“Flow”, The Comfort Zone, and The Power of Checking In

“In the end, even though we might feel powerless in situations outside our comfort zone, we have more power than we think.” – Andy Molinsky | Harvard Business Review

As we close out Q4, most sales reps and executives have one thing on there mind – “How did I perform in relation to my yearly goal/budget AND where does that leave me in terms of my goals and growth potential for next year?” However, the question highlights something deeper to me – the value and need for recurring evaluation and accountability. The value and need to check in.

One benefit of checking in is the abilitiy to identify what inspires you and when your most in flow. It has been researched by many, including Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, that one effective way to increase performance and fulfillment is to spend more time in flow.  This intensely focused mindset offers what Mihaly deems, “deeper enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.” For some reps and executives, leveraging flow state can be the difference between making or missing budget, or landing that client with ideal revenue potential. But how can you spend more time in this productive zone if your not consistently identifying your state and its effect on your performance?

If this self awareness seems foreign to you, it could be a red flag that the systems in your routine lack what is needed to identify whether your ahead or behind. Wing city as it was referred to by one of my first mentors in sales. Wing city is a very unforgiving and lowly place to reside and can have an insidious effect on a sales professional’s confidence and propensity to remain in their comfort zone.

So what’s the answer, and why do I need to highlight this before diving directly into The Check In? Simple. To identify the paradoxical relationship between control and freedom. While you may not want to buy a condo in Wing City, so to speak, you probably won’t want to set up shop on Rigid Island either. Each step of the way, at every fork in the road, you and I will need to “do the dance” – and re-calibrate what works and what doesn’t by balancing the need to control pitfalls, vices, while remaining fluid, curious, and playful with your approach and attitude. So let’s close this year out strong and open the next one even stronger with a commitment to cultivating this awareness in your game plan and choosing to dismantle age old questions like “What is it about the comfort zone that feels so good anyway?”, “Can I remain in this so called flow thing?”, and the inevitable “…so can I check in with you?”

Till next time.

Aston Fleming

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