Posts Tagged ‘energy vampires’

It doesn’t matter how much of a positive person you are, the reality is that the world out there can be pretty negative at times! That’s why its really important that the first thing you do every day is raise your personal energy and your mindset so that you have the resilience to deal with whatever the world throws at you!

Its so easy to get up and dive straight into your day without ever actually taking the time to ready yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. But the truth is, if you start the day half empty you’re not going to get beyond lunchtime before your resources are depleted and you just don’t have anything left to give. At best you only achieve half of what you intended. At worst, you have to resort to some energy vampire techniques just to get you through the rest of the day!

So how do you start the day up?

There are three areas you want to focus on energising. Mind, Body, Focus. Success expert Jack Canfield says we should devote just ten minutes a day to energising each of these areas and that can make a phenomenal difference to how we experience our lives and our results.

Research has shown time and time again that meditation benefits us in all areas of our lives. It can help us deal with stress, it can make us more focused, and it can even help us deal with physical illness. It can make us calmer, more creative, it can improve our relationships and it can help us learn. In fact its difficult to find any reason why we should not make meditation a regular part of our day. How you choose to meditate is entirely up to you, there are so many different ways so play around until you find one that works for you and that you WILL do every day. Here’s a great one to start you off! Get into the habit of doing just 10 minutes every morning as soon as you wake up and watch your energy levels soar!

Starting your day off with some physical exercise is a great way to remind your body that its alive! Movement is life! And yet we spend so much of our modern lives stuck in front of a computer, in a car, or on a comfy sofa in front of the TV. The fact is we are made to move, and movement is one of the ways our body integrates learning so any movement you do is actually making you more intelligent! Again, what you choose to do is up to you. What’s more important is THAT you do it! Yoga is a great way of starting off your day and it doesn’t need to take long. Here’s a really great sequence to lift your mood.

If you don’t fancy yoga, then even a quick walk round the block will get your blood flowing, and if you have a dog to walk, even better because they will not let you have a day off!

And once you’ve woken up your mind and your body its time to focus on what you want to achieve today. So often we float through a day responding and reacting to other people’s demands of us and the reason for this is we have never taken to time to focus on what WE want from the day. Take just 10 minutes to think about it and make a list of what you intend to do with your day, even if its just relax and have fun. That way you get to live your day on your terms and according to your goals not someone else’s! Staying focused on what you want to achieve means you will use your time wisely and on purpose. Just taking that 10 minutes to plan your day can make all the difference between having an unproductive frustrating day and a wonderful, purposeful and productive one. And even if your day goes completely pear shaped (yes we all have days like that!) having an action plan means that least you will end the day with more energy and focus than you would have done otherwise! But more importantly you will know exactly how far off track you are so you can get back on course easily and quickly.

So tonight go to bed early and set your alarm clock 30 minutes early and start your day UP!

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No! Not that kind! He’s quite cute and cuddly compared to the Klingons I’m talking about.

The Klingon is a new kind of Energy Vampire. Its actually an evolved Energy Vampire but not in a good way. And beware – any Energy Vampire can evolve in to a Klingon at any time, but especially when you put them under pressure.

The Klingon is the Energy Vampire who just won’t give up. It doesn’t matter what you do to them, you can ignore them, you can confront them, you can get them therapy, you can be mean to them and they still won’t go away. They will call you, leave you messages, emails and be very careful – they will also use your friends and family to get to you. Some Klingons have even been known to fake illnesses just to get your attention back. They’re like annoying giant mosquitoes but you can’t just swat them or spray them with PiffPaff!

Don’t fall for any of it! Do whatever you have to do to keep this Energy Vampire at bay. Tell them you’ve left the country, change your name, move house. Tell your friends you are being stalked by a lunatic and whatever you do, don’t feel sorry for it!

Another one of their tricks is to tell you they’ve realised the error of their ways, had therapy and will be on their best behaviour for ever more. Don’t believe a word of it. If you have to be polite, tell them how happy you are that they’ve got things sorted and then block their number.

The problem with the Klingon is it’s panicking – it’s lost its source of energy and is going to do whatever it takes to get it back. No trick is too dirty for the Klingon. And if it does get it back it will hang on so tight next time you won’t know which way is up.

In fact this is how new energy vampires are created! The Klingon will feed off you so much that your only way to survive might be to become one yourself!

The only way to get rid of this persistent creature is to starve it of energy and don’t engage with it in any way whatsoever! It might take some time but eventually it will find someone else to suck dry.

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There’s only 5 days left for me on the WordPress Postaday2011 challenge. Yes, I know there”s only 3 days to the end of 2011 but I didn’t start the challenge until January 3rd so it makes sense to me to keep going until I’ve done a full year.

I’m proud to say I have managed to post every single day in 2011! Its been a great challenge and I’ve learned so much about writing and about commitment. Its been really hard sometimes but often its been surprisingly easy to think of something to write. Life is all around us, all we have to do is observe and something interesting will pop up to write about.

Anyway, WordPress has been amazing in supporting this challenge and they’ve put up 11 questions about Postaday. Here’s my answers:

  1. Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge? – I started because it looked like a fun way to keep me on track. I was already blogging almost once a week so it wasn’t going to be a “challenge” for me to that take up so I decided to go for Postaday and see what happened. I thought I’d do it for a month or so but then I got hooked!
  2. Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge. – It was fairly new and I didn’t have a lot of followers and I was starting to ask myself what’s the point if no one’s reading it.
  3. How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge? – I’m not sure how it evolved. I found my writing became easier and more relaxed. A couple of themes emerged which I have to take further, like the Energy Vampires series and the Inner Reptile series.
  4. Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not? – I posted every single day! Some days I only posted a music link or a link to a great video but my commitment was to post a day and I did it! OK a couple of days I went just past midnight and one day I had a technical challenge and forgot to press “publish” but the next day I posted the one I meant to the previous night and posted another later in the day!
  5. What type of blogging strategy works best for you? – Keeping my eyes open and look for inspiration in everything.
  6. If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently? – Nothing. This was a huge learning experience for me so everything I did, right or wrong, added to my learning.
  7. What are you most proud of accomplishing this year? – Blogging every single day. And the buzz I get when I bump into people and they say they read my blog and it really helps them.
  8. Name 3 great blogs you discovered through the challenge. – there are so many amazing blogs out there its hard to pick just three. But I’ve met some wonderful people through this like Chris at bridgesburning.wordpress.com and Judith at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com and some fantastic Dubai bloggers like Sally Prosser at http://mycustardpie.com/ and Sarah at http://www.thehedonista.com and of course my friend and inspiration Author Anne O’Connell at http://anne-writingjustbecause.blogspot.com/
  9. What surprised you about the challenge? – How easy it was once the commitment was made.
  10. What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly? – Just do it. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, you don’t have to be deep and profound every time and a short couple of lines is better than nothing. But make the commitment and tell people that’s what you’re doing so they keep you on track.
  11. What are your blogging goals for 2012? – Not quite sure yet. I’m feeling slightly bereft that the challenge is almost over and the goal has been achieved. I’m wondering if I have the self discipline to keep posting every day or if I don’t need to do this any more. I will probably keep posting every day or almost every day because I enjoy doing it but I might give myself weekends off. Oh and to comment more on other people’s blogs. I’ve been a bit slack there but I know how much I love getting comments so I need to reciprocate.

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This one is a bit more tricky to deal with! This is the Christmas Vampire Martyr.

This vampire sucks the life out of Christmas by taking on absolutely every task, no one else gets a look in. In this energy vampire’s world no one is capable of doing anything useful at Christmas and if she or he doesn’t do it then there’s a good chance the sun will not rise on Christmas Morning! They constantly complain they are tired and so so busy, but when the next task comes along they snatch it up before anyone else can!

Of course by Christmas morning this vampire is completely exhausted and no use to anyone. They scream and shout and rage but they are too worn out (they say!) to move. But of course they haven’t given anyone any instructions so everything gets done wrong – in their eyes! Which is yet another reason to throw tantrums and confirms their belief that Christmas totally depends on them!

This vampire is closely related to the Drama Queen and should be avoided if possible. They are not easy to slay but sometimes sheer force of numbers can overwhelm them. If you have to deal with them the trick is to catch them early and manage them by making sure they have enough to do that keeps them busy and distracted but whatever you do don’t let them take over the whole thing. Failing that, earplugs are a good option or make sure you fill them full of Champagne early on so they fall asleep and don’t bother anyone!

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These energy vampires have just got to be the most miserable fun-sucking vampires around. The most famous was Scrooge but there’s lots more out there.

They can be easily recognised by their lack of a sense of joy about Christmas but they come in a number of different forms.

The most obvious form is the one who happily crashes in on all the parties but refuses to actually contribute. You’ll find them muttering about the how commercialised it all is but really they just don’t want to give. Anything. But they’ll happily take.

Then there’s the ones that claim they don’t have time to make a big effort for Christmas. Their busy lives are so important they have to rely on everyone else to do all the work for them. If you’re not careful these energy vampires will have you scurrying around doing their Christmas shopping for them, even buying your own present – but good luck trying to get paid back!

And there’s the cheapskate vampires who are a combination of the two. Any effort they do make will be to take the easiest possible route. They buy everyone the same present, sometimes the same present every year because its just too much effort to think! If they do host Christmas they use disposable everything and buy their turkey ready sliced or microwave TV dinners!

And then there’s the politically correct vampires who refuse to say Merry Christmas on the grounds it might upset anyone who isn’t celebrating. Well, anyone who is offended by being wished a Merry Christmas deserves to be offended! I live in Dubai, the most multi-cultural city on this planet, and this week I have been wished a Merry Christmas by so many people who don’t celebrate the religious aspects of it but who truly embody the spirit of Christmas!

What energy vampires are missing is that the true essence of Christmas is abundance and love. And so the easiest way to slay these vampires is to shower them with both!

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This hasn’t been a great week for blogging from me and I apologise for that. Sometimes being with friends and family just has to take priority, especially at this time of year. And tonight we are preparing to welcome some good friends over to our house to celebrate Christmas with mulled wine and mince pies! I was going to leave blogging until after the party but wisdom prevailed!

But I promise tomorrow I will share with you some more ideas on Energy Vampires and how to slay them, especially the ones who try to derail your Christmas fun!

So here’s another one of my favourite Christmas songs from one of my all time favourite movies.

…and yes, I know! I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to Christmas!

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This is another kind of energy vampire but this one is very toxic. And, like so many energy vampires, often you don’t realise you’ve been bitten till you’re right in it!

The chaos demon loves to create mayhem wherever it goes. But it does it in such a way that you get sucked in initially by feeling sorry for it! Then it makes you feel like you are the only person who can solve its problems – flattery nearly always works. Lets face it, everyone loves to feel indispensable! It then hands over total responsibility for the chaos, but doesn’t hand over all of the information and also makes unrealistic demands. It then drip feeds information, changes deadlines and brings other new elements into the chaos. Just at the point where you are being sucked dry it throws a hissy fit, blames you for all its problems, complains long and loud to anyone who will listen and leaves you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, confused and incredibly guilty that you haven’t lived up to their expectations.

So how do you recognise a chaos demon? Well, firstly take a look at their history. Do they immediately start to tell you about all of the disasters in their lives? Do they have a string of people who have “let them down”? Was it always someone else’s fault? Are they “Masters of Disaster”? Do they have a history of relationship mayhem? Do they have an allergy to organisation? Are they always the “victim”? Do they tell you really early in the conversation that you are the first person who has been able to understand them? These are all clear signs that you are in the company of a chaos demon. Now is a good time to run!

If you do get sucked in, the best way to deal with them is to clarify everything, preferably in writing, and make sure you keep multiple copies because they will lose theirs when they need to. That way when they change the parameters on you half way through you have a way of tracking them!

Next, always put the responsibility for decision making back on them. They will try and try to get you to take it on for them, in fact this is a big warning sign. They will use every trick in the book to get you on the hook. Tears, flattery, threats, hysterics are all in their repertoire and they can flip between them in an instant so beware. But at all costs they don’t want to take responsibility so this is also a great repellent!

Next always make sure you ask them what they think they should do. The thing is they don’t want to think, so there’s a good chance if you ask them often enough they will get nervous and run for the hills!

As with all energy vampires, making them face the truth about their behaviour is a great way to get rid of them. But the chances are whatever you do they will leave you feeling bruised and battered. Just make sure you learn to recognise them early so you can avoid contact. But if you do get sucked in, don’t feel bad. You’re not the first and you sure won’t be the last!

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I think I’ve found another type of energy vampire but I’m not sure what to call this one. Let me describe how he works and maybe you’ll have some ideas:

This energy vampire is a real sneaky one, in fact it was only this week I saw through one and realised what he was up to so there’s a good chance this type has been sucking me dry for years and I’ve been blissfully unaware!

Here’s his method. You come up with a great idea and you share it with him and he seems to be as excited by it as you are, but as soon as you tell him your plan he starts to change things around and give you all sorts of reasons why you need to do it a different way. His way. Of course his way will likely not work for you but because this energy vampire keeps encouraging you, you keep at it, all the while getting more and more frustrated and discouraged until you get to the point where he’s sucked you dry and you give up.

Sound familiar?

Another variation on this type is the one who when being given a task as part of a team immediately wants to re-invent the wheel and do everything his own way, even though the old way has been proven to work perfectly well over and over again. The new ideas he comes up with may well sound really good, probably much more exciting than the boring old way. He’ll have all sorts of great arguments about why things have to change and this energy vampire is really good at pretending to be enthusiastic so he can draw people into his realm. But really all he wants to do is drain everyone’s energy and stay exactly where he is.

So how do you spot them? Well, first of all be very suspicious of anyone who seems reluctant to learn the basics or anyone who won’t take advice from someone who’s been around a bit. If you ask him about his results he will probably tell you he’s only at the start of things so he doesn’t have any yet, or if he has results and they’re not good he will be very quick to blame everyone else. His favourite words will be “not yet” and “I’m working on…” but he will likely be reluctant to show you any real evidence of work. Other favourite phrase are “why don’t we….” and “don’t you think it would be quicker if…”

The problem with this vampire is he can easily hide among genuinely enthusiastic people so you might think you’re being uplifted when in reality he’s dragging you down. The trick is to keep asking to see the results he’s getting. Ask him often enough and he’ll soon go away and annoy someone else!

But what are we going to call this one?

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Have you noticed how some people can tell you endlessly what absolute geniuses they are, but how few of them actually achieve anything?

Talk is easy but actually delivering takes hard work and effort. And the people who talk the talk can be a huge distraction, especially when you honestly believe their tales.

They are definitely a form of energy vampire because they can suck you dry, promising you the earth while you chase them down trying to get them to actually do anything. They’ll have every excuse in the book lined up when nothing actually happens and inevitably its someone else’s fault!

So how do you deal with them? It can be difficult because they’re not easy to identify. They are often very skilled at the talk part and can suck you in quite convincingly. In fact if they put as much energy into the “walk” as they put into the “talk” they might well be genuinely successful! And often you really want to believe them because they seem to offer you the solutions you need.

So lets look at indentifying them first.

These energy vampires will always tell you how busy they are at every opportunity but when you ask them exactly what they’re doing they get a bit vague on the details.

They will tell you that they are world class experts in their field, but no one else in their field has ever heard of them.

They will tell you they are passionate about their subject but they jump from project to project like frogs on speed.

They’re very quick to tell you that you’re doing something all wrong, but they’re really short on solutions.

If they do have solutions they’ll involve starting everything again from scratch and doing things their way, almost always at huge expense.

They’ll promise to turn up but they will never make meetings and their phones will be mysteriously switched off when you try to track them down. And when you finally catch up with them they’ll blame their PA or claim their granny was sick when in reality she died 20 years ago!

They will tell you how successful they are but they drive an ancient heap and live in a dodgy part of town.

And here’s the real clue – if they were really as fantastic as they tell you they are, they probably wouldn’t tell you! Truly successful people rarely feel the need to boast about their achievements.

So how do you deal with them. Well, if you’ve identified them I would suggest you don’t deal with them at all because they will never deliver and you will lose hair trying to make them!

But if somehow you did get sucked in, the best way to slay this particular vampire is to constantly check up on them, constantly question them and constantly demand results.

You know, some people do talk a lot and still deliver, but the energy vampires will be scared off very quickly by being made accountable!

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There’s been a couple of comments about the dark side of “who you know” and I think its important to clarify a few things.

Yes, nepotism, cronyism and favouritism are really nasty aspects and, tough as it is, we do sometimes have to deal with them. Like all energy vampire type behaviours the safest way is to simply not engage. That way you don’t give them any of your precious energy. However, sometimes you have no choice and this is where you need to hold on to your integrity with everything you have. Do not sink to their level and don’t start playing their games. Its just too easy to get sucked in and to become a victim. And if necessary start your own little clique where you set the standards of behaviour and you set them high! Remember like attracts like and if you find that kind of behaviour reprehensible there’s a very good chance a lot of other people will be feeling the same way. Make it very clear to all the world what you stand for and the right people will be attracted to you, and what’s even better is that the wrong ones will be repelled!

As for name dropping – once you call someone on it a couple of times they will get to know that they can’t pull the wool over your eyes. Ask for an introduction, tell them to invite them along to the next networking event, or invite them to dinner. Pretty soon you’ll find out if they really know the person or are just name dropping! What you need to realise is they are just doing it because they feel insecure so be nice and help them feel better about themselves and the behaviour should stop.

The main thing is please don’t feed the animals!

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