Sometimes clients express frustration or "getting stuck" when setting goals, staying motivated when completing a task, or procrastinating under time deadlines. With the world moving fast and instantly changing we often find ourselves being impatient and come to expect instantaneous images, video, texts, solutions to problems, and various other snippets of information.
During these times, it is important to look within. You often don't know your own strength! Taking moment to be still, or "staying in the zone". Life's satisfaction is rooted in knowing and activating our strengths. And this is what “flow” offers, the heightening of attention, the sharpening of strengths, and the self-transcendent experience that deeply elevates existence. Flow is the term first used by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to describe “highly focused mental states” that are characterized by almost complete absorption in an activity that is inherently rewarding (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990).
Flow happens when what you are doing totally captivates you, enthralls you, that for a moment (and sometimes hours), your awareness and actions merge, and movements flow effortlessly without conscious thought, direction, or intervention. During this time you are "in the zone" or hyper-focused. Your skills almost perfectly match the demands of the task and you experience the challenge in front of you with happiness that perfecting your strengths provides. As you do, self-consciousness, or self-doubt and self-depreciation, quiets and you feel what can only be described as a “passive mind, and active body.” And while the flow is often attributed to extreme athletes, the most creative minds, and exceptional performances, the experience is universal as we are all wired toward self-actualization or the realization of our true self or potential.
In flow, or being "in the zone", feelings of connection with something larger, an increased sense of awareness, heightened strengths, and a unique feeling of euphoria are commonly reported. Flow is commonly described as those “peak moments” that make life worth living. Think about one of your greatest accomplishments, the time, dedication, and skill that was needed to complete your goal.
In this blog series entitled "Looking Within: Staying focused and present", we will examine many aspects of goal setting including setting realistic goals, setting healthy goals, having belief in your skills, reaching your goals, creating and facing challenges, being present-focused, and taking a risk.