A few years ago, I was on the phone with my friend Dyana, talking about an old flame I’d recently reconnected with. We’d always liked each other, but somehow things between us had never materialized, due to timing and a variety of other factors.
Then, out of the blue, 10 years later, he reached out. We exchanged a few emails and texts, had a few deep phone conversations. He left flirtatious comments on my social media accounts. All signs pointing to interest… right?
Except the last few times we’d texted it had taken him a few days to respond. My attempts to clarify where we stood were met with evasive responses like, “we’ll talk soon.” And it had now been two weeks since he had made any effort to directly connect with me… even though he was flirting with me on social media.
I was confused, to say the least. And noticed I was spending precious energy trying to figure out what was going on. I reasoned with myself that he was probably very busy and overwhelmed with life right now, shouldn’t I extend a little mercy his way, even if I felt let down by his lack of presence, clarity, and engagement?
As Dyana listened to me share all the excuses I had for his disappointing lack of engagement, her words cut like a sword slicing through the air. Cleanly, efficiently, and fiercely loving, as the sword of truth often does.
“Bottom line, he’s not meeting you where you are ready to be met right now. He’s not showing up like you do, and frankly, you deserve to be fully met. That’s the kind of person you are in your relationships. He doesn’t seem to have that same value. Why are you making excuses for him?”
That hit me right in the gut.
We’ve all learned and applied the concepts of moving away from misaligned people, setting healthy boundaries, and surrounding ourselves with people who truly want the best for us.
But through the lens of being fully met, we gain much more subtle insight into what things in our lives are energizing us and what is unconsciously draining us.
Burnout, overwhelm, and fatigue are some of the top things high performing womxn report to me when I start working with them to help them expand their capacity to receive, hold, and handle MORE at their next level. (And if reading the word “MORE” in that sentence just made you tired and resistant, you’ve got a capacity problem. “More” doesn’t mean “doing more” or “piling more work onto your plate”.)
The concept of setting up relationships under the more nuanced lens of only giving my attention and energy to relationships where I could be fully met changed everything for me.
Uneven, ambiguous relationships, whether professional, platonic or romantic, are one of the top energy drainers in powerful womxn.
Show me a womxn with clear, direct, and equal energy-exchange relationships in her life and I’ll show you a womxn who is ROCKING her career and her life. When you’re getting the level of presence and engagement that you give returned to you equally, you never feel drained.
Show me a womxn with a bunch of half-in/half-out, weirdly confusing, indirect, half-engaged relationships and I’ll show you a womxn leaking energy all over the place, plateauing, with slowed down revenues and general dissatisfaction with where her life and business are going.
Here’s where most ambitious womxn like you go wrong with this though…
You ASSUME the tired feeling you always have, the overwhelm or lack of inspiration you feel is about, “just needing to find the right strategy/ist that will make things easier.” Or you think it’s about changing up your business model. Getting a raise or a promotion. Or needing better “time management hacks”. So, you hire the funnel expert. The time management or resume guru. You may fire your old team and hire a whole new one. You sign on to the famous strategist’s mastermind or invest in a VIP day with a business coach who is going to revamp your business model and your branding. Or you work with a “mindset coach”.
Except it doesn’t work. Not like it should. “Why?”, you ask yourself.
Because the problem isn’t your strategy. The problem is your capacity.
And there is no way that you’re going to expand your capacity to hold MORE wealth, goodness & impact if your relationships, structures, and environment are not fully energetically meeting you.
After my conversation with Dyana that fateful day many years ago, I realized that I had also been feeling drained and uninspired by my business during the time this wishy-washy dude showed up in my life.
In fact, I often privately thought that even though I wanted to impact a LOT more people, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to fit in MORE work into an already packed calendar. When I thought of going to the level in my career I wanted to go, I had visions of getting sick and driving my body to exhaustion. It felt like the only way to get there was to cause harm to myself. I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Do you know how many ambitious womxn complain to me about the SAME thing? SO MANY.
When you feel this way, you subconsciously resist your next level and then get frustrated because it’s taking so damn long. But how can you get there fast? You don’t even have the right ecosystem in place for your next level. Therefore, it IS impossible.
I quickly realized that the problem wasn’t my schedule. The problem was my thwarted capacity. And my capacity was thwarted because I wasn’t being fully met by the structures, people, and environments I was surrounding myself with.
This is what I call structural capacity, boundary capacity, and emotional capacity. They are three of the six most important capacities you need to expand to avoid hitting a major plateau.
You can keep focusing on your strategies, hacks, and blueprints at the expense of your capacity, sure. But I don’t care if Oprah and Richard Branson themselves are your strategic advisors — if you don’t prioritize your capacity, you WILL hit a hard plateau one day that is going to knock you on your @ss. It is UNAVOIDABLE.
And here’s the thing about setting boundaries with expanded capacity on your side: you aren’t just setting boundaries with who/what can’t meet you fully (it’s easy to blame other people for your current lack of capacity).
YOU are the one who allowed those kinds of uneven relationships in and tolerated them. So the most important place to increase your boundary capacity is in setting boundaries with your OWN SELF.
No more creating endless excuses for people who are shitty at matching your energy, giving them a bazillion chances to continue letting you down.
Nope, instead, face reality.
You’re saying yes to an energetically imbalanced relationship. You’re giving your devotion, precious time and attention to someone/something who does not value it enough to return it with the same level of energy. And you wonder why you feel like you can’t add one more thing to your plate?
At this point you have two options:
- Prioritize expanding your capacity so you have the wherewithal to set better structures and boundaries in place for the next level you (not current level you).
- Continue to hit a plateau in your capacity and wonder why this uplevel your soul wants feels so hard and impossible, why no strategies are working well, and why you always feel tired and overwhelmed.
To put it indelicately: SO many amazing womxn I work with have shitty people around them. Because they tolerate it and allow it.
And that adds up to a million little leaks that bleed you dry:
- The client you always have to chase.
- The romantic interest that confuses the F out of you.
- The parent who continues to emotionally abuse you even when you give them your devotion, time, and money.
- The colleague who perpetually shows up late to meetings or dumps you at the last minute.
- The team members who are happy with mediocre operations and get resentful when you call them into excellence.
All of these problem areas are impeding you. And it’s not because you don’t have the right strategies for these problem areas. It’s NOT your strategy. It’s your capacity.
You might be wondering, “what does being fully met even look like?” You might have been tolerating shitty people around you for so long that you have forgotten.
Allow me to give you some examples. When you’re fully met by:
- Your relationships: you walk away feeling energized and nourished by your interactions.
- Your business model: you’re being supported by it instead of being ruled, restricted, or repressed by it.
- Your clients/community: you could spend 4 hours talking to your client, several times a week and never feel drained. They show up with 100% ready to give on a call, instead of expecting you to pull all the weight and get their results for them.
- Your team: everyone is playing to their excellence, as passionate about your vision as you are, and you’re not constantly having to pull people up or micro-manage them.
Many years ago, when I asked myself this question, “am I being fully met everywhere in my life?”, I was surprised to discover that I had power leaks ALL OVER THE PLACE.
So, I began a life project of weeding out all the relationships, whether professional, familial, friend, or romantic that were not fully showing up with the same level of dedication, presence, and clarity that I was showing up with.
And yes… in that process, out went my communication with that guy. And when I spot that in anyone I am curious about, I move my energy on quick. I send the other person love and hope they figure their shit out for their own sake. And I set my sights only on those who want to show up and meet me fully.
The energy, mental clarity, and extra juice that came back to me when I did this was indescribable.
I didn’t feel exhausted to start new projects in my business anymore. My CAPACITY to hold, handle, and receive, more goodness in all areas of my life expanded exponentially. I was reaching new levels of connection and depth in all my relationships. Holding a busier schedule but still feeling excited and energized by everything on my calendar. And had plenty of time for self-care and down time, too.
Now that I’m clear, in my Queendom there is no room for wishy-washy. There is only room for direct, fully present, and clear. It’s a non-negotiable.
**A side note that can’t be ignored**
You don’t have to be bitter about or angry at people not meeting you fully. (Though if you feel angry, disappointed, and let down by their false promises, by all means, feel your anger fully and process it.)
But not everyone has the CAPACITY to meet you fully.
They might mean well, but they aren’t capable. Period.
This is not about having a tit-for-tat mentality or keeping track of what people are doing for you. All relationships have ebbs and flows, where one person is giving more than the other for periods of time and vice versa.
What matters is that the overall energy reciprocation balances out.
What you do have control over is how you set up your world so that you’re fully met.
You know what happens when you do this?
The progress that has felt like molasses, the pivot that has felt like turning a massive 10,000 ton ship around suddenly warps into lightning speed.
Because it’s not your strategy, honey. It’s your capacity.
Want to expand your capacity by returning some of the energy you got from this post? Tell me in the comments what you got out of it!
In love and capacity,