Know Your Renewal Style

Earlier this week I had a tough day. A minor setback in the morning—a silly mistake on my part that anyone could make—sent me into a tailspin that soon deepened and darkened into a full-blown “snit.” I pulled back from life, plunked myself in a chair and buried myself in a book like a child reveling in a pout.

The next day I gave a presentation to a roomful of people. When I finished, I felt completely renewed, reminding me yet again that I’m an extrovert. When I need renewal, it comes through being around people. The worst thing I can do is withdraw from them.

It’s important to know how to renew your spirit properly so that you have inner resources to tap when life is tough. If you are an introvert, you go within to renew. Alone, you gather your thoughts and calm your critical or worried mind. Cocooning in your favorite chair and conversing in your head could be just what you need.

If you’re an extrovert like me, on the other hand, knowing what you’re thinking requires hearing yourself say it aloud—to others or with others. All I achieved when I sat down with my book was to make myself more miserable, because I felt guilty for “frittering away” time that I could have spent working.

Please understand: I don’t say it’s wrong to take time for you. Sooner or later, life becomes too much to handle, and you need to step back from it. What I am saying is that it’s critical to know what “style” of renewal really works for you.

This especially matters because the Law of Attraction dictates that you attract more of what you focus on. When you’re in a blue mood and use the wrong renewal remedy to try to pull yourself out of it, you only intensify your focus on something that you don’t want. A friend of mine calls this “praying for disaster,” and it seems to be the one prayer that never goes unanswered!

Friends can be invaluable in helping you find an effective renewal style, by allowing you to help them do the same. As you consider what might work best, you may want to identify two renewal techniques for yourself: one for workdays, when you don’t have the option of taking off, and another for those days you can have all to yourself, if you choose: weekends, during a vacation or every day when you are retired.

Once you and a friend identify your respective renewal strategies, make a pact: whenever either of you feels down or unmotivated, the other will remind you how to pull out of your funk.

It’s important, too, to honor what works for those around you. Hell for an introvert is to have a bad morning at work and then be dragged to lunch by well-meaning and extroverted co-workers because “it will do you good.” Conversely, introverts will often leave an extroverted associate alone “to work it out,” when what that person needs to feel renewed is to be part of a group.

How will you know when you’ve found your optimum renewal style? The surest indicator will be that when your spirits are picking up again, you will not only feel that you’re rebounding from something, you’ll feel on the way back to something—your best self.

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