What is 'Going With the Flow?'
How do you deal with change and uncertainty in your life?
Do you avoid it or embrace it?
You've probably heard the term “go with the flow”, but what does it actually mean?
Going with the flow is both a mindset and a lifestyle choice.
When you choose to go with the flow you’re essentially giving up the illusion of control.
You no longer resist reality, but align yourself with it.
You release your concerns and fears about the future and live fully in the present.
Going with the flow doesn't mean having no concerns or worries.
It means changing the way you approach and overcome those problems.
Most of the fears you have will never come true.
When you worry about what might happen in the future, you’re cheating yourself of your now.
And that's the only power we have. The power of now.
If you fulfill your obligations today, at the present time, you don’t need to worry about the future.
It’s not always easy but it is possible.
Once you’ve trained your mind to go with the flow, life becomes easier and you experience less stress.
Instead of letting your internal dialogue control you, you just “let things flow”.
Is Going With the Flow a Good Thing?
You can influence events around you but you can’t control them.
Everyone experiences disappointment, setbacks, and catastrophe.
If you feel bad every time something doesn’t work out as you expected, your life will be full of worry and fear.
Going with the flow says “I can't control everything that happens but I can choose how I respond".
That's where your power lies. The ability to choose your response.
You remain as calm and relaxed as possible while you focus on your solution.
When you decide to go with the flow you instantly feel lighter.
Your mind clears, you become more resourceful, and you can better handle any obstacles that come your way.
So is going with the flow a good thing?
It depends on the context, but choosing to go with the flow puts you at a much greater advantage than if you don't.
5 Reasons Why You Should Go With the Flow
1. Less Stress and More Enjoyment
When your mind is full of memories from your past and worries about the future can you be effective in the present?
Stress is the cause of many illnesses, both mental and physical.
You can’t be stressed and enjoy your life at the same time.
The choice is yours. Which one would you prefer?
2. Better Health
Stress floods your mind and body with cortisol, a chemical released from your brain that manifests in a sensation called “stress”.
Many times stress and anxiety are caused by the differentiation between how things are and how you want them to be.
When you clear your mind of problems, you become more productive and happy.
Your energy levels, quality of sleep, bioactivity, and general outlook on life all improve.
These benefits come when you worry less and choose to go with the flow.
3. Unexpected Opportunities Come Your Way
Going with the flow takes you in new and exciting directions.
New opportunities come up that you never would have seen had you been tunnel-visioned on a set outcome.
Taking advantage of these opportunities can lead you toward unimagined success.
Meeting one new person, having a conversation, or being exposed to a new idea then ACTING ON IT can radically change the direction of your life.
Being in the flow opens your eyes to these opportunities.
You wouldn’t have seen them had you been so fixed on a single expectation of outcome.
Recognize them when they come and follow them all the way.
4. Your Intuition Knows the Way
Intuition has many different names.
Your unconscious mind, your inner self, universal intelligence, etc.
The label you choose doesn’t matter.
What matters is your willingness and ability to listen, and act on, your intuition.
Tune into your gut instincts. In any situation take note of your immediate intuitive response to it.
It's most likely in your long term best interests to do so.
5. Going With the Flow Calms Your Mind
There’s an epidemic of titanic proportions that affects over half of the world's population today.
It’s called depression and anxiety.
Your mind starts to focus on the dark side of everything, ignoring the positive and the good.
You don’t like yourself anymore and you start to isolate yourself more and more from the outside world.
Where did that depression originate? In your mind.
Imagine if 80% of your worries were gone.
What if your mind was clear, you felt confident about life, you liked yourself, and you were fully engaged with the world?
How would your life look?
Surrender to the now, and trust that whatever comes up you’ll be able to manage it.
Free your mind of all the turbulence swirling around inside it.
Focus on being your best self, living your best life, and going with the flow.
10 Practical Ways to Go With the Flow Right Now
1. Release Your Past
Emotional baggage from the past is the number one cause of mental agitation in the present.
As long as you’re living in the past you can’t enjoy the now or step fully into the future.
When you stay inactive life passes you by.
We all have emotional links to the past.
Our identities are shaped by a combination of the environment we grew up in and our life experiences.
Releasing your past is making a conscious decision to leave it behind you.
Learn from your past, but don't carry it with you.
Put your focus on who you are now and create a future you can be proud of.
2. Stop Second Guessing Yourself
Going with the flow is responding to what’s happening now.
You don't over-analyze, doubt, second-guess yourself, or procrastinate.
All those things act as a wall blocking you from your true potential, happiness, and success.
Listen to your intuition, make your decision, and take action.
Back yourself more often. You’re a lot stronger, smarter, and capable than you think you are.
3. Set Clear Boundaries and Don't Break Them
Boundaries are standards in your life for what you accept and what you don’t.
If someone asks you to jump off a building you wouldn't say “Ok I’ll just go with the flow, I trust the universe”.
Going with the flow isn't being haphazard or careless.
It's a choice you've made to improve and simplify your life, not to complicate it.
4. Just Go With It
Don’t overthink or hesitate. Just do it.
What's the worst that can happen?
It doesn't work out and you learn what not to do next time.
You don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself, you get yourself together and try again.
When you choose to go with the flow you create a momentum that takes on a life of its own.
Try it for a month. After as little as a week you’ll see positive results. Things start to "flow".
You don't have to force and you don't have to resist.
People are too hesitant and fearful.
They had an opportunity and their intuition told them what to do, but they let their mind talk them out of it.
5. Say Yes More Often
Wayne Dyer says “your job is not to question, doubt, or reject. Your job is to say yes”.
Say yes to life. For a week say yes to every opportunity that comes your way and see what happens.
Don’t talk yourself out of it. If you know intuitively it’s something you want to do then do it.
Don’t think about why it won’t work. Expect that it will.
There’s a universal intelligence wiser than we are.
It communicates with you through your intuition, so pay attention and take action at the right time.
6. Accept That Control Is an Illusion
People have very little control over our lives.
We like to think we do, but we don’t.
You can influence what happens but you can’t control it.
People have an idea of how things should be, and any variation from that idea causes stress and frustration.
Accept that there will always be uncertainty and risk.
Manage it as best you can, but never assume anything is 100% guaranteed to work a certain way.
Forget your preconceived notions of how things “should” be.
Sure you need expectations but don't get married to them.
Keep an open mind.
7. Be Conscious
Are you living on autopilot?
When someone asks you how you are, do you respond “good thanks” even if you’re having a horrible day?
Know yourself. Behind your social mask, who are you?
Consciousness comes from self-awareness and self-understanding.
When you know who you are and how you tick you become more confident in your ability to handle uncertainty.
8. Pause and Breath
In times of pressure and stress, develop your ability to pause and breathe before you decide to act.
Even taking a few brief moments to pause and breath can clear and reset your mind.
Being able to stop and breathe can make all the difference between doing something you’ll regret and making a more intelligent decision.
Before responding like you normally would, pause, breathe, and ask yourself “what's the best thing I could do/say right now?
Pausing and breathing bring you back into the present. Back into the flow.
That's the right time to make your decisions.
9. Keep a Sense of Humor
One of the primary causes of people's dilemmas nowadays is that they take themselves too seriously.
Adding humor into your life is giving yourself a great gift.
You feel better about yourself, your stress levels decline, and things start to flow for you.
Problems sort themselves out with minimal interruption to your piece of mind.
Most things you encounter each day have a humorous aspect if you choose to see them that way.
You realize that 80% of people's worries either;
a) haven’t even happened yet and probably never will, or
b) are a result of way too much importance given to a problem.
Allowing humor into your life allows you to tap into auniversal flow.
When you loosen up and relax you're in a much better state of mind to take your life in a positive direction.
10. Relax and Meditate
The intense anxiety and worry people carry around with them leads to depression, illness, and in extreme cases, death.
You need an outlet.
An activity that detaches you from your daily reality and resets your mind and soul back to who you really are.
When people hear the word meditation they think of sitting cross-legged, palms raised and eyes closed.
If that works for you, great.
But if it doesn’t there are many, many other ways to get the same benefits.
For me personally, martial arts is my meditation.
It requires me to be fully present.
All thoughts disappear while I’m training and when I’m done I feel recharged, clear, and sharp.
All my previous problems shrink to the point of nonexistence.
Do what works for you.
Nature walks, playing a musical instrument, physical activity, or traditional meditation.
Use it to put you back into the flow of life, free of constraining expectations and illusory fears.
11. Embrace Spontaneity
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them, that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality, and allow things to flow naturally in whatever way they like.
Though these words were spoken thousands of years ago they still ring true today.
Embrace the uncertain, chaotic, and beautiful flow of life.
Choose to go with the flow.
Quotes About Going With the Flow
"I live my life on self-belief and I live it partly on going with the flow" - Melanie Brown
"True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way" - Stephen Mitchell
"Going with the flow is soothing but risky" - Jenny Holzer
"Do not struggle. Go with the flow of things, and you will find yourself at one with the mysterious unity of the Universe" - Zhuangzi
"How do I not get so wrapped up in what I think needs to happen? Going with the flow is the way to do it" - John Feldmann
"Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like" - Laozi