The balance between your skills and challenges at hand is one aspect of creating optimal opportunity for Flow State or being In-the-Zone.
It is applicable to any area of your life. Whatever it is that you are doing - starting a business, changing a career, racing a car, becoming a parent, making art, doing research, shopping for food - anything at all.
The key to understand is that this is all conceptual. Its all in your head. You give meaning to the situation you are facing, you give meaning to how hard you think it is and you decide how skillful you are at handling it.
There are no measurement tools that will specify exactly where you are on that balance. But you can create tools for yourself through the process of exploration.
What you need to understand here is that your perception of the challenge will cause you to produce a certain amount of stress chemical. How much - depends on your thoughts.
If you think its too much to handle - you will produce more cortisol and and you will be stressed and you will not be able to skillfully navigate the situation.
If you think you are too good for this situation, if you think you are over-qualified or if its beneath you - you will not produce enough stress hormone to get you to focus. You will be complacent and outcome will be sloppy.
You want to be in the center. You want to be excited looking at the challenge ahead because you know you have just the right amount of skills gathered for this occasion.
And if you do that - then you will be In-The-Zone. You will forget the time, forget to eat and at the end you will feel tremendous satisfaction.
And that is what we call Flow State. From that all creativity, innovation and productivity happen.
But what is required in order to be in that perfect spot on that scale?
You have to know who you are, where you going, where you have been to support your belief about your capabilities and you have to feel in control.
All those things take time and internal exploration.
The world is changing every day right now, and if you want to feel like you’re equipped to deal with all of it - you will need tools and help.
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Pauline Dougald is a Creativity Coach and an Artist, who lives in the space of a possibility. She writes about different aspects of Flow State as it applies to creative people.