Protecting Your Energy

In this discussion Melissa and JJ talk about the frustrations still arising from working from home while tackling family life and the chaos that seems to be talked about all over media. Finding your centered space and acting in your self interest before others is discussed in hopes of helping others with their everyday issues as well.

June 16, 2020
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Melissa Albers  00:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker. And Melissa Albert's JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  00:18
Well, well, good morning, Melissa.

Melissa Albers  00:20
Good morning. How are you today? Happy?

JJ Parker  00:24

Melissa Albers  00:30
We are in the middle of our morning ritual and conversation as we always do before these podcasts. It's always fun to riff a little bit on a topic and what we think is most pressing of the day. And I I've really been noticing how people are becoming more and more fatigued with the stay at home order and different different people. People are responding to it very differently.

JJ Parker  01:03
Totally. I've been noticing the same thing. Last week when I was talking to my team, I got to give like a company wide, you know, message every week and I was talking about how when we first got the shelter in place stuff, and everyone was working from home, it was kind of novel and everyone jumped into it, right? And we're like, we're gonna fight this thing and we're gonna fight the carbon. Well, you know, and everyone's got a lot of energy and bravado thing. Yep. And it's great, right? It got the whole thing kicked off. But now we're many, many weeks in and it's tiring. It's really emotionally difficult. You know, our patterns that we had for years and years are upset with we're trying to work in different environments. We're our families, our kids. Everything is No different and it's emotionally wearing. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  02:07
Yeah. And, and I, I was likening it when a conversation I had yesterday with someone, it's kind of like when you pile your whole family in the car and you're gonna go on a vacation and you're driving 10 hours, that the first 30 minutes of the trip is absolute hell and the last 30 minutes of the trip is absolute hell. Because you know, something's going to change, there's going to be a change, right? And I really feel like you, you know, from the perspective of self awareness, self, you can't really even know how you're feeling. You can't even know if you're getting worn down unless you have some level of self awareness. But what's super interesting to me is the more self awareness you have, the more control for lack of a better word that you have in being able to change the experience that you're having. Mm hmm.

JJ Parker  03:11
Yeah. When I was thinking about the, the emotional drain that's been happening over the past couple weeks, it's like the change day to day isn't that much. So you don't really notice it. Right? But that undercurrent just starts building and building and building until the point where, like, you're going to snap right it's going to be too much and you're gonna break. And that breaking point is scary and difficult, but senior sometimes part necessary part of the process. It seems like a necessary part of my process.

Melissa Albers  04:00
Have, I noticed I noticed that subtle little tiny two letter word you added into that to change the whole method? Now, I think this is super interesting, though, JJ because, you know, at the risk of sounding completely like a jerk and at the risk of sounding like I am completely unrealistic, I'm gonna, I'm gonna just give a perspective that's pretty different than what you are what you just said. Because I think that both of our perspectives are right, you know, our feelings are never wrong. And our perspectives each one of us and everyone else is your perspective is reality, as they always say. But, you know, during this whole thing, I have not felt like that, hey, there's been probably two days where I had what I would quote call air bad days, you know, like I had a couple of bad days. And I don't mean this in a in a sense, like, I'm bragging I'm living under a rock because I recognize there are things that are very upsetting. We're in a major upheaval and I understand that. But my self awareness is such where I know that the most important thing for me to do is stay in my centered space. The most important thing that I can do, not just for myself, but for everyone that I serve, is to stay sort of clean energy, so to speak, keeping a clean centered space. And in order for me to do that, I make different decisions that I did even a few years ago. Okay,

JJ Parker  05:38
so what is that? What does that look like? Like what Yeah,

Melissa Albers  05:42
yeah. Well, like in the conversation that you're talking about with your team, people are scared. But the more you talk about being scared, the more you are, and oftentimes, people and I'm not saying you shouldn't talk about it or anything else like that. I'm just saying, Be I just am very careful. about where I'm putting my energy. And I have been, I have become a master of my own awareness, meaning that the minute something comes up for me now, I'm like on it. Whereas before something would come up for me and I would try to pack stuff around it, for example. Oh my gosh, I feel really anxious about this. This is a really stressful situation. I'm just going to go do this. I'm going to go talk to this person and I created a lot of activities around it to try to make myself feel better. I tried to create a lot of other external activities, to pretend to myself that I wasn't having these really deep feelings which actually created more havoc, and the longer that I would put, put off, recognizing and feeling those feelings, the more I put put that off The harder it got, the more anxious I became. And the bigger the explosion at the end to finally write myself to center.

JJ Parker  07:09
Mm hmm. Because there was such a build up. Yeah. At the end, it was messy.

Melissa Albers  07:15
Yeah, like the big waves that we've talked about in past podcasts. It's like, you know, then you're writing a tsunami wave because you're building it, building it, building it, every little thing. You're like, there's another thing, there's something else in here, this person is having a bad time and this person is having a bad time. And now this person is sick and this person, and I'm not minimizing that those things are real and tragic and scary. It has I in this conversation, I mean, absolutely nothing about what's happening on the outside. It's all about what's happening on the inside. And having that awareness is not selfish. Having the awareness and acting on your own in your own best interest. The moment that you notice Something needs adjusting is actually the best thing that you can do for yourself and for everyone else in the planet.

JJ Parker  08:07
Next is the opposite of that is acting in your own self interest, right? It's actually, why would you not set yourself up for success? Why would you write be setting yourself up for failure?

Melissa Albers  08:22
And that but don't you think that's what people do all the time like we do.

JJ Parker  08:25
And I actually never really thought of it like that.

Melissa Albers  08:29
Like, I, I can't remember where I read this once. But it was just the most profound statement and I've never forgotten it. And that is, stop using your imagination to create things that you don't want. First of all, which is what we do we get something bad happens. And we start to ruminate about it. And then whatever the reality is,

JJ Parker  08:51
and then it does happen, right?

Melissa Albers  08:53
Or sometimes or we ruminate about it, and we make it worse and worse and worse and we add a bunch of stuff. It, you know, I was talking to one of my clients and she her company did a 20% reduction in leader pay. And she was in all out complete and utter panic, which is understandable. However, I just we had a really interesting conversation because I said, Well, what are you panicking about? Like, I know that's a really stupid question. And I don't mean to sound like I'm, I'm not taking it seriously or being disrespectful. But can you like, tell me exactly what what it is that you're panicking about? She said, Yeah, I'm afraid that I can't pay my mortgage. I said, how far out are you? She said two months. I said, Okay. What would happen if you couldn't pay your mortgage? Well, I would get bad credit. Okay, then what? I get kicked out of my house. Okay. Would that happen in 60 days? Well, no. All right, well, then then what would you do if you got kicked out of your house? Well I can go live with my mom. She's got a really big house and I've done it before. But it was super interesting because as we unpacked with the actual year was, we recognize that while the topic was the topic was real, you know, how she how she was processing that topic and adding to it and making herself more and more anxious about it was not being helpful for her.

JJ Parker  10:29
Yeah, you know, I've experienced and notice, like, when you have a really strong feeling and you don't really know why it's really easy to backfill stories in oh my gosh, doing true.

Melissa Albers  10:45
Oh my gosh, it sure is. It sure is.

JJ Parker  10:48
So it's really interesting when, when those undercurrents build and build and you don't notice and all of a sudden you're sitting with a really strong anxiety and you're just looking around like I better My my logical brain better figure out why I've got such strong emotion right now let's start filling in a bunch of stories about why that could be true when in reality is just a dominant emotion that you need to just explore and unpack a little bit

Melissa Albers  11:16
yeah or you get to and even just being with it a little bit like and like right to your point yeah we do we like pack stuff around it that I was just noticing that a client of mine sent a Harvard Business Review article to me and said, this is exactly me. This is me i'm i'm so you know, my I got a stomachache when i was when i The longer I read it, and it was called How to refuel when you're feeling emotionally drained. And I noticed, I just the very first thing that I noticed was, here we are again, here's another example from a very reputable source that says, hey, you're going to get totally emotional drained, you're going to get right to the end, you're going to get to the ragged end of your rope. And here's what you can do. And there's so many parts of that, that I completely disagree with. Again, I know that doesn't sound normal to what everybody is kind of feels

JJ Parker  12:17
like it might be emotionally like the the, you don't like the idea that there's an article that says, eventually you're going to be at this state, this emotionally drained state, eventually, you're going to break. So here's what you should do when it happens.

Melissa Albers  12:33
Yeah, here's how to pick yourself up when you didn't want to pick yourself up or didn't realize you could pick yourself up before you were there.

JJ Parker  12:40
You didn't need to get all the way there. You could have turned around partway into that journey. Right?

Melissa Albers  12:46
Yeah. And it's just interesting, though, because again, we spend a lot of time external folks externally focused. You know, what should I be reading? What should I be doing? I feel scared, I feel anxious. What can I go do about it? I'm going to go Do something. And, and actually, that just is a lot of swirling energy that continues the momentum of the anxiety.

JJ Parker  13:09
And you're really taking away my like, go to move, like, feel strong emotion, go jump into action.

JJ Parker  13:21
I'm gonna do well I think your feelings

Melissa Albers  13:27
and I know and again, like anyone who knows me will know that I am not a fluffy, touchy feely spend time in my emotions kind of person at all. So I'm not advocating that we all have to become that to become more self aware and notice when we're have feelings, what I'm simply saying is, is that we all have everything we need right now to become very self aware. And the more self aware we are, you know, it's a little like, I think I was saying this to you earlier, you know, it's like If you're if you're walking a 10 mile trip into the mountains, and you did a lot of work to prepare for it, and you get 10 minutes into the trip and you recognize that you are on the wrong path, like you completely took the wrong path for this 10 mile track. And it's it's a bummer because you have to turn around and start over. But there's not much energy that's been wasted, you know, a little time a little energy. But if you have now gone six miles in to a path, and then you recognize, oh, my goodness, I am over halfway to the place and it's not the right path I have to, you know, then you're so much more invested. And that trail is so much more grooved in it's so much more stressful and emotional. And yet you're having the same experience of walking and making a decision to be on a 10 mile hike. Yeah, the amount of emotional investment that you have. If you notice earlier when you're on the wrong path. It's much easier to switch gears to lessen the emotional response to say, oh, something I don't I don't I'm not feeling right right now. Something that I don't feel right right now. So what is the subject of my thought? Like, what is it that's got me kind of wound up rather than I don't feel good. I'm gonna get off the couch and just go run. I need to go do something I'm going to come on. I'm going to go to I'm going to go through the drive thru because that's still open.

JJ Parker  15:27
I've been on many of both actual and you know, emotional hikes that are going in the wrong direction.

Unknown Speaker  15:36
Yeah, same. It is funny

JJ Parker  15:38
when you're halfway through. We were on a actual hike and we were two hours in and we realized like an hour in we're probably going the wrong way. Oh, and then two hours in we're like, yeah, we're definitely going the wrong way. But it was funny how the poll to like, just maybe we're not

Melissa Albers  15:57

JJ Parker  15:59
it Obviously our hours of wrong way hiking later, we're back at our starting point, right?

Melissa Albers  16:08
But isn't that natural?

JJ Parker  16:10
Yes, it's kind of natural to say like, No, I'll just keep going, let's just keep going, you know, but because for some reason admitting that you're wrong and going in the wrong direction is hard. Although once you do that everything becomes way easier.

Melissa Albers  16:25
I love that that that's really interesting how you just said that and what what you just implied emotionally which is very interesting. As you said, we we don't want to admit that we're wrong. So we just keep going. And we pack stuff around that emotionally we, we say, we say and how you know, like, if you want to use actual emotions, you might say, I'm feeling fearful about this. Something scaring me something's making me anxious, something stressing me out. But I'm just going to keep going. Even though that action that I did is what got me here. I'm going to keep going. Because it would just seem terrible for me to say, hey, you need to honor yourself. It doesn't feel right. So what would feel right? What would feel right right now? It don't make yourself wrong for feeling that something isn't right. Yeah. You know, that's, that's what we've been conditioned to do. We have been conditioned to make ourselves wrong for our feelings, and then look to everybody else to right size our feelings. Mm hmm. That's how we've been conditioned. We've not been conditioned to stop and recognize Why am I this feeling is funny. What is all that about? Oh, I, I'm going to, I'm going to switch that or I'm going to do something different. That's not how we've been conditioned or trained. We've been conditioned and trained to say, oh, you're feeling this way? Well, no one else seems to be acting like that. So you just get yourself in line. Or, oh, you're really you're really acting and feeling afraid. You Yeah, okay, you're like everybody else so you should feel safe in the mass.

JJ Parker  18:04
Yeah, cuz everyone else feels the same way. Yeah. All right, so I like it. Like real a little deeper and serious here.

Melissa Albers  18:13
Yeah, let's get serious. Let's get serious.

JJ Parker  18:17
Remember the movie? Ghostbusters? Yes, of course. In Ghostbusters well What happened? Like I? I can't remember actually it was the first Ghostbusters as a second Ghostbusters but which one was it were like all the slime was under New York City and the more negative everyone got the more the slime got. Oh, right, like all agitated and was like,

Melissa Albers  18:46
Oh, I would feel like that would be too because you're billing off

JJ Parker  18:54
to the first one was like the marshmallow man. Yeah, it was like then The emotionally reactive slime, that movie I think was really ahead of its time personal development and self awareness perspective,

Melissa Albers  19:11
you know, we ought to try to get some clips for our next podcast.

JJ Parker  19:20
But if you think about it, right, like what that movie was kind of saying and representing was that there if there's this big negative undercurrent in society, it just builds more negative energy until possibly, the entire New York City explodes or whatever was covered in slime whenever I was going to do, right.

Melissa Albers  19:47

JJ Parker  19:48
that's what that's interesting, right. And you talked about it earlier this morning about, you know, those, those influences that we take in that media we take it All that affects our emotions and our anxiety and that just builds and builds. So, yeah, it's interesting. I like thinking about like, the media, you're consuming the people, the people's energy you are around has a big effect on your thinking your energy and your emotions.

Melissa Albers  20:23
Exactly. And I that's and not only does it have a big impact, but if you add to it by validation, by agreement, by plus, wanting someone when they're going on and on about something that isn't positive, you are actually not just being affected by it. You're actually adding to it you're adding the

JJ Parker  20:48

Melissa Albers  20:58
let's get some t shirts. I think we should get Yeah.

JJ Parker  21:06
Corona pandemic 2020. Ghostbusters predicted it.

Unknown Speaker  21:13
Exactly. back?

JJ Parker  21:16
Well, yeah, so like, my, my favorite saying lately is that not so much social distancing as I am social media distancing, the media that I consume has a big effect on my emotion and I can't I can't even watch the news. I can't. I don't not engage because I don't want to know what's going on and not because I don't care and not because I want to ignore it. But I can't watch it because I need to protect my own energy.

Melissa Albers  21:51
Precisely. And when you protect your own energy, like just take it a step even further. Here's the collection. piece that is, is is, is able to be affected by that. You protect your own energy. So it makes you feel better. When you feel better, you have a resonant tone about you, your energy is very different than somebody who has been a media junkie, for example, you can tell the anxiety and the nervousness and people want to just spew data they want to spew stuff that's scary and dark and in in the hopes of I don't even know whether they're trying to make themselves feel better because I don't even think they recognize how unhappy they actually feel or they don't realize how they can get out. So if you protect your own energy, what happens is you do not attract a lot of that spewing from people around you. Hmm. And which makes you feel better and you continue to feel stronger and better inside You can still check on the news, you can still be present, you can still be a contributing member of society, but your whole energy is different. And when that energy is different, anybody that comes into contact with you feels that and that is what you're giving to them. And especially if you're in leadership or in anybody that's in a level of influence, you know it what you say and what you do, they they have to match. That's the self awareness journey, right. And you can tell the leaders that are social media junkies because they'll talk about Wow, this is what we're gonna do to protect ourselves against Ba ba ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba ba and it's like a firing squad. And we got this and it's almost like a bravado. It's almost like let's ride you know, war call. And it might make people on one part feel like Oh, okay. Oh, yeah, okay, I maybe this makes me feel safe, but it doesn't feel authentic. And so the People around don't actually feel safe. When someone comes off that way, they feel a little more scared. And it brings up in them something that feels a little more anxiety driving. When you focus on making yourself feel good, whether it be avoiding social media, whether it be something as subtle as when somebody talks about how they're really, really angry with something, it could be something as subtle as you simply not buying into it with them. Not listening to tons and tons of it. Offering a counter balancing opinion, sharing a more gentle, lighter approach to something, it shifts the energy. And that's what people are reading. People are reading energy. So taking care of yourself. There are huge payoffs for everyone. When we focus on taking care of our own feelings first.

JJ Parker  24:54
Yeah, I was I always thought you know, you know, to kind of do it things for myself, like, you know, exercising and meditating and things like that. At first I thought those are kind of selfish. Right? Like, yeah, well, I'm gonna go spend an hour exercising today. Well, yeah, you know, my wife, you know, takes care of the kids or something. But, you know, for both her and I like, like if I'm not taking care of myself, right. I'm no good to anybody else. Right? Yes. So, like, I want to be in service of other people. Yeah, right. Well, to the best of my ability, and I can only do that if I'm taking care of myself.

Melissa Albers  25:38
And I think this stay at home order. I couldn't agree with you more. And I think that this stay at home order is making all of those things that we Yeah, we know that. Yeah, we got to take care of ourselves first, yada, yada. But they're all coming home like the stay at home orders making everything magnified. It's making everything much more true. Fall, man instant, instant response. I think it's magnifying everybody's true. intense. No. And and notice that you really notice things quickly.

JJ Parker  26:16
Well, I say on that note, I hope that, you know, everyone can start to like recognize this buildup of emotion that happens in all of us and, and just kind of think about trying to recognize it early where it becomes an explosion.

Melissa Albers  26:35
Yeah. And certainly, if you notice it a little bit like my hope for people would be that maybe this has created some awareness in them and that they recognize that they don't have to feel guilty or that they are actually not wrong for having these feelings that they're having. They're more right than they've ever been in their lives.

JJ Parker  26:53
Hmm. That's an awesome way. That's an awesome way to end they are more listen to yourself. Or more right here more, right? Yeah. All right. It's been a pleasure chatting with you this morning.

Melissa Albers  27:11
Thank you. You too.

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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