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How often have you used emotions such as these to motivate you? I know I have.
These types of emotions are the spark behind why I’ve ended relationships, changed jobs, and even why I vowed to stop drinking.
All emotions are normal and part of life, but feelings such as these are what I refer to as dark energy.
Sounds spooky and morbid—right?
As it should. Dark energy may motivate us in the short term, but relying on it to sustain us in the long term won’t lead to a pleasant experience.
Dark energy can encompass many emotions and feelings, but there are three main indicators that what you’re using to fuel you is dark energy:
Finite: There’s only so much of it; it will either run out or you will burn out.
Volatile: This energy can and will explode; it can be dangerous both for you and those around you.
Corrosive: Dark energy eats you up; it consumes you.
Here’s the thing. Dark energy certainly serves a purpose in our lives. It can be what opens our eyes to an issue. But we can’t rely on dark energy to be what fuels us long term.
Can you see any benefit to relying on something that is corrosive, finite, and volatile to control your life and determine when you choose to make changes?
That would mean constantly waiting until your life feels miserable and out of control to do anything about it. And to always be in a negative state of mind when trying to improve things.
That can be a miserable existence.
Yet, it’s what most of us do. And realizing we’re miserable and caught up in dark energy can take time.
Dark energy is a trap. Research has shown that anger, fear, anxiety, and scarcity all lead to poor decision-making. These emotions chip away at our mental bandwidth and wreak havoc on our cognitive space. Many of us experience tunneling where we devote so much energy to the negative emotion that we lack the mental space to deal with other equally important areas in our life.
Suddenly that one form of dark energy is spilling over and impacting the lives of those around us as well.
So, if we can’t use dark energy to motivate us long term, what do we do? We know we can’t eliminate all forms of dark energy and that in some ways it can be useful.
Start by practicing awareness. Try to be mindful and aware of when dark energy is showing up in your life. Allow it to surface and get curious about it. Where is the anger, pain, fear, anxiety, or scarcity coming from? What is behind the feeling? How does it impact you? How does it impact those around you? How would you feel if it wasn’t showing up so regularly? What can you change to end the source of dark energy?
As you begin to recognize when dark energy shows up, you’ll also naturally be more inclined to notice when light energy shows up and how it impacts you and those around you. If dark energy makes you aware of issues in your life, light energy—grace, hope, gratitude, curiosity, and so on—allows you to address and sustainably change those issues.
Light energy is the opposite of dark energy in every way. It is abundant, stable, and sustainable. Once you stop relying on pain, discomfort, fear, and other dark emotions to create change, you stop fearing change. It is no longer uncomfortable.
When your motivation comes from a place of light, a place where you anticipate and look forward to what comes next, where you are hopeful and encouraged by what awaits you…well, that changes everything.
Changing how we motivate ourselves takes time, work, and awareness, but it creates fulfilling experiences that we’re motivated and joyful to have and share.
If you’re ready to learn how to shift from dark energy to light energy and how to create lasting change in your life, join me for a free three-day Virtual Event. You’ll learn how to get curious, compassionate, and hopeful about your future!