Dear One,

A stalled project can cause a logjam. It also causes stress in professional relationships, inner conflict, job dissatisfaction…

The list goes on and on.

We’ve all had projects stammer a bit and experienced the annoyance that soon follows. Just because it happens doesn’t mean it’s a necessary evil of work and life. 

You can turn it around. Here’s how:

Your perceived lack of progress comes from an imbalance of brain activity. The brain performs optimally when the right and left hemispheres are used in harmony. This is what we commonly call the “flow” state. Optimal brain functioning means each hemisphere contributes in a balanced way.

When the left brain starts to analyze too much or create too much structure, rigidity ensues. And when the right brain becomes too free and open and too many options are created and chaos ensues. 

Both chaos and rigidity produce the same outcome: frustration.

You are out of balance.

The imbalance makes you feel angry, overwhelmed, and anxious. 

Get back into flow by nudging the pendulum in the opposite direction. So if you’re going way to deep into your logical and practical side, you need to tap into your right brain for more freedom. If you’re too esoteric and creative, tap into your left brain for structure. This is what I call Optimal Brain Functioning. 

The hardest part of finding your flow state is realizing when you are out of flow. You can’t see your processes taking a nosedive, but you can feel the IQ of the chaos, overwhelm, and rigidity. You can also feel the anxiety and disalignment it causes. When you feel stuck, it’s a clue that you’ve gone too far to one side and you are out of your optimal state.

What you need to do is build the awareness muscle. Ask: Are you too chaotic in your environment, and need structure, or are you too rigid in your environment, and need some freedom and space? I think you’ll instinctively know what’s going on, and which path you need to take. But you can’t know what you don’t know. And until you build the awareness muscle, can you do anything about it. 

Start noticing the inner conflict of knowing (the “ICK factor”); that feeling inside yourself, whether it’s in your stomach, chest, throat, head… that immediately sends physical symptoms of some discomfort. That should be enough, right there, to stop and intercept. Shift your trajectory to something that’s going to create the necessary Optimal Brain Function.

Live life true to you,

Karen