Writing your first blog post can be a daunting experience. Particularly if you aren’t in a state of flow. You overthink everything. It’s as if it is going to be read by millions and has to be perfect. You are finally putting your voice into the world. Something you may have dreamed of for a long time. And now that the time has come you draw a blank.
‘Wait a minute……I don’t have anything to say’. What about the endless notepads full of writing? Or the numerous times you gave your opinion on a topic that meant so much to you? What about the trillion ideas flashing through your mind? And now that it comes to the crunch you have nothing to say? Seriously, do you really have nothing to say?
I could write all day and night about topics that mean so much to me. But ask me to write my first blog post and I completely draw a blank.
Why is that?
In my case, it is mainly pressure I put on myself. I want it to be good, perfect in fact. I want it to capture the mind, to be compelling and to flow with ease.
All of these wants create pressure. Like most people, I don’t operate well under pressure. When I am relaxed, I don’t need to think about what to write. The information just flows from me. It’s as if the perfect post is already inside of me, waiting to come out but pressure blocks it.
Pressure, stress, fear, worry, anxiety, all have a way of blocking the flow. We lose our stride in these moments.
As a result of all the pressure I put on myself, I not only block my flow, I do something else that keeps me in this high pressured state. I procrastinate! I jump from one aspect of my ego (pressure) into another (procrastination). All the while I’m thinking, ‘I’ll do it another time when I’m not feeling so much pressure’. But the longer I procrastinate, the more pressure I feel. I know the inevitable has to happen.
The tide of pressure and procrastination carries me along for some time. I could put something off indefinitely because of this. When all I need to do is leave this uncomfortable wave and step into my flow.
Stepping into your flow
Flow is where the magic happens. Things happen more easily and effortlessly in flow. Flow is where the writing, as the word suggests, flows. Our best work happens when we are relaxed and are in our flow.
While it sounds easy to step into your flow, the reality for most people is they don’t know how to. In fact, I’d say most people can’t define what flow is, let alone step into it.
Flow is energy. It is spirit. It is where you operate at your best with no mental or emotional distractions. That is, no bad thoughts or yucky feelings getting in your way.
Flow is when you are completely aligned with this energy/spirit. The law of attraction happens here. The reason why most people can’t access their flow is because they are consumed by aspects of their ego i.e. their thoughts, emotions and habits. We generally run on automatic pilot.
Here are some ways to step into your flow and stay in it.
5 Ways to Step into Your Flow
Before you begin your task
1.) Set your intention
The first thing you should do when stepping into your flow is set your intention for what you want to achieve. Think about the task at hand and set your intention. Your intention can be to find a solution to a problem, begin a project or get some creative inspiration.
The week before Christmas, I was so busy and distracted. I realised that if I didn’t sell the boxes of calendars I had printed, I would be left with a big loss for the end of the year. I knew I had to sell a large number of calendars within four days. It was a big task, but I set my intention and let the universe do it’s magic.
By the end of the four days, with minimal effort on my part, I had 7 calendars left out of a few hundred. That is the power of intention. Let the universe bring the opportunities to you, then you just act on them.
2.) Do anything other than the task at hand
Once you set your intention, do anything other than the task at hand. Yes, you heard me right. Get up and walk around, go for a drive, do some exercise or take a bath. I know this may seem counter intuitive but trust me, it works.
If you begin the task at hand you are going to use logic. This is the opposite of flow. Creative inspiration doesn’t come from logic. It comes from energy, spirit, universal consciousness. Call it what you want but just know that it doesn’t come from logic. You can use logic after you get the creative inspiration or solution to your problem to put your plan into action.
When I wrote my first book, I applied this process throughout. In fact, you might as well say that the entire book came about because of this process. Every time I faced a block in my writing, I did something relaxing and low and behold I got my creative inspiration to move forward.
3.) When it comes, act immediately
After your walk, drive or bath and the creative inspiration or solution to your problem pops into your head, act immediately i.e. pull out a pad and pen and write down what comes to mind. You’ll get most of the solution to your problem here.
When Chris Rea was driving home for Christmas into his head popped the idea for a song. He pulled into a petrol station and jotted down some notes. My all time favourite Christmas song, Driving home for Christmas, was born. And the rest as they say, is history!
Tom Ford apparently took four baths a day!
When you are in the task
4.) Focus fully
Now that you have received your creative inspiration and you have acted on it immediately, you want to stay in the flow to take it to completion. The only way to stay in the flow is to focus on the task at hand.
To stay focused you need to observe what is happening in front of you. When your mind wanders you direct it back to fully focusing on the task.
W. Timothy Gallwey had such amazing success as a tennis coach, that he applied the same principles of observation to the business world with similar astounding results. He taught people to focus in both tennis and business by observing fully what was in front of them.
In tennis, he instructed the person he was coaching to observe the ball as it touched the racket, as it moved through the air and as it came for their racket. His method was to continuously observe what was happening in front of them. This clever technique enthrals the senses so much, that no energy is given to thoughts or emotions, only to the task at hand.
Amazing results where achieved with this and people really upped their game in both sports and business. By focusing fully on the task at hand, you are quietening the interruptions of your thoughts and emotions, which take you out of your flow. They key is to stay in your flow by focusing fully on the task at hand and directing your mind back to it when it wanders.
5.) Don’t break the flow
I don’t know about you, but when I am in my flow my ego can get a little bit annoyed. It gets impatient because it is not in control and wants me to hurry a task or finish it completely. But the cardinal rule of flow when you are in it is, ‘don’t break it’! Seriously! It is so hard to get into flow, why break it? All to satisfy a little thing called ego, who just wants you to make a cup of tea, put the washing on, day dream out the window. You’ve got to tame the beast to let the magic flow.
We all need to get of the merry go round of life and step into our flow. The magic happens in flow. If you let your magic flow, you will be surprised at the potential locked up inside of you. This potential will spill from you like sunbeams from heaven.
The next time you put pressure on yourself to do something perfect and you find yourself procrastinating, step into your flow and allow your magic to shine brightly on the world.