Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Energy Level 2.49

After my complimentary session with my new life coach, she gave me two initial assignments.  The first?  List three "limiting beliefs".  Things that I believe that hold me back.  Over a pot of organic peppermint tea at a local coffee house, I sat down to write down these limiting beliefs of mine.  As I'm starting to write, a guy who's probably in his early 20s strikes up a conversation.  He's a chatty guy.  Liberal.  Irritated by the perceived wealth and high-and-mightiness of Princeton.  He starts talking about trying to find himself.  I'm grinning, thinking of the page I've just entitled "limiting beliefs" in preparation for a conversation with my "life coach".  He clearly thinks I'm younger than I am.  I might love him a little for this.  I reply to his inquiry, "No, I'm not a graduate student.  I'm actually taking six weeks off work.".  We chat briefly about life, focus, and creativity.  After our conversation concludes, I'm struck by the fact that I've just had this conversation.  I do like to talk to people.  But generally I'm so focused on me, and on the task at hand, that I find chattiness distracting and mildly irritating.  It's my second day off and perhaps I'm refocusing already.

Back to the limiting beliefs.  Here's what I emailed to my life coach:
  • Feeling too much emotion, needing others, or being in a position where I'm reliant on others might mean I will get let down
  • People may take advantage of me, so I have to be catious in new relationships (including friendships)
  • I won't be able to find someone interested in a relationship with me until I lose weight
These were really interesting to come up with.  There's no doubt these are becoming clearer just in the first couple sessions with the new therapist.  I'm not sure I would have been able to get so deep on the first go if I hadn't been starting to explore this.  Someone asked me the other day how it works having a life coach and a therapist.  I will admit I didn't expect there to be so much intersection.  Which is dumb.  Because of course there's going to be a connection between things that may be holding you back and what's happened in the past.  So, here's how I'm looking at it.  The therapist is helping me sort through the past.  The life coach is helping me look forward to the future.  That's the story I'm sticking with.

The second initial assignment given to me by the life coach was to complete the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment, review some background and the intial results, and answer some questions to prepare for my debrief with her on the results tonight.  Now, I'll warn you.  Things get a little fru-fru here, so beware.  First, let me give you my understanding of ELI.  The premise is that everyone's a leader.  In your life.  In your office.  Whatever.  And the question is how well you lead.  The ELI is meant to provide insights into how you show up as a leader in various aspects of your life.

"It measures your potential leadership ability by your level of consciousness - your awareness about who you are and what life is about. Studies prove that higher levels of consciousness are associated with higher levels of success in life, including success in finances, relationships, personal development, achievement, and more."

Cool.  I'm told that there are seven levels of energy.  The assessment will help me learn how to apply the various energy levels available for any purpose I choose.  Apparently higher levels of energy are associated with powerful and effective leaders, while lower levels are associated with stress and effort.  But different levels of energy are good at different times.  There's plenty more reading on the levels, but here's my notes:
  • Level 1: I lose (victim thinking)
  • Level 2: You lose (in order for me to win)
  • Level 3: I win, and hopefully you win too.  But I win first.
  • Level 4: You win.  Little or nothing is taken personally.
  • Level 5: We win, or no one wins.  Everything is an opportunity.
  • Level 6: We always win.  In reality, no one really ever loses.  All that happens has purpose and value.
  • Level 7: Winning and losing are illusions.
I love that last one.  Winning and losing are illusions?  That may be a little too enlightened for me.  I can tell when I'm reading the descriptions that I'm likely to be sitting somewhere in the two or three region.  Not surprisingly, this is what I find when I get to my results.  My overall energy level?  2.49.  A shattering 27% of my energy showed up in Level 1 (why does this always happen to me?!  ;) and 43% in Level 2.  Ever the optimist, I note that that leaves 30% in Levels 3-6, which are associated with positive energy.

Initial reactions to the report?  I generally think of myself as being quite unaffected by others, and often have a hard time relating to others who are constantly affected by what other people think, do, etc.  In spending more time thinking about my personal life in the past couple of weeks, and upon re-entering therapy a couple weeks ago, the report confirms some of what I'm learning.  Specifically, being unaffected by others ultimately means that I'm disconnected...which is precisely something I think I'd like to change in my life from the perspective of a romantic relationship.  I feel quite connected to my close friends and 100% trusting in them, but those relationships have really taken a lot of time to develop.

One thing I struggle with, though, is whether or not I'm really bought into this whole energy leadership thing from a pure work/career perspective.  Intellectually, it all makes sense - and I can absolutely see the result of being closed off in my personal life.  However, from a career perspective, my approach has made me very successful.  It's harder for me to see the connection between operating at the upper levels and career success when looking at my past 10 years of work experience.  In addition, when I look at those I perceive to be successful at work, they definately don't appear to be operating at Level 7 if you get my drift.  I'll definately be bringing this up tonight during the debrief.  In addition, I'm obviously hoping to get an understanding of how to move more of my experience of life to the higher levels and when/where that's most appropriate/desirable.  So, what level of energy are you operating at?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo


  1. Hi sabbaticaljo - What a great blog - and what a great topic. Is it embarrasing that for parts of your blog (read the first three entries) my eyes welled up? You can tell its from your heart and it struck alot of chords with me - best of luck finding yourself - and thanks for sharing! S

  2. I think what's slightly more embarrasing are the tears I cried in the making of the moments I wrote about ;) Though I'm learning to embrace my inner (and outer) crier!