Introduction to Energy Blocks
Imagine that you are asked to participate in a meeting or networking event. Perhaps the event is organized around a particular business purpose, or maybe it is the first time you are attending your child’s school PTA meeting. It could be a meeting with fellow church or community members after moving to a new place. Perhaps you are attending a social gathering with individuals you hope will invest in your business idea or technology product. Maybe you have been asked to make a presentation on some topic to a room full of strangers.
Now imagine that you are about to walk into the meeting or event. It is the moment right before you walk into the room and step onto the stage or to the podium. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What beliefs do you hold about the people with whom you are about to engage? How do you perceive your energetic status at that moment?
Ah, yes. Energy—a word that is tossed around quite a bit, but how is “energy” defined as it relates to human consciousness? Why does that word seem squishy and vague? What exactly is energy? The answer is simple and complex at the same time: simple because energy is everything and complex because energy is, well, everything. Everything you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and even think is made up of vibrating, living energy. In the context of coaching, energy is about the way you “show up” in the world; it is about your level of conscious awareness.
The more awareness you have about how your particular energetic pattern shows up in the world, the greater your capacity to manifest what fulfills you and makes your life rich with joy, passion, and contentment. When your energy is flowing from a place of consciousness, it is a lot like a garden hose. When the hose is unfurled and kink-free, water effortlessly flows out and nourishes the garden; in this state, there are no blocks slowing the flow of water and the hose functions at peak efficiency.
For us non-garden hose beings, there are four types of energy blocks that inhibit our flow. In this five-part series, I will explain the overall concept of energy blocks. The next four posts will go into more detail about each one of the four internal energy blocks, how to identify them, and how to release them.
The four blocks are (1) limiting beliefs, (2) interpretations, (3) assumptions, and (4) the inner critic. I can almost guarantee you that virtually every difficulty, challenge, fear, or negative thought, feeling or emotion is rooted in one of the above energy blocks. The trick is learning how to identify them in the moment and then choosing a different level of awareness. I will explain these blocks in reverse order of potency:
- Limiting beliefs. These are the beliefs we hold about the world, about people, about situations, and about life in general that hold us back. These beliefs may not necessarily be about you, but can be ideas such as (a) crying is a sign of weakness, (b) venture capitalists do not invest in women entrepreneurs, or (c) personal sacrifice is necessary to achieve anything of high significance. Most of the time, a limiting belief is an idea that we have simply absorbed without much consideration of that belief’s veracity. Think back to the thought experiment at the beginning and imagine that you are a woman about to pitch your idea to a group of investors. If you hold the limiting belief that venture capitalists do not invest in women entrepreneurs, how would that belief affect your energy in that moment?
- Interpretations. The opinions we create about an event, situation, or experience are interpretations. We tend to interpret a thing, person, situation, or experience through the lens of our experiences and (limiting) beliefs, and unconsciously look for evidence to support our particular interpretation to validate the truth of the story we tell ourselves. Actually, our interpretations often represent only one among many possible viewpoints. When we continue to consciously or unconsciously accrue evidence to support our interpretation, we can wind up creating an energy block that keeps us from being all that we can be. As an example, imagine you are at that venture capital pitching event and you notice that one of the potential investors is an old acquaintance. From across the room you wave hello and that person ignores you. Perhaps that person was not wearing their glasses and did not notice you waving, yet you interpret their behavior as deliberately ignoring you. How would that influence your energy when it comes time to present your idea to the group? What might you think about your chances of being successful with the person who is ignoring you?
- Assumptions. Beliefs, mostly unconscious, that we hold about the past and that we apply in the present fall in this category. We convince ourselves that because something happened in the past, it will automatically happen again. Assumptions are more potent than limiting beliefs because they involve us personally and have to do with our personal experiences. Assumptions are one of the most insidious energy blocks and they show up everywhere. An assumption can go like this: the last time I presented my ideas to a group, I was not understood; I am not a good communicator. Because I am not a good communicator, I assume this presentation is going to be really hard for me. If you assume you are a bad communicator and presentations are difficult, how well will you be able to inspire others with your idea? How might that affect how you “show up” for the presentation?
- Inner Critic. Sometimes called the Gremlin, the inner critic lies within everyone. It is that little voice—sometimes loud and sometimes soft—but always there to tell us that we are not good enough. It tells us not to try, not to take risks, to take the safe road, and to play small so that we avoid failure. The most potent and powerful of all the energy blocks, the inner critic is more emotionally charged, and when it speaks it is hard not to listen. And when you do listen, you will not even attempt some things because the critic has already convinced you that you will fail or suffer humiliation. This inner critic or gremlin is uniquely yours; your own special sauce of toxicity, and it knows precisely how to make you shrink from your highest potential. Typically, the inner critic tells you, “Do not even try to get this idea funded; you will be exposed for the fraud you really are. Do you want to be exposed? Do you want everyone to know how inexperienced you are? You will never succeed as an entrepreneur; better to go back and get a real job.”
I will go into more detail about each one of these blocks in the next four parts of this series. If you are feeling like any of these blocks might be showing up in your life, give me a call and I will help you create a customized approach to banish these blocks from your consciousness and get your energy flowing freely.