Flow triggers explained: Autonomy

As a reminder: Flow states have triggers we can use to make it more likely we drop into flow when desired!  The autonomy flow trigger is the 2nd we’re reviewing – links below to those you might have missed!

Autonomy means not only doing what you want, but just as importantly, wanting to do what you’re doing.  This trigger releases dopamine and reduces cognitive load essentially by eliminating any narrative of whether you do/don’t want to be doing the activity such that your focus can be dedicated to the actual doing of it!   

The autonomy trigger is best accessed through an internal locus of control.  Locus of control is related to where you conceptually place the responsibility, choice, and control for what you achieve and what occurs in your life. 

There are two types of locus of control, internal or external. An external locus of control supports a belief that one is helpless, without blame, and not in control of one’s successes and failures. … An internal locus of control means attributing success and failures to one’s own efforts.

These days, autonomy is showing up for me really powerfully in my work.  After 17 years working for someone else, I’ve started my own business.  I set my schedule, create my own goals and priorities, and am solely responsible for the long term vision. 

I also found power in autonomy when working for a corporation: I integrated activities that I was interested in and wanted to do.  And I chose to be in the role I was in, with full awareness that there might be parts of it I didn’t love.  But, because I wanted the overall situation, I operated from a frame of wanting the detail too.  And there was a lot of power in creating that autonomy where I might not ostensibly have had it.  Combined with my internal locus of control – connecting all that happened back to my own choice of being there – I stayed in the empowered position of choosing to roll with whatever happened, show up to it, and always finding the silver lining and lessons.

 

Did you miss the past descriptions?  Check them out!
FLOW TRIGGERS EXPLAINED:

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