Research shows that professionals who exhibit greater levels of enthusiasm have less stress, make fewer mistakes, and enjoy better relationships both with co-workers as well as in their personal lives.

But how do you keep enthusiasm levels high when you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed? What stops you from fully experiencing enthusiasm, joy, and significance in your daily life? What stops you from living with Full Wattage?

I have found the three biggest saboteurs that keep us from living with Full Wattage are:

Saboteur #1 – Your own beliefs.

For example, think about your beliefs and what you tell yourself (and others) regarding your work. Maybe you entered your career path because you had a passion for it, but now you view your work as a necessary evil. Is your goal simply to get through the day or through the week, or till that next vacation? Are you counting down the time until your retirement?

A recent survey showed that less than 15% of us are engaged at work… and that figure is on the decline.  But is it right to spend such a great portion of our lives doing something we feel is unfulfilling at best? I don’t think so.

So what are your beliefs about work? And where did these beliefs come from?

Often, they came from the things we heard as kids. Did you ever hear any of the following…

  • “You have to work hard to make a living.” Just like Donna Summer sang, “She works hard for the money. So hard for the money….”
  •  I was lucky that my family supported my choice to become a dancer, but many of my friends were told, “Get a real job.” Ouch!
  • “It is selfish to have work you love.”
  • “Someone has to take out the garbage.” The underlying belief here is that if everyone only did what they loved, nothing would get done!

So what beliefs about life, work and overall success influenced you growing up? And do these beliefs still serve you today?

If you find that you are being influenced by beliefs that are holding you back or are no longer supportive, take a few moments to think about the time you decided that your chosen career was right for you. What about it motivated you ? What drew you in? What were your positive thoughts and beliefs? And can you re-invigorate some of them now?

Saboteur #2 – Focusing on the negative.

While we are on the subject of your own beliefs, have you noticed how much time we spend worrying about things that have not happened yet, and that probably won’t ever happen.

When you get caught up in negative self-talk you are simply awfulizing (to imagine something to be as bad as it can possibly be). More often than not, the things we spend most time worrying about never come to pass. Awfulizing is one of the biggest destroyers of joy and enthusiasm.

If you tend to awfulize, begin by simply noticing when you are doing it. That is the first step to being free of this self-defeating habit. With awareness comes liberation!

Saboteur #3 – Not taking time to nurture yourself.

This one seems so obvious but can be the most difficult saboteur to address. It seems that many of us take the time to look after everyone but ourselves. But it is essential for us to take some time to decompress and rejuvenate ourselves if we want to have productive and happy lives.

What feeds your soul? What brings you meaning and joy? What makes you laugh? Find ways to incorporate activities that are nurturing for you, not just once a week, but every single day. It does not have to be a big production, or take a long time. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most meaningful. But failing to take time out for yourself on a regular basis is a recipe for burn out.

So these are the three biggest saboteurs that keep us from living with Full Wattage. Don’t let them stop you!