Our state of mind is a combination of our thoughts, values, emotions, and physical experiences at any one time. Top atheletes talk about getting into a ‘peak performance’ state for their competitions. Performers often speak about being in a state of flow where they’re totally in the present moment, completely absorbed by and attentive to what they are doing, without inhibition or distraction. And the best part? We can all access this wonderful state where we are our best self.
Not only that, but we can learn to get back into our peak state any time we want to. Once we recognise the physical and emotional sensations of our flow state, and we become aware of our beliefs and core thoughts during the state, we can use that knowledge to get us back to the person we want to be.
Try an exercise: first, wherever you are right now, notice what state you’re in. What is your posture like? What are your beliefs about yourself right now? How do you feel about the world? What is your body telling you? What’s your face doing?
Now, look around yourself and identify where your optimal state is. Step into that space. You might want to think of a memory of a time when you were experiencing your optimal state: what does your body feel like now? What do you believe about yourself? What physical sensations are you experiencing? What thoughts are arising for you? Experience your peak state for a moment.
Now step outside your peak state space, back to ordinary space. Do you feel the difference? What’s different about this than your peak state experience?
Step back into your peak state space: can you feel it again? What are your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings in the peak state space? What did it take to get you back here?
Experiencing our peak flow state can be as simple as taking a single step.