6 Ways You Are Influenced by External Factors

During a coaching session this week, I gained insight into how my client was likely influenced by external factors that she didn’t even know existed. Our session began with her sharing the results of an exercise she did around defining her values.

The list had 70 values on it, and she gave 30+ of them a 10. As I dug into the values further, they all felt to have a similar undertone – lack of trust, confidence, and courage.

My intuition was guiding me to connect with her around how she might be feeling influenced by external factors. When your influencers are ideal for you, you have the best chance of making the most successful and sustainable changes. And that is what we are looking to do for her.

Influenced by External Factors

So, we dug into the six areas of influencers – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social, and environmental. Taking the time to understand how these factors affect you and exploring ways to remove the effects of the detractors, will give you the secret weapon to live an optimal life.

1 – Spiritual Influencers

Spiritual influencers involve your purpose, beliefs, values, gifts, desires, and goals about what you specifically want to do and how you want to do it. These influencers detract from energy when whatever you are doing causes you to question, or come into conflict with, your values, purpose, goals, connections, and beliefs.

Spiritual in this context is simply a word that describes the intangible and immeasurable items that influence your behavior and energy. These factors involve your sense of purpose and meaning in all aspects of your life. Spiritual influencers have a strong influence on the energy you bring because they are at the heart of what motivates and inspires you.

One of the best ways to determine your sense of purpose is to think about how you want to be remembered. Get clear on what contribution you want to have people remember you for.

2 – Mental Influencers

Mental influencers involve clarity around the task you are doing. Can you remain focused without also feeling distracted? Is this task interesting and does it have the right degree of challenge for you? These influencers detract from energy when you multi-task, stretch yourself too thin or have conflicting demands. The task actually is quite boring for you.

Many times, we can lose our focus. While we can work on centering to bring us back to the task at hand, ideally, we want to figure out the root cause of why we are losing focus in the first place. Did we not sleep well the night before? Exploring the factors that might be contributing to our lack of sleep might reveal potential solutions. Your environment might not be conducive for you and you need to add blackout curtains. The mental influencer is now being impacted by both environmental and physical influencers.

People often blame a lack of focus on poor performances. By understanding and identifying what is disrupting your focus, you can create a strategy around how to limit being influenced by external factors.

3 – Emotional Influencers

Emotional influencers involve how well your needs and desires are being met by what you’re doing. Are you excited about what you are doing? Do you feel emotionally in control and able to choose how you will respond vs reacting to the situation?

Emotional influencers detract from energy when you feel as if your needs, desires, and expectations are not being met. You might encounter a situation that you don’t understand or don’t know how to navigate.

It is important to understand what might be triggering your emotions. This understanding will allow you to create an action plan to deal with both the potential trigger and emotional response before it happens again.

4 – Physical Influencers

Physical influencers involve your awareness of what your body is telling you and how proactive you are in taking care of your physical self so you can accomplish any given activity. When you are not able to function optimally, energy is depleted.

Lack of sleep, poor eating habits, injuries, or illness can all detract from your energy. For a body to perform optimally, it needs to function optimally. Creating a healthy lifestyle allows for fewer triggers and setbacks due to physical influencers.

You might be laser-focused and highly driven by your sense of purpose. But if you are operating on one hour of sleep after eating plates of fried food and snacks, you’re likely not going to have much energy to take action. You might power through, but eventually, it will catch up. The more proactive you are about taking care of your physical self, the more your energy will be present where and when it needs to be used the most.

5 – Social Influencers

Social influencers involve having the right amount, and type of, interactions with others when going through changes. This may involve being surrounded by like-minded people who are excited about the same things you are. Or, you may thrive in a culture that emphasizes individual vs teamwork.

When social conditions aren’t optimal or when other people’s catabolic energy affects your own energy, your social influencers will detract from energy. If you truly enjoy working on your own but find yourself in charge of a project with strangers, your energy will likely be depleted. Even if you are excited about the work. The reactions of the people around you, the naysayers, can affect your own energy and enthusiasm.

People’s social needs and desires vary greatly. From a social perspective, engagement is enhanced when you have the right amount, and type, of interaction for you. There is not right or wrong way to feel. And the goal is not to label someone as introverted or extroverted. Instead, helping you define who you are and what you need to live an optimized life. This will help you avoid being influenced by external factors.

6 – Environmental Influencers

Influenced by External Factors

Environmental influencers involve your belief that your environment will allow you to complete or enjoy the task you are about to do in the way you would like to do it. Energy is detracted when you encounter an environment that prevents you from functioning in a way that is normal for you.

This has become a hot button for many of us during this time where working from home has become the norm. You might be working from a bedroom and outside the neighbor is having their trees trimmed. (This might indeed be a real example for me right now!) The noise is very distracting and hard for you to focus on. Your environment is not optimal for you. It is posing a challenge and your energy is being compromised because of it.

For a change in energy to happen, we need to change our perspective here. Working from home allows us to get other things done during the day and stay on top of chores that go by the wayside when we are in an office all day. Shifting our perspective and adjusting to find other engaging positives will help us keep going.

How to stop being influenced by external factors

Everyone has stress in their lives and most of us say we would like less. But what people really want is to have less of a stress reaction to the thing is occurring and zapping their energy. This type of stress reaction taxes the body and mind and usually results in people feeling as if they are at the effect of life’s circumstances. It is counterproductive and drains our energy.

Stress itself is not the enemy; it’s your reaction to it. What one person perceives as being stressful, another person might barely notice. The way you respond to anything you’re about to do is unique to you. How you approach a situation, or a set of circumstances is also very unique to you. What affects your energy in one of those situations may not in another.

Any time you are not performing to the best of your ability, something is blocking your energy. This is likely an influenced factor holding you back. All change starts with awareness. Create an awareness journal. When you feel you are being influenced by external factors, write them down.

These energy leaks can be stopped. When we can shine a light on them and address them head-on. More energy will be available and our ability to make changes will heighten.

If you read this and want to dig into what is influencing you, let’s hop on a call and chat. Our influencers can shift our motivation. We all deserve a full tank of gas. If yours feels like it is a little lighter than you prefer, take control. In my Design Your Dream Career program, we dig into our influencers in the motivation phase.

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