Episode 121: Nervous energy

How do you use your nervous energy?

In a way that’s serving you?

Or in a way that’s keeping you stuck?


Resources & References

Related episodes & posts:
What procrastination is really doing to you
2 strategies to break the cycle of indecision
What is indecision costing you?
Indecision & assumptions about life
Two kinds of uncertainty


“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or back into safety.”

–Abraham Maslow


Aili Kuutan: How do you use your nervous energy? In a way that's serving you and moving you forward, or in a way that's keeping you stuck?

Aili Kuutan: You're listening to pure light where we explore how you can believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. My name is Aili. I'm a coach, writer and yoga and meditation teacher. This is episode 121.

Aili Kuutan: In the last episode, I talked about how you only really become the driving force in your life when you choose to embrace uncertainty, so when you decide, this is what I want, and you also decide that that you're willing to go after it by stepping outside your comfort zone.

Aili Kuutan: Whenever you step outside your comfort zone, or even just think about doing it, nervous energy will come up. You'll feel nervous because you're in new territory facing your fears. So you may notice things like butterflies in your stomach or that your heart is beating faster.... and that nervous energy can either be an opportunity to shut down and stay stuck, or it can be something that you use to fuel forward momentum. You can tell how you're using it based not only on your behavior, but also on your thoughts. It really comes down to clarity of intention.

Aili Kuutan: When you don't have clarity of intention, you're constantly wavering. It's almost like you're constantly asking yourself, "Am I going to do it?" Or maybe you're asking yourself, "Should I do it? Shouldn't I do it?" And this is kind of stressful because then you're constantly thinking about it and worrying about it. It's always in the back of your mind, so it's a way of using your nervous energy to fuel stress and hesitation and indecision, which allows you to stay stuck. And it's also taking up a lot of mental energy because you're constantly wavering back and forth, which means you have less energy to actually do the thing.

Aili Kuutan: And you may be telling yourself stuff like, "I'll decide later," or "I'll do it later," but that just continues to fuel the cycle of having it on your mind and staying in a state of inertia. And that's probably the safest place to be because there's no risk because you're not really making a decision. You're just continuing down the path of doing what you already know. Abraham Maslow said: "In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or back into safety." So this way of handling nervous energy keeps you in the safety of what you already know. And that energy basically becomes a form of stress. So that's what can happen when you don't have clarity of intention.

Aili Kuutan: But when you have clarity of intention, you show up and act in a different way, in a way that confirms, "I'm going to do this." So you're approaching it with a sense of determination and commitment to figure it out. You may not necessarily know how to do it, but you know you're going to keep moving forward, one step at a time, and trust that the path will unfold in front of you. And because you have that clarity of intention and trust, you don't really have to think about it, so you aren't using your mental energy deciding on whether or not to take action. You've already decided, so your nervous energy is being channeled into action and forward movement instead of being experienced as stress. So that may mean that you have time booked on your calendar, or that you're doing something, no matter how small, every day to keep going and keep moving forward. There may be ambiguity about the path, but there's total clarity of intention.

Aili Kuutan: And it also means you're stepping forward into growth. And the only thing that separates those two ways of being is a decision. It's that clarity of intention and internal commitment to make something happen.

Aili Kuutan: So how do you want to use your nervous energy? How you spend your nervous energy and attention is totally up to you. You can spend it on deciding and staying in the safety and security of what you already know, or you can use it to fuel your forward momentum into the unknown.

Aili Kuutan: If you enjoyed this, subscribe to pure light wherever you listen to podcasts and leave a review, as that'll help other people find it. You can also download and listen to all the episodes at purelightpodcast.com and there you'll also find all the related episodes in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening until next time, may you be guided by your light.

Love this? Help other people find it: