Know What Drains You, and LET IT GO!

Do you know what drains you? Too often, we give all we got to the business of life and the things that drain us, and it keeps us from walking out purpose.

Thriving requires shedding
what drains you
so you have what you need
to be bold in your passion.
– Kathryn Lang


Thriving requires shedding 
what drains you 
so you have what you need 
to be bold in your passion.
- Kathryn Lang

Holding on to what drains you will keep you from living your best life. You can’t give your all to what you love and what you are uniquely designed to do if you give all at the foot of the things that drain you.

  • You have to recognize what drains you.
  • You have to consider what you can let go of.
  • You have to define what you truly want to do.
  • You have to embrace what you are going to do.
  • You have to reveal what is holding you back.
What drains you

The last few weeks have been invested in determining why I’m not living my best life. I think I know what I want, but I know I’m not there yet. Some days I think I’ve moved into the neighborhood, but other days I feel like I’ve been voted off the island. 

Recently, I committed to digging into what I’m mission. I started by reading “Fans First” by Jesse Cole – which gave me permission to try radical things (like I needed encouragement). Next, I started reading “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth” by Chris Brogan (for the second time). I’m not quite halfway through, and he already has challenged me to do something for 60 days to develop a habit of doing that thing.

I like challenges. Of course, I made the challenge my own. 10 Things for 10 Weeks – I’m on day four and I feel like a new person. Many of the things on my list were things I’d been doing, although not always every day. Others were things I told myself I wanted to get back in the habit of doing, so I’m doing just that. Still, others are things I know I have to do if I’m going to get to where I want to be, but I wasn’t because I was letting things get in the way.

If you let things get in the way of your purpose, then they will.

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A Reminder of What Drains You

I was reminded today that if it drains you, then it’s not for you. I get there are times when you have to do things you don’t want to do. There were many days when I didn’t want to get up and fix the kids’ breakfast – or deal with them, for that matter. Three boys under one rough can get very loud some days. 

This isn’t talking about those things. It’s talking about the relationships that were you out all the time – not just on occasion. It’s talking about the job that sucks the very life out of you so that there isn’t anything else to give. It’s talking about the clients that wear you out and wear you down. It’s talking about that volunteer opportunity that has become a black hole of waste.

If we are called to thrive, then we can’t do it by spending our days being drained by things we don’t like, don’t love, or don’t want to do.

We lived on forty acres for most of our marriage. When we first moved out there, I’d go out on the porch to watch my husband bush-hog the field. From my perch, I could hear him belting out the Green Acres theme song.

Over the next twenty-five years, we developed a two-acre show garden, a 100 sq ft vegetable garden, and maintained 15 acres in yard. That’s a LOT of outdoor work, in case you’re wondering. 

Circumstances have put us up in places where we don’t have to do any of the outdoor maintenance. My husband confessed that he’d grown to hate doing the yard work. Living where he didn’t have to do yard work confirmed that truth. “I don’t want to go back.”

Get away from what drains you so that you have what you need to invest in what brings you joy.

Recognizing What Drains You

You have to monitor what you’re doing to evaluate what it’s costing. When we do something out of habit, without giving it any thought, then it’s almost impossible to know the real cost.

Rate where you are before you start.

You need a base point to understand the cost or value of what you’ll do.

Monitor the action.

Keep track of how you feel throughout the activity, action, or event. 

Rate where you are when you’re done.

Make notes of your end results – not the event or the action, but your health, mental focus, and well-being.

When you look at each thing you do, how you do it, and even when you do it, then you can begin to identify what drains you. When you know these pressure points, you can begin to build ways out of them or around them.

Let Go of What Drains You

I never tired of working outside. I loved digging in the garden, riding the lawnmower, and even weed-eating. I even purchased a small, rechargeable weedeater just so I could tackle some of the tasks. 

My husband had turned over most of the outdoor stuff to me and my sons. He had let it go. Unfortunately, when the two olders moved away, my husband had to pick back up something that drained him.

And we didn’t realize it was draining him. I never stopped picturing the man on the tractor belting out Green Acres. 

It took a drastic situation to reveal how much something had been draining him.

what drains you

Plan to let someone else do it.

There are people that are energized by what drains you. Tapping into their superpowers will get the task done, leave you with what you need to invest in the things that bring you joy, and will invest in the things that bring others joy. It’s a win-win situation.

Find a way around it.

If you don’t have to do it, then why do it? With our acreage, we stopped maintaining much of the property as yard and went back to bush hogging a few times a year. It got us around having to be out there every weekend. Be creative when you are looking for ways around what drains you.

Let it go.

Too often we do things because people before us do things . . . or HAVE things. How many “heirloom” items are hiding in your storage areas? When you release the requirement to do something or have something because it’s always been that way then you are free to enjoy what really matters.

Create a path of enjoyment.

If you can’t let it go then find a way to enjoy it. Whether it’s singing Green Acres at the top of your lungs, dancing while you vacuum, or tandem dishwashing, when you find a way to infuse enjoyment in the things you absolutely have to do then they no longer fall into the category of what drains you.

Protecting Against What Drains You

We are designed to thrive not just survive. You can’t get there as long as what drains you takes the priority position in your life. Knowing what drains you and then finding creative ways to get around those things or to let them go completely frees you up to live the unique life you were created to thrive in.

Dare to let go of what drains you so you can walk out your extraordinary purpose.

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