Take the Lead

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It’s Tuesday evening and sweat is pouring down my somewhat rosy complexion at the end of a rather vigorous Zumba class.  There’s a very energetic buzz in the air as I and the other Zumbees start to leave the studio.  To be fair, it’s pretty difficult not to be upbeat when you’ve spent the past hour jiggling to some cracking tunes, but I notice that for some reason as I and the rest of the class trot out to our cars, we’re more than usually peppy tonight.

Driving home, I was curious why everyone had left in even greater spirits than normal.  It struck me that the instructor had really given her all to the class this evening.  She’d been uber enthusiastic demonstrating the moves for us to copy and she had encouraged us to whoop and cheer as we went along.  Her high level of energy had been the catalyst in altering the state of every other person in the room.  That’s a pretty powerful thing when you think about it.

At any given moment we have a choice.  We choose the actions we take, we choose the words we say and we choose the amount of energy we put into something.  In turn, we can influence the energy levels and ultimately, feelings of other individuals around us.  That can be negative or positive depending on what we decide.  Take my instructor, for example.  Despite being at the end of a working day and despite the fact that a number of the attendees (myself included) gingerly headed to the back of the studio at the start of the class, my instructor decided she was going to give really high energy throughout the work out.  By leading with her state, she positively affected everyone in her presence.  The payoff was the reciprocation of that positive high energy.

Demonstrating positive high energy behaviour has the potential to impact a number of areas in our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying being high energy means we all do “jazz hands” at every available opportunity (although I do welcome a well timed “jazz hands”).  It's an intent that can be expressed in the way we greet someone, our body language, the tone of voice we use, or how much effort we put into an activity or task. 

If you’re anything like me, leading with high energy can – at times - be a challenge.  Of course, we can’t always be brimming with the joys of spring every second of the day.  However, there are times we become passive, allowing negative externals to dictate our state when that needn’t be the case.  To put the power back in our hands it may be worth considering:

  • Being mindful.  I personally find I can be easily influenced by negativity when I’m not fully paying attention in the moment.  By being in the now, I give myself the awareness to actively choose how I think and act.
  • Doing something physical.  Our physical actions can affect how we think and feel, so by physically doing something different, like going for a run or having a dance in the kitchen, we can quite quickly change our state.
  • Surrounding ourselves with other positive high energy people.  Give yourself a head start by being around those people who are already in that positive state.

By consciously choosing to give a bit of “umph” to what we say and do on a regular basis, we have the ability at our fingertips to ace that job interview, secure that second date, or achieve that personal goal.  Essentially, giving stuff a bit of welly can really help shape our lives.  And if that wasn't enough, there's only a few more days until that next Zumba class...