You may use some of the usual ways to increase energy like rest, diet, supplements, etc., but finding a way to remove or shift this energy zapper will make a huge difference in every area of your life. It’s so commonly practiced that we hardly see it for what it is.

Imagine you’re in the third grade and the teacher hands you your math test, showing you got eight out of ten questions correct. Imagine the teacher being sincere in his or her praise of how well you grasped those eight questions. Now imagine the teacher working with you, pleasantly, to help you grasp the other two so you can feel even stronger in this skill, that what you both look for is what will “connect the dots” for you about these two questions. How supported would you feel? How do you think your self-esteem and self-confidence would be? What kind of self-talk would this approach create; and how would you, then, engage with others?

I used a school example, but we have to include home life, as well. What’s described above is the opposite of what usually happens in both environments. What usually happens is the huge energy zapper of what’s-wrong thinking is put into practice. This kind of thinking is taught to us, and to those who teach it to us, through criticism. What happens when criticism rather than instruction is used?

Criticism causes people to fear making mistakes—a necessary aspect of learning, evolving, and taking calculated risks that result in success. Criticism doesn’t ask good questions, it gives opinions. It focuses on the past; it makes people feel defensive instead of opens communication. It affects learning negatively instead of inspires it (fear of making mistakes); it lowers energy instead of feeds it. All of this combined sets up an environment inside a person to focus on avoiding pain, even if that causes more pain, rather than aim at the pleasure of desired results. They may even give up trying.

There are four energy forms: Physical, emotional, mental, and creative. It’s important, vital actually, to realize that all four forms are interconnected. Deplete or enhance one and the other three are affected, as well.

So, the top energy zapper you use on yourself, others can use on you, and you can use on others is to ask, imply, or focus on what’s wrong, which is criticism that’s often mistaken as solution finding. Sometimes it’s phrased as these questions: What’s wrong with you?! What were you thinking?! Who do you think you are?! Why did you do that?! Why is this happening?! Notice the deliberate use of the interrobang punctuation, named well because it really conveys the “Wham! I just hit you with a ‘What’s wrong with you’ question (that’s really a statement of my personal perspective) right between the eyes.”

Actually, it hits the solar plexus, our energetic area of personal power and security, as it relates to fear and anxiety (not immediate survival threat), which in certain modalities is linked to the adrenal glands and adrenal cortex: Adrenals influence the performance of all four energy forms. Once this Wham! happens, it’s likely we (or others) wear (inside and out) the feeling of “something’s wrong with me” or “this person sees only what they perceive is wrong with me.” Maybe we wear the feeling all the time or just when we get around certain people, depending on how we internalize it.

Whatever the question or statement form, it puts you and them into a negative mind loop. Whether on the giving or receiving end of this, thinking is likely to stay in the good/bad, right/wrong judgment mode. This closes off any input from our intuitive mind that connects our feelings with our thoughts, including empathy and compassion, and very important—curiosity. Something to be curious about is what does a person have to tell him- or herself to make the choice or decision that was made? Think of a recent choice you made, positive or negative: what did you tell yourself in order to make it?

We consider, and even label, someone who’s focused on what’s wrong as negative. Actually, it’s really about how they were influenced to think—that is, to analyze, assess, and process information. And this influence leans far or very far to the side of judging in strict terms of good/bad or right/wrong.
This kind of thinking, because it’s done while on the negative mind loop, may cause a person to do one or all of what’s listed below—and any of us can enter this loop if we aren’t watching out for it:

*Resistance or panic when change seems on the horizon or happens, instead of looking for any value the change may bring.

*Nothing is learned from new or past events, because focus is on what’s wrong, and questions based on what’s wrong get asked; and this also makes the what’s-wrong-filled present and future feel scary.

*Personal strengths or the strengths of others are ignored or forgotten, and focus and emphasis is on perceived weaknesses.

*Negative internal and external thoughts and behaviors are repeated, even though these have yet to produce desired results, and may even have made a situation worse.

*The what’s-wrong approach lowers the emotional energy of everyone involved, which then affects the other three energies.

*“Facts,” as interpreted from the negative mind loop, are gone over and over, rather than look for what’s right and how to do more of that, or a right question that could open the opportunity for improvement, an inspired idea, or a solution to arrive.

*Focus is on mistakes, or fear of making them, rather than on desired results that may take time and ongoing reassessment and adjustment.

If you have any knowledge at all about Law of Attraction, the importance of self-talk, what you see IS what you believe, or any proven truism akin to these, what does what you’ve read so far tell you a person’s life or life in general will feel and be like if “what’s wrong” is the foundation of how they (or you) think? If you pause and consider what’s going on in the smaller and larger circles of life, it’s pretty easy to see what kind of thinking is prevalent at the foundation of family life, society, and education.

This part is tricky, but key: We cannot judge something negatively about ourselves, others, or a situation and change it at the same time. That’s two contrasting visions being held at once. It’s like saying to the Universe (or ourselves), “I want the soup. No, I want the salad. No, the soup… the salad… the soup… You stall either of them from coming to you and sit in hunger, which grows, until you decide and get served the one you choose. Let’s face it, judgment happens. But at some point, if we want something different, we have to let go of judgment and train our vision (thoughts, words, actions) to support our intended result.

Is it time to start using an approach like the one described in the supportive classroom example with yourself and others? If yes, allow a learning curve and adaptation time. You and those you interact with may have a mindset entrenched in what’s-wrong thinking, and it may not be as simple as you’d like to move into a new model—but it’s worth it. Put this new way to focus into practice and you’ll start to experience how it enhances your physical, emotional, mental, and creative energies and that of others around you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer is a Life Coach, author, and provider of Fulfillment Is an Inside Job!, an 8-week life-changing online coaching course, and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles and free downloads, when you subscribe at