This week’s teachable moment came last week during one of my Life Coaching classes. We were using cards as conversation pieces and two of the cards I was prompted to speak about related to “going with the flow”. One was in general and the other specifically related to relationships. As I analyzed the pictures on the cards with the words “going with the flow” several things came to me. First it was confirmation. I realized how far I’ve come in the past couple of years. Going with the flow were the last words anyone who knew me would use to describe me. I had this need to be in control of all things at all times. I wanted things to go my way just the way I planned them. I was a an overbearing perfectionist with unrealistic expectations of myself and others.
It took a lot of effort to let go of my perfectionist ways. It was hard to transition and accept not being in control. Once I stopped fighting it and began to experience the benefits, I realized how much harder it had been to go through life trying to control everything. It was exhausting! I was always coming up with plans and solutions to scenarios and worrying about things that usually didn’t even come to pass. I thought by not planning I wasn’t prepared and somehow my life would be turned upside down with this unexpected negative situation I wouldn’t have a plan in place to deal with. It’s been several years since I’ve stopped trying to control every aspect of my life and even though there have been a few unexpected circumstances (less than ideal ones) I’ve still found ways to move forward with my life in a positive way.
The other thing I realized is that those prompts were reminders. Reminders that I am only in control of myself. I’m responsible for the way that I act and react to things. I’m in control of my thoughts and emotions. I can’t control others nor their actions or reactions to things. Sometimes the best thing that I can do is put my best foot forward without any expectations. I can’t anticipate how people will handle situations or expect them to react in a certain way. This allows for a more healthy relationship no matter who it’s with. I’m not holding them to any particular standard or expectation and they aren’t failing a test they didn’t even realize they were taking. I allow things to unfold naturally and embrace the experience.
To me going with the flow means waking up everyday with the intention of making it a great one. Going through the day with a positive outlook and attitude and equipping yourself to deal with things as they come. Not constantly thinking about what could go wrong and when. Not trying to control your environment or those around you. Looking for the best in people and yourself. Accepting yourself and others for who you are and where you are. It means enjoying the little things. Going with the flow is about knowing there’s a destination and enjoying the journey along the way.
You might enjoy this post on tolerance.
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What are your thoughts on this post? What does going with the flow mean to you? Do you tend to go with the flow? Is it easy for you to go with the flow or do you tend to swim against the current? What benefits have you experienced by going with the flow? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, please feel free to share in the comments section!