4 Powerful Ways To Get Into The Zone
The time has come for you to step in front of a large group of investors, potential clients or peers. You’ve spent months researching, learning, practicing and running through this moment in your head like an actor rehearsing his/her lines. But you’re not an actor, perhaps you’re an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur who knows there’s a lot riding on the success of your presentation.
Whether you are an athlete or a business professional, these are the times you need to be the master of your mind and override the fear and nervousness that leads to moments like this. Even after all of your planning, there was one critical step, get in the zone. Often also described as being “in the zone,” reaching this flow state allows an individual to experience a loss of self-consciousness and a sense of complete mastery over their impending performance.
The zone is that place in your present moment when you are “all in” or in a state of complete immersion in an activity. Nothing else matters but the focus on the task at hand. Actors and public speakers to professional chess players and baseball Hall of Famers all know that their performances are flow positive psychologically driven. These same pros also know that, if they are not in the right state of mind, their performance will be less than their best.
Reaching a state of flow takes time, discipline and practice, but it’s also something that all professionals should work to achieve. Getting into the zone begins with harnessing the power of these practices:
1. Visualization: The practice seeing the results of your efforts before they even happen is a powerful one. By not only having complete focus on the activity itself, but also on the positive result and outcome, is a great way to cultivate the habit of being in the zone. Studies have shown that visualization is a critical factor to success in performance and those who utilize it will reap the benefits.
2. Have Clear Goals: Having clear knowledge of your goals before you set foot into an arena or boardroom is a must for those looking to enter their zone. Especially challenging goals require even more concentration and possessing the ability to hone strict attention on that goal will lead you to flow. The act of “being in the zone” means having all awareness laser-focused on one goal and having clear knowledge of that goal is critical.
3. Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome: This is affliction has been known to hit all of us at some point or another. But those who are experiencing the mind mastery of being in zone are not swayed by distractions or “shiny objects.” Allowing your mind to tune in on the immediate task, and only that task, will allow distractions to fall away and then benefit will be being completely absorbed in the moment.
4. Practice: Like any other skill, working on finding flow and getting into the zone takes time, patience and practice. Finding your flow will not come into play the very first time you attempt a new practice or performance. It may not fall into place even after your fifth…or hundredth. Finding your flow comes when your subconscious mind can automatically kick in the knowledge of what is about to occur and the worry of trying something new falls by the wayside. Practice, persistence and perseverance are all needed when working to hone the skill of finding your professional flow.
Studies have shown that actively working and performing in the zone leads to overall improved performance. Researchers have also found that cultivating flow can lead to other benefits like enhanced learning, creativity and skill development. Before you allow yourself to think that the mental feat of getting into the zone is limited, or exclusive to, only to top performers and star athletes, just know this; anyone achieve flow. But at the end of the day, believing you can achieve flow will get your efforts headed in the right direction.