“People in flow recognise and celebrate their uniqueness and with that recognition comes a magnetic energy which is totally irresistible”
I use the word ‘recognise’ deliberately as it comes from the Latin word ‘reconnoistre’ and means to ‘know again’.
Living in flow starts with getting to know yourself all over again.
That may sound strange and you may well be thinking ‘I’ve been in my body for 20, 30, 40+ years, I think I know myself pretty well’.
– I am going to challenge you on that!
Do you really fully appreciate all that you are and all that you have to offer right now? Do you recognise and celebrate your uniqueness and more importantly, do you let that uniqueness show?
Let’s think about how our life evolves from birth to adulthood.
As healthy babies in a loving family, we are loved and nurtured and our every need is met. Everything in our lives is positive and we think we are the centre of the universe.
Fast forward several months when parents are busy and other siblings are vying for attention and we find that our needs are not always met, We may experience times when we are hungry or anxious or need to be hugged and the busyness of life delays our parents meeting those needs immediately.
Doubts start to creep in about our own importance and our place in the world, negativity seeps into our very existence.
That bright shining light of positivity starts to dim a little as if we have covered it with an opaque layer of cling film.
Apparently, by the time we reach adulthood we have heard, on average, 250,000 negative messages about ourselves compared to just 25,000 positive ones.
Those messages are from the key people of influence in our lives -our parents, siblings, friends, teachers. They tell us we are not trying hard enough, we could do better, we are selfish, lazy, too loud, too quiet, too fat, too thin…… – the list goes on..
Our bright light of positivity now resembles a London street lamp dimmed by years of grime and smog.
Many of us arrive at adulthood lacking in confidence and self-esteem and not knowing where our natural strengths and talents lie. We seek advice and end up following the path that our parents or a well-meaning career advisor have mapped out for us.
We are taught that we need to ‘work hard’ to succeed and we are expected to be a ‘Jack of all trades’.
We end up in jobs that we are not inspired by and we learn how to improve our areas of weakness. We often feel ‘there must be more to life than this’.
If you feel like this you are out of ‘flow’ alongside 80% of British workers who are also not playing to their strengths at work. Like them, you probably feel tired, undervalued and unfulfilled.
So what is ‘Flow’?
Flow is the natural unfolding of our lives into wholeness and harmony.
It is the path of least resistance.
It is like a fast flowing river moving effortlessly towards the sea and easily navigating around obstacles in its way.
When we are in flow we are doing the work we love to do and using our inherent talents. We are totally aligned with the task in hand, it feels effortless and time just flies by. We are motivated, productive and ultimately, more profitable.
A day in flow is a delight, it doesn’t feel like hard work and at the end of the day, we feel energised and fulfilled.
When we spend most of our time in flow, playing to our strengths, we become TRUSTED in our area of expertise. We consistently deliver at a very high standard because it comes easily and naturally to us.
It’s like going to the gym and exercising our muscles – the more we go, the stronger they become. The more we play to our strengths, doing what we do best, the more of an ‘expert’ we become and we will be sought out for our expertise.
People in ‘flow’ see serendipity everywhere. They meet the right people at the right time. Opportunities open up inexplicably and doors open which otherwise would have remained closed.
They exude an air of confidence and purpose which is magnetic.
They are comfortable in their own skin and by so being, they make others feel comfortable in their presence.
When we are out flow, it feels like pushing water uphill, swimming against the currents. It is hard work, draining, it takes way too long to complete and we don’t feel inspired or fulfilled by the task.
When we spend most of our time out of flow, we feel stressed, drained and can often feel undervalued because we are not being recognised for our natural skills and strengths and not being given an opportunity to shine.
How to spend more time in that magical place of being fully in ‘flow’?
Start by taking a profile test that will highlight your natural strengths and challenges. There are many great tests out there and the one that turned my world upside down and totally changed the way I think, work and interact with others, is Talent Dynamics – a 10 minute online questionnaire that gives you a detailed report on your natural areas of expertise as well as your areas of challenge, your communication style and your ideal roles teams.
This is so much more than a profile test – it is a whole way of life.
Once you recognise who you are and where your natural strengths lie, you can start to engineer your life to play to those strengths more and more every day.
If you are interested just visit the home page of my website –
I also offer a debrief session to discuss how to apply this knowledge to your work and your life to spend as much of your time as possible fully in flow.
As you do, you will notice several things starting to happen –
- You will look forward to your work every day.
- You will feel more motivated and engaged.
- You will feel aligned with what you are doing.
- It won’t feel like hard work.
- You will feel energized rather than drained.
- You will start to be recognised as the ‘go to’ person in your area of expertise.
- Opportunities will open up for you.
- You will feel more valued and fulfilled.
- You will be more productive and more profitable.
So, when are you most in flow right now? This is not just about doing things you like, this is about being fired up, totally immersed in what you are doing and loving every minute. It’s when you consistently deliver at a high standard and you know you have done a great job.
When are you least in flow? What’s draining your energy, taking way too long? What tasks are you uninspired by? You may be able to do them really well but they don’t excite you and you don’t look forward to them.
So looking at both lists – how much of your time are you currently spending fully in flow at work?
Now, what could you delegate to enable you to be more in flow every day?
We often feel we can’t offload the jobs we dislike because that’s unfair to others, however, there are many people out there who love the jobs you hate and will be in their flow whilst doing them so you will be doing them a massive favour by delegating.
So many people are now freelance, so if you work on your own, you will be able to find someone to do your admin, VAT returns, web development, PR, Marketing etc.
If you work in a team there will be parts of your role that another team member will be much more naturally suited to and that will free up your time to do more of what you do best.
Fully understanding who you are at your core and playing to your strengths every day will totally revolutionise your life!
So start noting every day what’s taking you out of flow and when you are most in flow so you can start to engineer your time towards being 75-80% in flow every day and just watch your productivity and energy soar!
The simple steps outlined above will very quickly ‘fire up your flow factor’ and people in flow positively ‘glow’ and attract others to them who just want to be in their space.
When you truly appreciate all that you are, all that you have to offer and all that you can become, life becomes a joy.
I fully believe that most of us are only scratching the surface of our true potential and beyond where you are now lies an infinite potential that would astound you.
“When we strike a balance between the challenge of an activity and our skill at performing it, when the rhythm of the work is in sync with our pulse, when we know that what we are doing matters, we can get totally absorbed in our task. That is true happiness.” Martha Beck