‘What keeps you up at night?’ seems overused and overplayed in today’s world. But, regardless if you roll your eyes at hearing the question, the meaning of the question is still highly relevant. I work with leaders who have a lot on their minds. Whether or not a worry keeps them up at night, it consumes lots of energy.

Sometimes the concern is a low current of energy that won’t go away. Other times, it is more of a high-wattage current that must be addressed. 

How much energy are you using up?

No matter how much energy it uses up at the moment, it is something to dig into. So, let’s dig in!

  • What are you worried about? On the people front? On the process front? On the operations front? On the market/industry front? On your front? 
  • Which worry takes up much of your energy or has been around for an extended time?
  • Find a thinking partner, coach, or colleague who can listen to your worry and ask questions. Finding someone who will not try to solve the issue is best. 
  • As you bring the case forward, ask yourself: What is the ideal solution? What about the situation bothers you? What is in and out of your control regarding the worry? Who do you need support from to solve it? What options are available to you? 

Bring the worry forward

Bringing the worry forward and working through the questions above will allow you to focus, work out some ideas, and likely get some actions to the forefront. Many of our worries must be addressed or let go, but we must dig into them before doing either to be mindful of our energy.

Ruminating on them or pushing the concern down the road does nothing to solve or let go of the issue. Surfacing the case, then reflecting and investigating the matter, and finally taking conscious action (which may mean not taking any action other than letting go) will free up your mind and energy. Whether you like the phrasing of the question, it’s important to surface the issues in the background and prevent our organizations or us from moving forward.