Soul-Sucking or Soul-Stirring?

A good friend of mine had to let one of her best friendships go.

They’d had a good run. But recently, things got hard. This friend was dragging her down with negativity and selfishness, constantly putting my friend in the position of cheerleader. Worse, she stole my friend’s joy about her own happiness and success. This left no room for my friend’s own needs in the relationship.

The whole deal just became a chore.  My friend left their meet-ups sad, cranky and tired. Like a black cloud had descended upon her. It would take her days to recover.

That, my friend, is soul-sucking. Something that literally sucks the life right out of you.

We all have soul-sucking relationships, not just with people but with behaviors and tasks, too. Maybe yours include doing your books, binging on unnecessary purchases or sweets–both of which you know you’ll regret later– just to make yourself feel better, writing blog posts…or cleaning the toilet.

Soul-sucking is not always obvious. Sometimes it disguises its clever self as need, ambition, progress or even love and commitment.

  • The social media you religiously post with a sigh because you think you have to do it to promote your business.
  • The many “pick your brain” coffee dates you commit to because you can’t say no.
  • The client who pays a ton of money but fights you at every turn…and doesn’t appreciate you.

We often confuse soul-sucking for soul-stirring. We confuse difficult work, anger, drama or resentment with passion. (TWEET THIS!)

Why? Maybe because we believe that anything that keeps us busy moves us forward.  That, if it’s difficult, it must be worth it.

And from personal experience, I once believed a very toxic, soul-sucking relationship was soul-stirring because it was dangerous, unpredictable and volatile. I mean, fireworks, right? Surely that’s love! Except all those sparks only burned me over and over again.

What does soul-sucking look and feel like?

  • You approach it as an obligation rather than a joyful necessity.
  • Time stands still when you do it or are with that person. It seems interminable.
  • You would never do it if you had a choice.
  • Stomachache. Anger. Regret. Dread. Shame.

But what does soul-stirring look and feel like?

  • Time flies by and you’re in the zone.
  • You get more creative, innovative and energetic.
  • You feel alive, tingling, and utterly free.

If you feel overwhelmed, take a thoughtful look at how you spend your time–and with whom you spend it.

Here are some tips for banish soul-sucking behaviors from your work and life:

Maybe you’ll find that what you thought was good for your business….or soul….is actually killing it, little by little. 

It’s time to recommit to the good kind of soul drama!


Learn More With Maria

Ready to join the revolution?

Find out how empathetic your brand is RIGHT NOW, and join our newsletter to start shifting your perspective and transforming your impact.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.