How Shifting Your Energy Can Transform Your Career

HTYC coach, Angela Barnard, discusses how energy affects your career and how reframing your thinking can help you discover new opportunities.

on this episode

Fear of the unknown is one of the most common hesitations we hear from people wanting to change careers. Not being able to control your situation or know exactly what will happen next can be stressful and draining.

How can you move away from that fearful place and refocus your energy into work that will actually bring about change? HTYC career coach, Angela Barnard, jumps on the podcast to discuss one of her favorite topics: energy. 

what you’ll learn

  • How to use energy to transition into work you truly love
  • The difference between catabolic and anabolic energy
  • How to shift your energy when you are feeling fearful
  • How to identify when you’re generating negative energy and shift your mindset

Introduction 00:04

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:28

Okay, it's Scott. But you're not going to hear from me in this episode, because I'm taking some of our HTYC advice, and I'm stepping away from work. And this time for an entire month to be able to spend time with my family, and unplug. So I'm not going to be on this episode, or the next few. I am leaving you in great hands, of the Happen To Your Career podcast team, I know you're gonna love it.

Angela Barnard 00:51

Hey, it's Ang, and I'm one of the career coaches on the Happen To Your Career team, taken over the podcast today to talk about one of my favorite things. Not only is it one of my favorite things, it's also, I would say the most overlooked thing when it comes to transitioning into doing work that you really love. So I'm going to dive deeper into this one thing. But before I do, I want to tell you how this episode even came to be, and that is one of our coaching clients. The other day, I was talking to her about fear of the unknown. And she's just opening up to me. And she's like, "I know that this part of me is showing up where I want to control everything. Like I want to know exactly what's happening next. But I know that it wouldn't even be fun if I knew what was happening next." And I was like, "yeah", and the reason I share this with you is I want to say that this is very common, the whole fear of the unknown. In fact, this is probably one of the most common statements that I see on our intake documents where people talk about what are they afraid of, they say the fear of the unknown. Fear of not knowing if, one, this process will even work for me. If it'll even lead to the job that I want, you know, fear of not knowing what I'm going to be doing next, to be a different kind of person, do things in a different way, live life differently than we've been able to, we got to be able to influence the brain there. And if we want to influence other people to hire us, give us sweet opportunities. We need to understand a little how the brain works. And we also need to know about energy. And if you know me, you know I'm a nerd about the human brain. Like I geek out about this. I feel like we really need to be thinking about how our minds work so we can properly influence ourselves. That's that one thing that I was alluding to, that is the most important thing. And I think it affects how the mind works, right? So this was sparked from this whole conversation around fear. And I was thinking about, like, how can I help shift that fearful energy that's showing up? It's normal that it shows up. But we cannot let it drive this process. Because we know that when you show up from this fearful place, it doesn't often lead to really awesome results, just really not a match for it if you think about it energetically. Like think about it, the kind of person that you want to be is not a fearful person. The kind of opportunities that you want to attract, you don't want to attract them from a fearful place, because it's not gonna be a match for those sweet opportunities that you want. So we got to do the work to shift the energy. This is really important. And this is why I feel like it's so helpful to have a coach because we can help you shift that energy because sometimes it can be really hard to do on your own. And for a lot of people that want to make a career switch, they are often feeling a lot of what I would call catabolic energy, and that's why they want to make the switch. So there's two kinds of energy. There's catabolic energy, and there's anabolic energy. Catabolic energy is energy that's draining, resisting, exhausting, that what we often think about as, like, negative energy, we would probably categorize as catabolic energy. It's where self doubt shows up. It's a lot to even think about the body, what it looks like in the body might be like hunched down shoulders feeling defeated, feeling heavier, sighing, like, if you hear people doing that a lot, that's an example of catabolic energy being generated. Aches and pains in the body, catabolic energy being generated, and it may be coming from our mind. We know that stress can cause a lot of health issues in our body. It's a generation of that catabolic energy breaking down things in our body. This is, the body is not in a state of ease. Okay, I can geek out about this stuff all day long. But you know what it feels like to be around catabolic energy, negative energy, you feel that. And for a lot of us, we often want to leave our place because we don't want to be around that anymore, that catabolic energy. Because it's bringing us down. It's contagious. That's how energy is. Now, anabolic energy is uplifting building energy. This is where love is gratitude, joy, opportunity, fun, the state of flow, right in the zone, working on the things that you really care about, that's anabolic energy being generated. When you don't even know that, like, time has passed by, you ever been in that state? Yeah, I know you have. When you're in the zone, and you're like working on that thing, and you're like, "Wait, what? Hours passed by. I didn't even know because I was like, in the zone." That's the anabolic energy being generated. Wouldn't be so cool if we could work in environments where more of that anabolic energy was generated regularly, and be so cool. That's what a lot of us want is to generate more of that anabolic energy, we probably wouldn't say that and use those specific terms, but that's really what we want. We don't only just want to find a job that we are really excited about and love, right? We want to feel better every day than what we're feeling now. We want to generate more of anabolic energy.

Angela Barnard 06:09

So if you want that kind of opportunity that feels that way, that means you can be showing up from a catabolic place, of course, you're going to initially. Fear is going to show up initially, that makes perfect sense, it's going to show up, I'm not going to just say initially, it's going to keep showing up as you're stepping out for sure. But we got to learn how to shift that in us and see things in a different way so we can have fun through this process and attract our ideal opportunities. So back to the story of me talking with my client about this whole fear stuff. So as she's sharing this with me, and I'm the kind of coach that's like, "Tell me how you really feel. Like, if you're gonna do something and you feel dumb, or there's a lot of resistance around it, let's talk about it and see if we can shift the energy around it so you can feel better when you're going about it. You're coming from a higher energetic place. Let's see if that can happen." So anyway, she's telling me this, and I'm thinking about, like, "what would be helpful", and I was like, "Let me tell you a story. See if this resonates with you." So I told her this personal story, it's about my husband. And after I finished the story, she was like, "Ang, you have to tell more people this story." And I was like, okay, that's what we're going to talk about on the podcast today, is this story. Okay, so my husband and I spend a lot of time talking about what we want for our lives. And I'm a vision nerd. So I love to craft a vision for my life, and figure out how I can be that person. I think it's really fun to make my vision a reality even better, keyword here, better than I imagined. And I know that it's not just about envisioning and being like, "Oh, it'd be really cool. If this thing could happen." Like, you also got to put in the work right and do the things. I know that. So my husband and I have talked a lot about what it is that we want for our lives. And we play this game. I call it the imagination game. Not a super creative title, but he knows what I'm talking about when I bring it up. So we're walking, chatting. And I say, "Can we play the imagination game?" And he's like, "Sure", he's not always super thrilled about it, but we play this game. And I say, "Okay, imagine that it's X years from now, and everything is working out the way that you want it to. Tell me what is happening." So I remember we were playing this game, and I said, "Imagine it was, I don't know, like, a few years, or whatever it was." And he told me that... so my husband's a dentist right now. And he was like, "Okay, well, I work in a practice, where I have a lot of freedom to travel when I want to. And I get to do cases that I love, like lots of surgery. I get to be in a fee for service office" he went on all these details of what he's doing. And he's like, "and I have a really awesome mentor in my life that is really skilled in the kind of surgery that I like, well, he's mentoring me. And I also get to fly out to Beaufort, South Carolina." So I used to live in Beaufort, South Carolina, which is on the coasts, which I love this little town so much. It means a lot to my husband and I. Anyways, "Because I get to fly to Beaufort, South Carolina, and I also get to work in a northern Indiana area close to our family." So I'm originally from Michigan. My husband's family is originally from Northern Indiana, so West Michigan, Northern Indiana. And we've been talking about how we wanted to move to be closer to family. So we're always talking about our values, how we can honor them more and all the things. So he said, "Okay, so I work at this, this practice, but I also get to work in South Carolina and I kind of go back and forth. So occasionally I go to South Carolina, but most of the time, I'm working my Indiana practice close to family and I also have this awesome mentor." Right? So he went through all of the stuff that he would want for his life. And I just let him, like, I entertain that dream. And I just like, listen, and sometimes I coach back and I'll be like, "Oh, tell me more about this. What does this look like?" And I kind of do that. And it's just a fun, silly game that we play. So anyways, we're going through the stuff. And I was thinking about, like, when he told me like, "Oh, I could work in Indiana and South Carolina", right away my rational mind, and his does this too, it's like, "What? Like, how is that gonna be like? Who's gonna hire a dentist to work in South Carolina and Indiana?" Like when they just hire a dentist, like those different locations, like, "what?" you know. And for a long time, my husband has always talked about this whole mentorship thing. Like he used to always talk about how he wished that he had like a strong mentor in his life on a regular basis that was really skilled in surgery. He's like, "It just be so cool if I had that, but you know, how things are now we spend 1000s and 1000s of dollars to be in the room with other people that are highly skilled to teach us but it's like a weekend thing or a week long thing, you know, not like consistent every day." So anyways, you hear this stuff showing up, or it's like, the rational mind is like, "What? No, that ain't gonna happen for you" kind of thing. And then even stories around how people have said, "Oh, well, if you do get a mentor like that, and like, let's say this guy, he wants to retire out, it's not always a good situation, because then they try to control everything in the practice, like there's all these stories that make your brain believe that that can't happen for you, right? Or wouldn't be a good situation for you." So the rational mind will try to convince us that that's not going to happen, because our brains can't understand how it would happen. So what happens is, a lot of us don't end up dreaming. We don't even allow ourselves to dream and talk about what it is that we really want. So many people struggle with this phase of like dreaming, talking about what it is that they want. And I have various theories behind this. I think one of the big reasons why is because we've been trained a lot to think about everybody else, and what everybody else wants, especially as people that have been in the those caregiver roles, where maybe you're a mom or a dad, or you're a caregiver to someone else, or your job itself involves a lot of thinking about other people, your brain has gotten so used to thinking about everybody else, whatever you practice, you get good at. Whatever you practice over and over, you also program in the mind, and it becomes part of your identity. So you're the kind of person that always thinks about everybody else. So if you have a coach like me being like, "what is it that you want?" you know, like asking you to dream and vision for the future, that may be really hard for you. Because you're not used to thinking about what you want. I see it happens so often when I'm doing this visioning work with people. And it makes sense. It makes perfect sense, given how the mind works, what you've been doing, how you've been showing up, but what we know to be true is that you can't keep showing up the same way you've been if you want to create different results in your life. We got to program some new ways of thinking, we got to shift some energy, bring in some new habits, get a new environment, tribe, for yourself, all the things. Career transition stuff can be really challenging, because it's not just about switching the job, it's about switching what's happening in the mind, like who you've been identifying as. For a lot of us, our jobs have played a huge role in our identity. So when we think about doing something else, our brain just freaks out over it. Right? And we may dip into those lower energy levels. Going back, shifting back Ang, I do this all the time. We're going to shift back into the story that I was telling you. My husband had this vision of what he had wanted. The rational mind is like, "I don't know how that could happen." Even I, was like, "Yeah, I'm not so sure how that can happen. But okay, keep dreaming." right?

Angela Barnard 13:54

So then, we are taking steps to make our vision or reality being closer to family. We ended up selling our home in South Carolina, I was going through that process, and we were doing interviews in Indiana. So my husband had several interviews lined up. So he goes through all these interviews, he likes a couple of the people that he had met early in their day, had like a handful of interviews, and we were going to the last interview at the end of the day. And he was tired. We had been traveling a lot. And I think we drove from South Carolina to Indiana, it was like, I don't know, 14 hours or something in the car. And then we had to drive back and forth to all these interviews. Were like a little depleted. Some of that catabolic energy shows up. Energy is dipping into the day, last interview. And he's just like, "I'm tired", you know, and I hear the sigh and he's like, "And you know what Ang, I don't even want to go to this interview because like this guy doesn't even have a full time opportunity available and I only want full time, he said he only had part time. And I just like I'm tired. I don't think I'm gonna go." And I was like, okay, so I sense the catabolic energy there. And I was thinking about what would I tell my client right now. I would want my client to be thinking about seeing everything as an opportunity, an opportunity to learn, you know, just an opportunity to make a new friend, some kind of opportunity. And I would try to shift them into that state to be curious, you know, how could this potentially serve you? Right? Because what was happening was, he was coming from this lower place, like, thinking like, "This ain't gonna help me. It's not gonna have the opportunity that I want. You know, I don't really want to do this, waste of time." That's the stuff that's hinting catabolic energy being generated. So I said to him, I said, "Well, what would make you proud of how you showed up? Like, do you want to contact the guy and tell him you are no longer coming even though he's like, set this up for you? What would make you proud of how you showed up?" And he's like, "Yeah, you're right. It's not gonna make me proud if I bail on him, like, I want to show up as a respectful person." So that's one of my favorite questions to ask if you want to shift energy. If you find yourself resisting something, you don't want to do the thing, ask yourself this, "what would make me proud of how I showed up?" So often, my clients will tell me that they hear my voice early in the morning in their mind, and it makes me laugh every time I hear this, like I legit get text messages that say, "Hey Ang, I heard you this morning telling me this, asking me this question." Whereas like, they're like, "I was gonna get up. It was like, my alarm went off, and I knew I wanted to go do my workout. And I found myself resisting it. And I was like, “I'm just gonna go back to sleep", you know, playing small in their life, avoiding the discomfort, and then they're like, and I said, "What would make you proud of how you showed up?" And I got my butt out of bed, and it worked out. And I feel so good. I'm so proud of myself. What did you do there? You shifted energy. This stuff is so powerful. And all you did was ask yourself a question. So that's what happens is like, you ask yourself a question that's related to a higher energy level, there's words all have energy and all the things. You ask yourself a question, and it gets your brain to think in a different way, and it shifts your energy. So then you move forward, versus staying stuck where you are. That's a common other word that we often hear from clients is "I feel stuck, I feel stuck." In other words, what you're telling me is you're generating catabolic energy, and you don't know how to shift out of it. So let's work through it. Let's shift. So this was happening for my husband, right? And he's feeling that energy. And he's like, "Yeah, I wouldn't be proud if I just went there. If I just, you know, got to meet him." And then so what happened there without you guys knowing this, as I shifted him from one to wanting to avoid, avoidance is a common characteristic of the highest catabolic state. Level one, energy. As you go up in the scale, it gets more anabolic. So the highest is like depression, avoidance, anxiety, all of that lives in the level one, which is the highest state of catabolic energy, right? So it's trying to avoid it. Sometimes that shows up for us, we will shift into avoidance when something gets hard, it's uncomfortable, we just don't do the thing. You know what I'm talking about. So anyhow, shifted the energy by asking that question, he's like, "Okay, I'm gonna do it." And then that went to a three, which is actually taking action. Then, I was like, let me shift it again. So I said to him, "What else could you like, learn from this opportunity? Or what is an opportunity here for you?" He was like, "I guess you know what, at the very least, I would be able to learn more about what's out there. And that would help me know, like, if I'm in negotiation, I would know more about the salaries being offered, the office environment, all the things." And I was like, "Yeah, for sure. So it still serves as an opportunity for you." Opportunity focused mindset, being curious, that is an energy that's of the anabolic energy that's higher on the scale, so instead of five. That's a very powerful energy. A lot of people create really awesome opportunities for themselves when they can get their mind to stay curious, to stay open in the process. And also, you can see as a game, like, if you're like, just an experiment, let me see what happens if I talk to this person if I do this thing, there's no attachment, because that's when you start getting attached, you start to shift to the lower levels, start being all controlling, right? That's the lower energy being generated. But if you're like, "I'm curious. I just want to see if it works" and we kind of laugh about it, like, I'm the kind of coach that like when you're reaching out to people, like I say, "Look, if you have a conversation with someone, and it sucks, like, come back to me, like tell me about it, we can laugh about it together, we can figure out what we're gonna do differently going forward", but you get to learn from it. And it's like, when we start to see it as like a game, we can stay in that energy, that’s what I’m talking about– you become a magnet for really awesome opportunities. I don't know how to explain it. It might sound weird when I'm saying that but I've seen that consistency among clients that create ideal career opportunities, just like what I'm about to tell you about my husband.

Angela Barnard 19:48

So I shift his energy, right? So he goes with his different feeling, seeing it as an opportunity. He goes to this interview with this guy. Of course, he didn't have a full time opportunity available. So he just started talking, my husband's like, "Yeah, you know, I'm really looking for like a full time opportunity." And he was explaining what he was looking for, the guy really connected with him, showing him all his practice and all these things, you could tell he really liked my husband, there's that that rapport that was built there. And he's like, "You know, I might I have the opportunity for you because I only have a part time role. But I do know somebody who has a full time opportunity available. So he actually has practices in South Carolina and Indiana." So when he said that, my husband's ears perked up, he's like, "South Carolina?", because we were in Indiana doing the interviews. And he's like, "Yeah. One of his practices is in a... I think it's a Beaufort County or something like that." My husband's like, "Wait, what? Like, my favorite South Carolina place, that specific county?" And then he's like, yeah, and then he's like, "Maybe I could connect you with him. And you can just talk to him." My husband's like, "Yeah, I mean, I would just love to talk with him." So he comes outside, and the whole time I'm sitting in the car doing this interview thing, and my husband wanted me to go in with him. And I'm like, "Dude, like, you can handle this on your own." Like, I'm his personal PR person, public relations, negotiator like personal career coach, all the things, but I was like, "You got this, boo! You got this." And I stayed in the car. Anyways, he came out, and he tells me the story. And he's like, "Ang, so this guy, he said, he's going to introduce me to this guy that supposedly has practices in South Carolina or something, and Indiana." I was like, "What?" And like, I knew I was like, this is like, this is an alignment with the vision, you know, and I was all excited. He's like, "I knew you were gonna do this. I know we're gonna be up in here all excited about this, like, calm down, you know, it's fine." Like, no one ever calms down when someone says calm down, let's be real. Like that never ever has happened in history. Calm down, you know, freaking calm down, you just get more hyped up. So I was all, like, hyped up about this. And I was like, "You need to talk to him. I'm so curious what this is. Oh my gosh, what if you could work in both places?" And I'm like, envisioning all the things, planning everything out like I do, like a freak. I have futuristic, also in my top five strengths. So my mind just goes there, the whole future thing. Anywho, he talks to this guy. And the guy tells him that he has an awesome opportunity in Indiana, the specific county we were looking at, we wanted to live in a lake home, that was the one of our visions. And that area was surrounded by the lake. And he's like, "Yeah, there's a really awesome guy that's actually going to be retiring. But he's staying on for a while as part of the contract to train the next person." And she told him his name and everything. My husband's like, "What? Like this guy is so skilled in surgery, like, people spent 1000s to be around him for a weekend, and he's gonna be my personal mentor?" Like so the mentorship member we were talking about how my husband wanted that, that was a thing. And then my husband brought up he's like, "I would love to, like, be able to fly to Beaufort, you know, and be able to do stuff like that." He's like, "it's something we've talked about, like, surgeries", and he's like, "Would you guys be open to something like that?" And the guy was like, "I would absolutely love if you flew down, I would actually fly you down regularly, maybe like once a month or whatever, you can have a long weekend with your family, and do the surgeries, I will save all the surgeries for you." And my husband just loves surgery. Like in his mind, he used to think about getting his pilot's license and flying to an area and doing surgery there for the weekend and coming home. Well, the rational mind would be like "What? Like, why wouldn't you just hire another person in that community to like, do the surgeries for you? Like, makes no sense that you're going to find someone from India." right? That keeps showing up. But this guy was like, "Yeah, I would love this because you would be a person on my team. And I would rather...and I get to keep that money in house instead of giving something to someone" because they were actually outsourcing like the surgeries to be done by somebody else. So anyhow, they get to keep the money in house, they'd rather invest it in with our current doctors. And we thought about, like, we have this other dream of getting another property in that location. So it was crazy. But long story short, my husband ended up getting this opportunity. He even drempt... he talked about before, like this personal development classes being paid for, a lot of money worth of personal development classes. And my husband also wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. He wanted to take eight months off of work to hike the Appalachian Trail and then go to Colombia to learn Spanish and all these other things that he likes to do, right. And the rational mind would be like, "no one's gonna wait for you for all those things." What the heck, well guess what, they agreed to everything that my husband wanted and more. It's written in the contract where he can work in Indiana and South Carolina. He's actually hiking the Appalachian Trail right now, and I'm supporting him. I'm recording this podcast episode in this closet from this Airbnb in Bain. He's in his last state right now, almost done, two more weeks, and he completely finishes hiking the Appalachian Trail. And that was a big dream of him. It was on his vision board that I made him do it. And like all this stuff is becoming reality. It's above and beyond what I could imagine. And I could tell you stories all day long about this. I could tell you, not just about me, but about clients, and ways things have worked out better than what people imagined. But you know that controlling part of yourself wants to exactly know what's going to happen. But the reality is, wouldn't it be fine if you did? Let it be better than you imagined. But the thing that you need to do in order to get to that place is... there are several things. We're going to dissect the story. Let's go back and pick up the gems. One of the things my husband did, number one, to create this ideal career opportunity before it even came to be, is he envisioned it in his mind first. He allowed himself to dream about what could be possible, even though he didn't know the how, right, because the how it's not all up to us, it's not up to me as your coach, it ain't all up to you, there's some I mean, of course, you got to take action, hands down, of course, it's going to be uncomfortable throughout the journey, of course, right. But you know, there's a bigger hand at play, you know, that. And, you know, this has to do with your own personal faith and what you believe in, but you know, that it isn't all up to you, your higher self knows that. But what is up to you is for you to dream and believe for more, like at least put it out there, even if it's a faith of a mustard seed, just a little bit of belief. You know, when my husband was talking about it, we didn't fully believe how that was gonna be possible, we had no idea. And then things worked out even better than what we imagined. So first, allow yourself to dream, like, envision it in your mind first. Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is the preview to life's coming attractions." It's the preview. So you gotta play that preview in your mind. And there's a lot of science that backs up, like, how you're more likely to achieve something when it starts with, like, a vision in your mind. This is why athletes, a lot of time, use that whole envisioning process, seeing themselves winning, seeing themselves hitting the ball a certain way, swimming a certain way, all the things, right, if you are training your brain to look for opportunities that align for you to be that person. There's a lot of science that supports this kind of stuff. Right? So first, envision it in your mind first. Get clear on that vision, that's something we can help you with, if you choose to work with us, like I'll geek out about this stuff all day long. Like I cannot stop talking about this. It's so much fun. And then the second thing is you need to take action on that vision and experiment come from this place of like, "let me just see if this works out" and be curious. That's what my husband did. Right? We had to shift his energy because he wanted to, like, avoid it. And then I'm like, "what other opportunities are here for you? What else could you learn?" Right? We shifted that energy. So it wasn't like this is spear mental energy that was being generated, this curious state. And there was a part that we didn't really talk about here, which is that surrender part. Like we played this game of the imagination game, right? We thought about it. But there was this element of like, yeah, you took action. But you also just like, let things come in, like you weren't attached to it being a specific way. Like you were clear on like, these are the kinds of things I'm looking for. But hey god, or whoever, whatever it is you believe, you can bring it any way you want. I think about it as like, you place the order, like almost like you order something on Amazon, you know, and you trust that it's going to arrive, like there's no like, once you start getting all controlling about it and attach, that's when we're like, "Oh shoot, we're falling off of like, the course. We gotta get back on. We're going to shift some energy so that you feel better through this process." I love... my favorite thing, I got a bunch of text messages actually today about this. It's when clients are like, "Ang, you will not believe what just happened. Remember how we were talking about this? This person reached out to me, this thing happened." And I'm always like, "There you are! I see you in alignment. I see you generating that energy and how it's serving you. It's so fun." My favorite thing is for people to feel better. Like the reason why we're doing all this work is, so you can enjoy your life more. So we gotta pay attention to the energy that's being generated, right? And we got intentionally shifted.And there's tools that we can use. And again, like I said, we can dive deeper into all of this stuff later. But I just wanted to share this story with you. I hope it resonated with you. If you feel like this really got you thinking, let me know because we want to know like, is this helpful to you? Like should we keep talking about these kinds of things? Reach out to me, you can reach out to my email it's angela@happentoyourcareer.com. I'd be happy to chat with you about anything. Hope you can tell I'm a friendly person. I like to chat about all the things especially if you want to talk about energy or whatever, reach out to me, angela@happentoyourcareer.com. I hope you have an awesome day and you shift that energy when it needs to be shifted. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!