In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.-wikipedia
We like flow-that state of being when you don’t even have to think about what you are doing because you are so in the zone you live, eat and breathe every minute and life is good. But we cannot always live in a state of flow (although we would like to) because that is not the real world. The real world is full of ups and downs, high point, low points, and flat lines in between.
I have been feeling pretty good about life in general until a couple of months ago when my work responsibilities shifted and I rolled my ankle 3 weeks before my goal race. Suddenly my state of flow was interrupted and ever since then I cannot seem to find my mojo. I like to define mojo as my positive, I can do it attitude, in spite of ridiculous schedules and life’s craziness. I somehow managed to hold it together to train enough to be able to complete my goal race, but it zapped the positivity right out of me. My ankle is steadily healing, but after 6 weeks of training at less than 100% I am tired of what I refer to as flat lining it.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I realized I am just completely disengaged at this point. I am not excited about my training and it is taking all of my power to not eat an entire quart of ice cream right now. It is not a “spiral of doom” which hits on occasion, it is simply, “I really don’t care about this so what is the point?” I am having a hard time seeing the value in my efforts. I feel as if I am not seeing progress (other than my healing ankle which is progress) and it feels like everyone else around is having fun and enjoying what they are doing and I am not.
It feels like everyone else is part of the group that is going places, and I am circling around them, on the perimeter, working hard but going nowhere. I suddenly feel like an outsider, even more so than I like to be, and it is feeling more and more like I am an island. I thought I could be independent and stay self motivated, since I have learned so much, but I am not ready to go off on my own and do my own thing without feedback and support. I don’t want to be an island.
There are two things that seem to be missing for me right now.
I Need a Coach.
I realize I do need encouragement, support and feedback. I need someone to tell me how I am doing and I need someone to be interested in my success on a day to day basis. I need a coach.
I Need to Belong.
I also need to feel part of a community and right now I feel as if I do not really belong to the communities I have joined. A community is more than a place and a bunch of friendly people. A community offers support, encouragement and makes you feel as if you belong. A community is more than a scheduled appointment or a 9-5 job. It is definitely more than a Face Book page.
It is interesting to me that the last three community events I attended not one person welcomed me. I realized that it is the little things that count and I am looking for a community that I don’t have to work at to feel welcome.
Now that the newness is gone and the excitement of learning new things is gone and all that is left is the hard work I realized I need some external motivation. For a while I fought it because I felt like that made me weak and I should be able to just do it on my own, but the reality is I cannot and I do not want to do it on my own.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
It is about getting back to a state of flow so that I can get back to progress without the distraction of dissatisfaction and disappointment every time my expectations are not met. It is about finding balance and my tribe.