Connect with us


How to Expand Your Capacity to Get More Out of Life



Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve heard it before. We all have the same number of days in a year and hours in a day. But some people seem to get more done within those confines of time. Others read books about productivity and try to get more out of themselves and their teams. Strive to become more efficient. Or add even more to the to-do list. But if we’re already maxed out, how do we reach higher levels of success?

We seem to be in a constant cycle of bouncing off the walls of what confines us. The calendar, the clock, the to-do list, deadlines, demands, expectations, schedules. And then try to bust through those walls by working harder or more efficiently. We think we’re working leaner and smarter but really, we’re often just trying to fit more in. What if there was another way?

Growing up, every Summer my family would vacation on a lake with sandy beaches lining the edge. One of my favorite things to do, with a plastic shovel in hand, was to dig a hole in the sand as deep as my little hands and plastic shovel could make, a few feet from the water’s edge. Then, I’d carve out a trough from the water’s edge all the way to my newly formed reservoir. Then wait and observe as the water traveled up the sandy trough to the hole I had dug. That simple childhood game was hours of fascination and more importantly, teaches us an important lesson about capacity.

You see, time is limited. The calendar is set. Our to-do lists max out. But capacity is unlimited. The way to think unlimited is to think in terms of capacity. What that childhood activity teaches us is that when we make space, in this case a hole and trough, it gets filled. Sure, time is limited and there’s a set number of days and hours available to us all. But the capacity we create within those limitations and how it gets filled is unlimited.

“Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives.” – Albert Einstein

Strive to be bored

Like the hole in the sand, you have to make space for something else to come in. Working harder, more efficient and increasing productivity isn’t always the answer. Perhaps unplugging the drain is. Instead of trying to accomplish more, try delegating, automating and eliminating. Instead of trying to cram more in, get rid of things in order to make space. Or as I like to say, strive to be bored. What if you had time to twiddle your thumbs? Imagine what you’d have time for if you delegated, systematized or got rid of things that were taking up your time. 

That includes tasks and yes, maybe some customers. That’s why it’s always best to work only with your ideal customers. Why? Because we all know the customers we bend over backwards for, jump through hoops for, who take up the most of our time, are always the least profitable. On the other hand, our ideal clients are a breeze to work with, enable us to do our best work, are the most profitable and leave us time to move on to other customers. 

As high achievers, we often get caught up in the busyness trap. Not comfortable with an idle moment, we fill it up with less than optimal use of our time. We think we have to stay in a state of overwhelm to feel pushed to our limits. 

However, if you don’t have time, how can you expect more of what you want to come in? What message is “no more time” saying to the prospect of more work? More success? If you keep saying to yourself, “I don’t have enough time”, what else are you saying you don’t have enough of? Money? Customers? Downtime? This is, at its root, a scarcity mindset. Because you haven’t created any space for more. Time is limited. Your capacity is not.

Preserve your energy

Your energy is a reservoir. That’s why self-care is so important to your success. People burn out for a reason. They push themselves beyond their capacity. Like trying to fix the time constraint issue by being more productive may not be the answer, preventing burnout by reducing stress may not be the answer either. Reducing stress is certainly part of the equation. But these are outside-in approaches; trying to control external circumstances first. A better approach is inside-out.

Instead of trying to reduce the outside circumstances that cause burn out, how about increasing your capacity for what you can handle? That’s where self-care comes in. Instead of a reservoir in the sand waiting to be filled, think of your energy capacity in the reverse. You start with a full reservoir of energy and well-being that you need to keep filled in order to have something to give out.

Being in business is draining. Life is draining. Especially these days. Don’t let your tank get too low. Your energy and well-being is a capacity to be refilled and expanded. What does that for you? Time off? A hobby? A bike ride? Walk on the beach? If you think about your energy as a capacity and you don’t let it run too low, it may not take much to feel refilled. Maybe a short break. Perhaps lunch with a friend. An hour massage would be nice.

“Either you run the day or the day runs you” – Jim Rohn

Develop personally

“Your level of success rarely exceeds your level of personal development”. That quote by Jim Rohn may be some of the truest words ever spoken. Certainly when it comes to success. It’s up to you to develop yourself personally, to grow and stretch in order to create the capacity for more success to come. 

Entrepreneurship and self-employment are like personal development on steroids. The rate by which we have to rise to the occasion, learn the next new thing, have our buttons pushed and recover, and find the best in ourselves all the time is at warp speed. How could our personal development not be a capacity within ourselves?

A capacity that needs constant nutrition to expand and to grow. Which is why we must always be developing not just our skill set, but ourselves. Our mindsets, our attitudes, our ability to persevere, our creativity, our innovation. The ways in which we need to grow are unlimited which is why we must think in terms of unlimited capacity.

What I know for sure is that success is not limited. What’s available to you is not limited. But you have to increase your capacity to handle more through constant personal development in order for there to be room for more success. Thinking in terms of what limits you will keep you where you are. Thinking in terms of capacity, and the never ending ability to increase capacity for more to come, will help you think unlimited. 

Small business consultant, and speaker, Jeffrey Shaw is the author of LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible and The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success. Jeffrey's TEDxLincoln Square talk is featured on and he's the host of the top-rated podcast, The Self-Employed Life. Please connect with Jeffrey at or Instagram.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



Image Credit: Canva

Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

Continue Reading


How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



Image Credit: Unsplash

It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

Continue Reading


Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



Image Credit: Unsplash

People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

Continue Reading


5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
Continue Reading