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All day long, we concoct stories and interpretations of circumstances, from which we then make assumptions and decisions. Everyone has a unique lens through which they view the world; therefore, interpretations are subjective depending upon the eye of the beholder. The Energy Leadership Index classifies the “eye of the beholder.”


In Energy Leadership, catabolic energy, Levels 1 and 2 on the Energy Leadership Index, is destructive, and anabolic energy, Levels 3-7, is healing and creative. When our energetic lens primarily resides in the catabolic levels, the lens through which we see the world is angry and victimized. This affects not only our happiness level but also those around us. The energy is destructive, both mentally and physically.


When our energy primarily resides in Levels 3-7, we relate to people, situations, and circumstances from a place of creation and possibility. We see the good in others and even in unwanted circumstances. We then treat ourselves and others with understanding, compassion, grace, and kindness.


To progress from catabolic to anabolic energy, we use metacognition—thinking about our thinking. It sounds simple enough, yet we seldom do it. We mindlessly react from a place of emotion rather than from objectivity, which can damage relationships and lead to personal dissatisfaction with life.


When we are triggered by an outside situation (and by triggered, I mean hurt or angered or bothered), before mindlessly reacting, we can choose to stop and consider the situation objectively. Emotional reactions are based on experiences from the past that elicited similar emotions. They are ghosts that haunt us from the past and seldom have anything to do with our present. They are figments of imagination created by our egos to protect us from experiencing something similar to the situation in the past; however, these ghosts (I visualize them as dementors from Harry Potter) wreak havoc on our happiness quotient and suck the joy out of our present moment.


Mindlessly reacting to external triggers is also a method of controlling a situation that feels out of control. Our egos hate the unknown; if we don’t know, we create a story that eliminates the unknown and brings safety and comfort, even if the story is unfounded and catabolic.


This can also protect our ego from taking responsibility for behavior we’re not yet ready to acknowledge (also known as our shadow – unconscious thoughts and behaviors that influence how we show up in the world). This leads to projection – “I can’t consciously acknowledge my dishonesty because I have to protect myself, so I’ll unconsciously project those feelings and behaviors onto you. YOU’RE the dishonest one.”


Using objective, just-the-facts thinking removes blame; it’s simply taking responsibility for making a choice and allowing the other person to take responsibility (or not) for their behavior. This empowers us to make new or different choices more aligned with what we want. There is no blame or judgment towards yourself or the other person. It removes the catabolic energy, which preserves our mental and physical health and makes us feel better.


I suggest the following metacognitive steps to move from catabolic to anabolic thinking. This is essentially self-coaching and helps to shed light on unconscious thoughts. This is great to do with a journal, if you’re so inclined. Look at this as a conversation with yourself and modify as needed. See what you can learn about yourself.


Stop and take four slow, deep breaths to bring yourself into the present and then ask the following questions:

  • "What am I feeling right now?" (disappointed, disrespected, hurt, angry, victimized, abused, etc.)

  • “What about what that person just said (or did) made me feel that way?” Acknowledge and validate the feeling. Recognize the feeling as legitimate (“Because of what that person just told me, it’s understandable that I would feel this way.”)

  • “What does this situation and the corresponding feeling remind me of? When in the past have I experienced a similar experience or feeling?” We wouldn’t experience feelings of abandonment, unworthiness, or rejection, for example, if we hadn’t experienced it. In fact, a great way to tell if we’ve healed from past pain is that we don’t get triggered as often anymore.

  • “How are the current and past situations similar?”

  • “How are the current and past situations different?”

  • “What are the facts of the situation with no emotional commentary about what the facts mean?”

  • “What are other possibilities for the current situation? What are other ways I can interpret this situation?”

  • ·“How can I choose to respond in a way that diffuses the emotion, empowers me, and preserves relationships?”

This metacognitive process will raise your consciousness and empower you to live a happier, healthier life. If you need help with this process or are interested in taking the Energy Leadership Index Assessment to learn more about your energetic vibe, please contact me.


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