How to Stop Emotional Energy Leaks

We have literally thousands of thoughts about the future every day. “Hmm, what do we need at the store?” “The girls have a dental appointment next week.” “What’s for supper tonight?” Thinking about the future is normal, natural and unavoidable.

We make projections into the future with our goals, hopes and plans. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But when we allow fear and anxiety to attach themselves to our projections, that’s something else.

Often our current reality isn’t matching what we projected yesterday or this morning — and we’re not even aware of the emotional drain. The constant tension between what we projected or expected has a cumulative effect that leeches our emotional energy.

My Epiphany About Energy Leaks

You may know that I recently had sinus surgery, the culmination (or so I thought) of months of sinus pain and problems. I had been sick for so long that I thought surgery would be The Answer. I somehow thought that I would feel SO much better after surgery, when the structural problems had been corrected. I missed the memo that recovery from sinus surgery is both messy and painful. I didn’t even Google it before the procedure.

The interesting part is that in the week after surgery I was frustrated with my recovery. I had complications and an extra doctor visit, resulting in a setback in the process.

After the doctor visit, I had an epiphany. It dawned on me that it was going to take a while to feel better. I gave myself permission to say “this is normal for recovery” when it hurt. And you know what? That helped me feel better almost immediately because my expectations changed.

I had been wasting valuable energy being disappointed by my unrealistic expectations.

How to Stop Emotional Energy Leaks

These energy drains won’t stop themselves. We have to notice and make some decisions.

In addition to having unrealistic expectations and being disappointed, it’s almost like we decide to be disappointed ahead of time, expecting the worst.

Our emotional energy supply for today gets drained by our assumptions about what’s coming tomorrow.

How much time and energy do we spend thinking about how things will turn out?

How often do we “project” that we won’t have enough? Enough time, enough money, enough “me”?

When these emotional energy leaks accumulate, it prevents us from staying present. We can’t even create the future we want because we’re so tied up with our negative projections about it.

“There’s been a lot of tragedy in my life. At least half of it actually happened.”  

Mark Twain

Neither hope nor despair can predict the future with 100% certainty. So why do we act like despair is the sure deal?

Try this:  Just for today, when you catch yourself thinking about the future in any way, attach hope to your plans. You’ll be able to tell if you’re projecting anxiety on your future because of your emotions and feelings. Stop and choose to change your thoughts. Instead of going on despair auto-pilot, change course.

Why not think “what if it all works out?” Why not have an attitude of faith? Notice how often you’re assuming the worst, and turn that around to assume the best.

It takes some effort, but it does get easier. It’s really a habit of thinking. Listen to your heart and let it slow you down. Ask God to help your projections line up with what He says about you, not with what pops into your head.

Stop those emotional energy leaks so you can put the energy to good use elsewhere–like staying present in today, and looking forward with hope.


  1. Thanks Charlotte! I am so thankful the Lord is addressing this through you! It has been a real struggle for me. Sometimes just things out of my control also depleting energy. Things that have happened lately are a customer getting upset with me from nothing I did . Long story….. Then taking my son to a dr. 2yrs. previous and then having said he was fine to find out he wasn’t and they did diagnose. I am thankful to find out and he is getting what he needs but as a mother why did I not push furthur , found some one else etc…… These neg. emotions of I should of done more are very depleting . Thank you for addressing it!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      I’m so glad this helped you, Denise! We just don’t realize what we’re doing to ourselves! It’s actually a relief to be aware and give ourselves a break. Rest in Him.

  2. Yes and amen!!! Feel better and have a happy day!!!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Thank you Meredith! Making progress. 🙂

  3. Annie Carbutt says:

    Thanks, Charlotte. I needed this today. You’re really good at saying what I need to hear when I need to hear it. I hope you recover well. I’ll keep you in my prayers!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Glad to encourage you, Annie! (A lot of times I’m reminding myself!)

  4. Donnella Looger says:

    Another great article Charlotte. I wasn’t planning to order any of the DDT specials today but upon your recommendation, I’m going to. With the 60 Day Challenge, I’ve finally become what you preach — “consistent”.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Woo-hoo on the consistency, Donnella! Love it! And I bet you’ll enjoy the variety of the Warm Up Workouts!

  5. Gabrielle says:

    Charlotte, this is great. I do this all the time, especially with T-Tapp and weight loss. To the point that I talk myself out of trying so I never make any progress. It really made me feel better knowing I am not the only one who does this. And, now that I have read your article I can catch myself doing it and knock it off already. Thank you for drawing my attention to this issue. You always post such helpful information!!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      I know, right? We unintentionally wear ourselves out! I’m glad you’re aware now–that really is the first step!

  6. Hi Charlotte! Talk about synchronicity, I’m doing an emotional technique called the Presence Process. Your email was so in synch with this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on energy, emotions & not being present. Very true 🙂

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Very cool, Deb! I love it when I “get the message” from several sources! 🙂

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