Your real Power comes from your Mind

In November 2018 I had a sport accident, resulting in several skull fractures and a concussion which took 9 months to recover from. Nine months of living with an energy level (much) lower than what I was used to. It lead me to reflect on energy and to learn by doing. I learned to make choices that benefit my own energy level and therefore well-being. Unfortunately it took a painful accident to learn this, but I am nonetheless very grateful it happened. Life-changing!

In order to deepen the learnings for myself, I decided to investigate the power of energy further and write it down. Maybe you can benefit from it as well.

In the article about the energy balance of the body, we looked at the impact of what we eat and we introduced the impact of hormones on our mental energy. In this article we will look further into how we influence our energy by what we think and how we feel.

 Our mental energy balance: input and output

After a few months of recovering by sleeping a lot, eating healthy and only doing things that gave me energy, I became impatient with my recovery process… While my ‘hardware’ (skull fractures) had healed in a few weeks, why did healing my ‘software’ – my brain – take so long? Would I have lasting damage? What would my life look like if that would be the case?

With some help from experts in the field, I learned that I had been under too much stress in the months before the accident, reducing my resilience and delaying my healing.

We already learned in the article about body energy that ‘stress hormones’ exhaust our body, reduce our resilience and make us feel bad both physically and emotionally. And that ‘happiness hormones’ give us (mental) energy, elevate our mood, improve our self-esteem and make us more creative!

Our thoughts and emotions can have a similar effect. Positive thoughts and ‘warm emotions’ give energy and satisfaction and enable us to move, even when we run into resistance or simply bad luck. Positive thoughts give us the energy to generate new ideas and to create. Negative thoughts and ‘cold emotions’ cost energy and bring frustration.


And I think it is obvious that our thoughts and emotions are generated by nothing else than our own mind! They are only shaped by our own response to what we observe in the outside world.

Alignment mind

The conversion of what happens in the outside world into real and useful energy, fully takes place in our minds… In order to get the best out of our mental energy and to convert as much as we can into creation, we can practice to get better in thinking positively and feeling good while we also work on reducing negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts and ‘cold emotions’ originate from a source in the past…

First let’s look at the thoughts and feelings we want to reduce as much as we can: the negative ones. We worry about the future, we regret or feel bad about things we have (or have not) done in the past. While there is definitely benefit in mitigating risks for the future and learning from the past, these type of thoughts often become bigger, more energy-consuming and more time-consuming than they should.

How come? When your thoughts go outside of the rational risk-mitigation and learning and get connected to our fears, our limiting beliefs, they cause an emotional response. These are the moments when we hear an inner voice tell us sentences like “I am not …(smart, fit, strong etc) enough”, “I don’t have enough … (time, support, money etc)”, “I am not worthwhile, there is something wrong with me” or “I can’t handle it”.

I challenge you to ask yourself: What sentences does your inner voice tell you? How do they make you feel? How are they limiting you?

These fears and limiting beliefs have been installed in our minds many years ago, influenced by our family, our teachers, the media and the culture we were brought up in. They often go back to our childhood when we were dependent on others and our brain was not able to distinguish between reality and fantasy, so we made up our own truths about cause and effect. Some of these beliefs, or mental programs, have been supportive to us for years and we still believe them to be true, consciously or unconsciously, even if our circumstances have changed. Some of them still support us, others do not serve us anymore and limit us.

The consequence of the fears, mental programs and limiting beliefs you have, is that your mind loses energy through the emotions and stress these thoughts cause. They hold you hostage and keep you below the line, where you are a victim of the circumstances and your own mental programs. And tell me, how much energy does a victim have?


Your fears and limiting beliefs hold you back of realising your dreams and your full potential. And in addition to that, they shape your perception. Think about seeing a glass half full or half empty: When you believe you will not do well on a task, chances are you will see so many signs of where you are not doing well, you will get stressed, showing ineffective behaviour and as a result you will not do well on your task. And you have again confirmed your own limiting belief… and wasted energy.

Before sharing two habits that worked well for me, let me give you two “warnings” upfront, based on my own experience:

  1. Negative thoughts will continue to appear, whether you like it or not. The question is how you can accept they are there and how you can get better in dealing with them.
  2. While it is crucial to understand your negative thoughts, the limiting beliefs behind them and work on changing them or letting them go, we should be careful not to dwell in them. There is a lot of power in ‘just deciding’ to think differently, more positively.

Two habits to stay balanced by getting better in dealing with negative thoughts

Habit 1: What is reality?

Practice to not blindly accept what you think (!) you are observing and actively open up for alternative perspectives. Below are two possible approaches:

  • Stand in someone else’s shoes and look at the situation from their perspective. You can take someone you know, someone you admire or you can even take a (movie) character. It may help to physically move to another spot to take their perspective while leaving your perspective behind at your original spot.
  • Literally let go of your observation and open up for another possibility. Say intentionally to yourself: “What I am seeing now is the result of my limited observation, I am giving it back (e.g. to the universe) and open up for another possibility”. Be curious and open to the new thoughts and perspectives that will come into your mind.

Habit 2: Seek genuine connection

You have probably heard of the expression “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Connecting to someone you trust and whom you can share your concerns and fears with is very important. The more you allow the conversations with this trusted person to enter a deeper level, the more you will understand what is behind your thoughts, what you believe about yourself and what is true and what is not true.

I call this type of conversation “genuine connection” and I wish for everyone to experience this regularly. Genuine connections allow you to fully open up, let your guards down and be vulnerable. They help you be yourself and learn about yourself.

You can practice genuine connection by showing a genuine interest in how others are doing and by sharing what is on your mind and in your heart. This will make it easier to enter the deeper level when the time is right.

 Positive thoughts and ‘warm emotions’ are a conscious choice in the present…


Now this is where the real fun begins. And yes, to a certain degree it is as simple as making a conscious choice in the present to think differently… Our mind gets energy from positive thoughts like gratitude, appreciation and working in alignment with our purpose (which I will elaborate further in the last article).

Positive thoughts result in feeling good and in having more energy.

In the same way as we have mental programs that link our experiences to a limiting belief or a fear, we can also have – and create! – mental programs that link what we experience to a supporting belief.

Supporting beliefs help you realise your dreams and live your full potential. And, same as with your limiting beliefs, they shape your perception. Again, it is the same as seeing a glass half full or half empty: When you believe you are able to do something, chances are you feel excited and confident, giving you exactly the right ingredients to perform well. One of my favourite supporting beliefs comes from Pippi Longstocking: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.”

For example: when you believe you can stand in front of a crowd and give a presentation about a certain topic (assuming you have prepared well both on the content and on the emotional level) you will give a great presentation. Your mind is providing you with the right amount of energy (some adrenaline for peak performance) and calmness (“I can do this”) to keep your fears out. You will get on stage and give a great presentation. And by doing so, you have confirmed your supporting belief and generated energy!

Let’s look at some habits to help us generate positive thoughts and emotions. These habits will help you stay above the line where you can stay in control of your own energy and your own life. The key is to practice gratitude, love, compassion and connection.

And yes, these habits are a conscious choice you make in the present…

Habits to keep our mental energy balanced by thinking positively

Habit 3: Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a very powerful feeling that has a significant impact on your sense of well-being and life satisfaction. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

Keep a daily gratitude journal in which you write every evening 3 things you are grateful for. It will help you look back on the positive events of the day, it will help you realise what you appreciate in life and in others and as a nice side benefit, it enhances your mood just before you fall asleep.

Habit 4: Breathe and feel good

People who regularly connect to their inner world, to others and to nature experience more love and are more grounded, more stable. An easy way to connect to our inner world is by using our breath, something that is always available to us.

Take a few moments a day in which you do a short breathing meditation. It helps to connect this new habit to things you do regularly (e.g. waking up, closing your front door, sitting behind your desk) to make it a sustainable habit. I personally got into the habit of doing it while waiting for something. Close your eyes, relax all your muscles and breath slowly in and out through your nose while you feel your belly rise and fall. Find a calming rhythm that works for you.

While you do this, observe how you feel: where you feel tension and where you feel relaxation, which emotions you are experiencing etc. In these moments of conscious breathing, you can also practice feeling gratitude and/or love if you want. You can take it step by step.


Habit 5: Give yourself some oxygen

From experience, I know many of us can benefit from learning to accept and love ourselves the way we are. Being human means being imperfect, so we better embrace our imperfections! It may sound complicated, but this simple habit can actually help you train your brain to think more accepting, more loving and be less judging about yourself.


Create a small sentence, a mantra, for yourself which you can repeat easily and often, like “it is the way it is, it is fine the way it is” or “I am enough”. You may want to put small reminders (e.g. post-its) in your house, your briefcase etc to remind you regularly. The more often you repeat/read or hear this sentence, the better.

Remember: You can only be good to others when you are good to yourself first. I always compare this with the safety instructions in an airplane, where they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Help yourself before helping others. Helping others by helping yourself. See it as your own personal safety instruction in life…

As you will have noticed, being aware of what our inner voices are telling us, how we are programmed and how that makes us feel is important to maintain a good mind energy balance.

For me, these habits are still work in progress, but I know and feel I am benefitting from them already. 

Enjoy being mindful of what is going on in your mind and your body!

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

If reading this article generated some positive thoughts in you 😊, please let me know!