Being in flow requires mental toughness. Flow, remember, is the optimal performance state of mind where you are totally immersed in the activity, lose sense of time, and perform at your peak with a sense of calm, clarity, and almost clairvoyance. In basketball terms you might anticipate where the ball, your opponents, and teammates are headed in advance of them actually heading there. This is the state of being where the elite take up residence. Nobody lives her permanently, but you certainly want to. Here’s how.
Start by becoming crystal clear about your goal for the game, activity, or endeavor. Deliberately practice the skills, technique, and teamwork required to perform your individual or collective masterpiece. Receive feedback from the work and coaches alike. Keep reaching just beyond your grasp without allowing yourself to get frustrated or overwhelmed. This is where the mental toughness component comes into play. You see, friend, you can’t get to flow without going through fail. You cannot get to flow without embracing fail.
Just like in video games, you fail, fail, fail, and fail again on your way to leveling up. The same is true in reality. You fail to flow. So, today, do not take the easy way ‘round. Figure out a worthy aim that is outside your reach. Develop mental toughness and control your stress response. Do not get down on self when you fail. Learn from the feedback from the work itself. Learn from the feedback of your teammates and coaches. Learn and make adjustments through new PA’s (productive actions). Fail to flow. Embrace this reality in 2019, friends. You will get better, not bitter, as you taste fail after fail after fail, on your way to more flow.
You can’t get to flow without going through fail. The mentally tough embrace this fact. Are you? Good…