Harnessing the power of your fourth colour energy, and other Jedi mind tricks
If you’ve participated in an Insights Discovery workshop for building self-awareness, you’ll know the power of understanding your lead colour energy, and how it can drive your working style, sense of belonging, and contribute to an inclusive workplace.
Harnessing our lead colour energy is a celebration of self-awareness in the workplace, an acknowledgement of who we are today and the wonderful strengths that got us there.
It’s straightforward and above the line, so to speak.
But when the mystical powers of the galaxy work to bring balance, they labour in the periphery, that liminal space between day and night, conscious and unconscious; unfolding their secrets before you only when you are ready to accept and to learn.
In the Star Wars galaxy, we refer to these mystical powers as Midi-Chlorians, but in the Insights universe, we call them, “your fourth colour energy.”
Your fourth colour energy is powerful, yet why do team members often ignore it and what can we learn from it?
Understanding personality types and learning about our fourth colour energy can be confronting if it interferes with how we view ourselves (often reflected in our leading colour energy).
For example, an activist may identify with their earth Green colour energy. They knowingly embody traits associated with Earth Green like behaving in a way that’s value-led, egalitarian and aware of peoples’ needs around them. This same person may feel confronted by the existence of their fourth colour energy: Fiery Red. They may feel uncomfortable acknowledging the traits traditionally associated with Fiery Red energy like assertiveness, a strong will and a healthy dose of decisiveness to see a project through.
While the activist may bristle at the thought that they are, on occasion, acting in this way, their colleagues nod their heads sagely, for they’ve seen this aspect of the activist on many occasions.
As Master Jedi Carl Jung once said, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”, but you must be brave, because when you accept and harness your fourth colour energy, you gain the power to heighten your level of self-awareness and change the course of your future
On this conspicuous day, let’s apply the Jedi code to harnessing your fourth colour energy...
1. There is no emotion, there is peace
During Insights Discovery workshops, it’s not uncommon to witness participants apologising for those times when they have leveraged their fourth colour energy.
It’s important to acknowledge when your view of your fourth colour energy is unfavourable.
For example, we already mentioned the example of a person who leads with Earth Green energy, apologising for the times when they’ve dialled up their Fiery Red energy, as though the dialling up of Fiery Red energy represents a negative way to act.
The same happens around the wheel. Those who lead with Sunshine Yellow may have a negative view of their Cool Blue colour energy, and so on.
The first step, no matter where you are on the colour wheel, is to make peace with that much maligned fourth colour energy.
- What are the upsides of those behaviours or traits you view as negative?
- When have those behaviours or traits helped you in your career?
As Obi-Wan once said, "Many of the truths we cling to depend on our point of view."
2. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge
It’s time to explore that fourth colour energy so you can properly recognise its value and its impact on your work environment.
First we must get reacquainted with the colour wheel and focus on the good day and bad day behaviours of your fourth colour energy.
Good day color energies (right) and bad day colour energies (left)
*It’s important to remember that the colour wheel does not list how people ‘are’, rather how they may be perceived by others.
Working with your fourth colour energy means getting out of your comfort zone and expanding your behaviours into areas that are well-beyond your personal style. You must be willing to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
No matter which energy you lead with, list times when it’s helpful for you to dial up your fourth colour energy…
If you’re lucky enough to already have an Insights Discovery personal profile, then you’ll have lots of suggestions to stretch and dial up your fourth energy. If neither you nor your team has experienced Insights Discovery, then continue here to learn about the programme
Remember: our bodies and brains are hard-wired to keep us within our comfort zones/safe places. That’s why embracing anything outside of our norm can feel scary. In these moments of discomfort, some could say we are going against our nature, but a Jedi would say that the discomfort we feel, in time and with the right training, becomes recognised for what it is: A welcome signal that we are learning and evolving.
This anxious feeling precedes the acquisition of knowledge, should we have the courage to embrace it.
3. There is no passion, there is serenity
Embracing your fourth colour energy is about self-awareness.
It’s easy, in the revelatory relief of understanding our leading colour energies to conveniently ignore the more challenging portions of the profile.
If you already have your own Insights Discovery personal profile, there are two areas that hold the key to understanding your fourth colour energy: Start with Opposite Type then look at Possible Blind Spots. Chances are, there’re connections to be made between these two areas.
For example, Padawan learner Anakin's blind spots may include using his own personal relationships and feelings, trusted by him, to the exclusion of more objective data when making decisions.
It’s not a coincidence that Anakin may see his opposite type, an objective thinker who’s concerned with the right answer so avoids quick decisions (e.g., his mentor, Obi-Wan), as someone who becomes immersed in researching data to support an isolated view and is slow at producing results.
Rather than feeling frustrated when encountering the behaviours indicative of his fourth colour energy and resisting them, Anakin would be wise to approach them as an open-minded observer and to view them as rich ground for ideas around personal development and enhancing behaviourial flexibility.
- Compare your blindspots with the good day and bad day traits in your fourth colour energy. Record any connections you see
- List one or two people who inspire you and who lead with behaviours or traits common in your fourth colour energy and reflect on things you could do to adopt some of these behaviours
4. There is no chaos, there is harmony
While there may be tension between one’s leading colour energy behaviours and their fourth colour energy behaviours, we have to remember that all four colour energies are needed to bring balance to the universe.
Tension inside creates tension outside. Lacking awareness or ignoring the impact our different colour energies can have on others can result in hurt feelings, miscommunication, inappropriate judgements and overall team dysfunction.
This is why we must actively work toward harmony, and the key is found in the Suggestion for Development section of your profile.
When you read your Suggestions for Development, which three statements stand out as things you need to develop?
For example, Anakin's Insights Discovery profile likely includes:
- Reflecting for a moment before blowing up other planets
- Slowing down and thinking things through before randomly strangling co-workers using The Force
- Recognising that he tends to manipulate people in “their” best interests, and the interests of the Galactic Empire
When working with your fourth colour energy, it’s a good idea to ‘grasp the nettle’ and ask those with whom you don’t have the greatest working relationship which suggestions they think you would most benefit from developing and why.
As uncomfortable as the idea of seeking this kind of input may feel, the trust, understanding and awareness it engenders – above and beyond the usefulness of the input you’ll glean – will do more to bring harmony to your inner mind and your outer environment than most other activities.
- Write the top three development suggestions you feel could bring you the most benefit (if you don't have a profile to refer to, skip to the next bullet or learn more here)
- Ask people around you which development suggestions they feel could bring you the most benefit
5. There is no death, there is the force
Like Midi-Chlorians, the power of that fourth colour energy often remains hidden throughout one’s life, yet has the power to drive decisions, thoughts and feelings, and impact relationships.
The extent of this influence, and whether the results will be positive or negative, is up to each individual’s level of awareness and willingness to open themselves up to the possibilities that acknowledging that fourth colour energy offers.
Imagine what it could look like if you allowed your fourth colour energy to support your leading colour energy….
This kind of exploration is not for faint of heart, but a hero’s journey is never easy, and who are we if not heroes of our own space sagas?
We leave you with this bit of Jedi-esque wisdom:
When you encounter inexplicable tension with a colleague, when you feel out of your depth and ready to throw in the towel, when you feel misunderstood, look to the wisdom of your fourth colour energy and let it guide you, let it shape you and let it lead you to places you could never have imagined without it.
Stay the course, young Padawan, and may the fourth be with you...