The Energetic Spectrum of Choice

Before diving into this week’s exploration of choice, let’s do a brief recap on energetic signatures.

Catabolic and anabolic energy are present in every thought, belief, value, emotion, action and experience you are having and have ever had. You draw on each of these elements and experiences—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—to choose the mindset with which you show up in any given moment.

Catabolic or fear-based energy injures: it is destructive, draining and potentially very toxic to you and those around you. Anabolic or love-based energy heals: it is constructive, invigorating and nourishing. It helps you lead yourself and others forward to achieve productive, beneficial results.

So how do you recognize the energetic signature of your mindset—from highly catabolic to highly anabolic—through the specific choices you make? Your language reveals your consciousness.

Many of us walk around feeling like we have limited choices in many aspects of our lives. Take notice of how many times a day you say the words have to, should, and need to. Whenever you feel like you MUST do something, in the language of the Energy Leadership paradigm, you’re in the first of the seven levels of energy—you’re choosing to be a victim to your thoughts or circumstances.

When you’re faced with a task or situation, there are six basic ways you can respond: I won’t, I have to, I need to, I want to, I choose to or I get to.

The Energetic Spectrum of Choice


When you say “I won’t” do something, you’re saying that you have no power, that life happens to you, no matter what you do or believe. You don’t believe that you have a choice. You also don’t really think there’s anything in it for you—so why do it? 


If you say “I have to,” you’re taking the short term perspective. You “have to” complete the task in front of you or you will experience dire consequences. You feel forced to do it and have very little to no choice.


The third response, “I need to” is a more powerful place to come from. Here, you’re aware of your choices and you seek to fill a particular need through the opportunity offered by the challenge presented to you. This perspective brings greater likelihood of success, but it’s still catabolic, because you don’t feel like you’re fully at choice.

These three responses involve either inaction or forced action. Since you aren’t energetically bought into the situation, goal or project and because you are investing catabolic energy in it, you are also following a recipe for failure or at best a less than optimal result. In these catabolic levels, even though you may think you are choosing, at your core, you have either chosen not to do it or not to do it well.


The next response, “I want to,” is anabolic, because it indicates that you are mostly at choice. But, “want” still comes from a place of lack. And so there is still greater ground to be gained by shifting your energy to align with the fifth option.


When you respond this way, you feel you have complete choice. There’s a powerful connection between who you are and what you do. And as great as this place is, there’s actually a six choice that’s even higher on the spectrum—one which demonstrates I’m already in a state of gratitude for the blessing of the opportunity at hand.


I get to wake up. I get to be alive for another day. I get to brush my teeth. I get to take a hot shower. I get to scoop cat litter. I get to walk my dog. I get to prepare my breakfast. I get to clean up the dishes. I get to meditate. I get to exercise. I get to earn money. I get to be of service. I get to go to sleep. I get to love and be loved.

Grounded in the mindset of “I get to,” your life becomes one of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy. A journey to wholeness anchored in BEING not DOING. Yippee skippee, ain’t life grand!

So how do you shift from feeling you “have to” to knowing you “choose to?” Come from a place of knowing you already have everything you need. Choose to experience all life has to offer rather than just filling a void in response to perceived lack. 

While it’s not always easy to do, it is completely possible. How about choosing to take the first baby step in that direction today? You’re worth the effort.

To consider how you are fueling your choices personally and professionally, sign up below for a 60-minute complimentary coaching session.

Web copy used by permission. No reproduction or retransmission is permitted without expressed written consent of Bruce D Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). ©2006-2016 Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)


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What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

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What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”

“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”

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About djwlifecoach

As a retired board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I continue to share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog and radio episodes help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more and access FREE resources at For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
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