In my book Stop Workplace Drama, the sixth principle is to “master your energy.” Here is a short list of some common energy drains and what to do instead. 

Complaints: Tells you what you don’t want, but does nothing to define what you do want.

What to do instead: Define what you want and shift your focus to the island not the shark.

Excuses: Show you what obstacles you believe are holding you back.

What to do instead: Challenge the assumptions and ask, "What are my choices?"

Regrets: Tells you what you wish you would not have done or what you wish you would have done.

What to do instead: Ask for forgiveness and make amends. 

Blame: Tells you who or what you think is more powerful than yourself.

What to do instead: Take your power back and step into responsibility. Own the problem and potential.

Resentment: Tells you where you didn’t act in your own best interests.

What to do instead: Set a boundary. Speak up. Ask for what you want. Become pro-active, let go of assumptions and become your own best friend.

No matter what your title, or success level, the fact is, all of us are subject to our old patterns and programming. Much of the time we are reinforcing unwanted patterns and experiences though our behavior. For example, my colleague Dr. Ellen Weber says that the more you vent, the more you grow connections in your brain for the purpose of venting. (There is a difference between naming your emotion, and telling a long story about how someone did you wrong.)  

The good news is that the brain has plasticity, and we can become the creators of our experience by changing the programming. It’s as simple as changing the interpretations and then choosing differently. If you are consistent, not only will you change your patterning and programming, you will change your experience.

Marlene Chism is a professional speaker, trainer and the author of Stop Workplace Drama (Wiley 2011).