to achieve more stuff I did not really enjoy in order to challenge myself: done.
- drinking more coffee to do more stupid things: done.
- starting new regimes every 3 months: done.
- suddenly writing long To Do lists one morning (to procrastinate the day after…): done
- praying the God of yoga-meditation to give me more flow, speed, and consciousness: done
- reading 50 books per year about philosophy, self-development, neurosciences, risk management: done
… and how I ENDED UP WITH less energy.
Did it work?
Well, it was a lot of work and required a lot of energy… (you see where I’m heading to)
Was it sustainable?
Do I have the feeling today that all of those actions have increased my energy?
So what did I learn from those years?
My quest to find more ways to increase my energy is not a problem about my Energy Levels..
understanding, at a deeper level, the distinction between pressure and performance
I think I need to increase my energy because I don’t see the distinction between Pressure and Performance.
If I see the frontier between performance and pressure, I realize how sometimes I LIMIT THE CREATIVE FLOW by stepping on the hose.
In one of his podcasts, Michael Neil talks about the metaphor for PRESSURE and PERFORMANCE.
“It is the metaphor of the firehose or a garden hose.
So if you’ve used a garden hose before you probably haven’t used a fire hose, you know, that one end goes onto the water source and the other end you use to, whatever it is, you’re going to water.
And really your only job in watering something is to aim the hose in a direction and to make sure that the water is switched on.
And if you can do those two things.
you know how to use a hose!
Well, what most of us don’t see quite as readily is that all performance is that simple.
We are the hose through which performance comes.
The source of great performance is always beyond us.
It is always from somewhere before us.
It is from the creative source.
What’s the equivalent of putting your foot on the hose when it comes to performance?
any feeling of pressure that comes with any kind of tension is like putting your foot on the water hose.
It limits the flow.
At times it can completely stop the flow or slow it to a trickle.
And no matter how much water is coming through from source
If you’re always stepping on the hose,
not a lot is going to come out”
The system is already designed to take care of itself without the need for me to put additional pressure
I limit my ability to connect to an unlimited source of energy by creating a feeling of pressure.
As a kid, I used to play the cello.
I started at 5 years old, it took me 10+ years to be able to perform at a level that was ok.
So I know that mastering an instrument takes time, attention and discipline.
Like a lot of things we want to create in our life, there is a process.
I did not become an ok cello player overnight.
And certainly not by putting pressure on myself.
That is the beauty of learning to master one thing when I was a kid (and when you have parents and teachers that are not putting pressure on you!),
I did not have a lot of thinking about the way I was performing,
I was having fun playing the cello!
And it all started by practicing 15 minutes per day, that was enough.
I was designed to learn how to play the cello by only practicing in an environment pressure-free.
As an adult? I’m used to creating the experience of pressure by making it all about me.
What will people think of me If…?
How am I doing now?
Am I doing okay?
Will people judge me?
If I do this badly, will I be kicked out of my job?
If this doesn’t go well, will people laugh at me?
I CREATE a FEELING of PRESSURE in my MIND – as Michael Neil reminded me in his podcast.
It creates a feeling of tension in my body, and it’s like putting my foot on the hose. It limits the creative flow at times. It chokes off the creative flow.
A few questions to go beyond your need for energy
I’m leaving you with a few questions based on the metaphor for pressure and performance we’ve explored today:
- How do I put my foot on the hose today?
- How could I step back and remove my foot?
- Just suppose my system was already designed for performance, how would I like to play with that freedom of mind?
- Just for today, if I did not have to make all about me, how would that impact my performance?
- When do you notice you’ve crossed the frontier between performance and pressure?
Play with those ideas for a day or two and write down what you are noticing. I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me. Go ahead and say “Hi” on this page!