The other day, I took all 3 of my kids to the park and plopped them in swings. And as I watched their varying degrees of success with swinging, I had to think of you (and me) and how we approach “working hard” and “being productive” and “trying to make things work.”

I had one kid in a bucket swing. She had positively no idea what she was doing when it came to swinging. If I pushed her, she liked it, but as she slowed down, she started getting frustrated and just thrashing around trying to make herself go but making herself tired and even more frustrated in the process. As far as she was concerned, the only way to swing was if someone pushed her.

Middling needed an initial shove. And she knows there’s this pumping thing you have to do to swing, and that looks like bending your knees and stretching them out again at certain points. For brief moments, she was even theoretically doing it “right,” but it still wasn’t really enough to actually build her own momentum.

{Stick with me here. I promise this relates to you.}

Big kid is tall enough to kick back a little and recently learned how to legit swing on her own. You could say she’s “working” by kicking her legs back and forth, but she’s learned how to leverage her body weight, so she could swing a looooooooooong time before she’d actually get tired… and she was going WAY higher than her sisters, all on her own power.

Big kid is in FLOW on the swings. She’s not actively thinking about what to do. She’s got the FEEL of it now. She moves at the right moments, leans a little less if she just wants to enjoy the back and forth of the swing, and leans harder if she wants to go higher.

Flow can happen in your business too. But most of you are like my Middling.

You’re looking at how high other people are swinging, and you’re trying to replicate their moves and work harder (but you’re really just flailing your legs around back and forth). You’re trying hard (ahem, wearing yourself out). You’re scooping up the swinging people’s blueprints and tools and even their “mindset work.” You’re meditating and taking cold showers and journaling and throwing all the right-looking stuff at your head, and sometimes it even works a bit.

But, when you learn to feel your way into the right moves for you – the right habits, strategies, and methods – you’ll fly in a way that won’t have you constantly staring at the guy next to you and make you exhausted in the process.

In theory, this sounds great, right? Get in the swing of things in your business – pump when you want to go higher, but otherwise, have this really natural way of letting things just be fun and easy?

(I can hear some of you already: “oh boy… another person talking about how stuff should be easy… some of this shit is hard and definitely not always fun!” Yup, I get it. My Big kid didn’t always know how to swing. She straight up fell off of them a few times too [just like I did as an entrepreneur – face first into the dirt]. And just because you know how to get in the flow doesn’t mean things won’t come along that periodically knock you off course. But there’s this messy in-between phase where you recognize that more is possible but you’re desperately figuring out how to actually do that for yourself.)

So, how do you do that?

 

  • Learn to (and let yourself) feel more. Period. Practice checking in more often (multiple times a day) on how you feel (physically, emotionally, mentally, in your body, all.the.ways) when you do something. And get more nuanced than “happy, sad, or mad.” Use more words to describe it, because how are you supposed to know if something is better FOR YOU if you’re not sure how to describe what you had to begin with?! (hint: you can’t! which means you’re likely just reactively chasing what other people have told you is “better.”)
  • Take intentional action and note the results. Honestly, doesn’t matter much what you do at first, but actually CHOOSE something and pay attention to what happens with curiosity. Ask yourself, “What happens if I {do _________}?” instead of “I need to change XYZ, so I’m going to {do ________}.”
  • Stop STARING at the guy next to you, but go ahead and peek. Take a look at what someone “more successful” than you is doing. Pick one thing she’s doing to focus on trying, but then you make that YOUR choice (see previous point), pay attention to your own legs, and see what results YOU get (rather than getting pissed that “I’m doing it just like him! WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING?!”).
  • Be patient with yourself. If the swings (your business or whatever it is you feel like you’re dumping a lot of effort into) are pissing you off too much, go down the slide a few times (put some balance back into your life and go do something FUN).
  • Have someone who helps you become aware of what you’re doing. Middling does way better if I periodically point out that she’s actually got her body and legs moving in opposite directions, but it’s not like I can really teach her how to swing. She’s kinda just got to do the thing, and one day, she’ll naturally get it like her sister.
A coach is here to help you have the guts to practice over and over, make you aware of what you’re doing, and be patient with yourself until you naturally “get it.” I can’t make you get it, but I can help you stop making it so hard on yourself so that you give yourself the opportunity to get in the flow of things.