Why It’s Not Always A Good Idea To Go With The Flow.

2024-05-27T17:16:19-06:00September 11th, 2019|

Why It’s Not Always A Good Idea To Go With The Flow.

What does it mean to go with the flow, and does it improve the quality of our life?

I’ve noticed a pattern in the clients I work with and in my own life. Many of us are confused by the idea of going with the flow and what that means.

I’ve come to observe that there is a difference between going with the flow and going with the Flow.

Let me explain…

We can consider going with the flow from the perspective of our personalities and relationships or explore the same idea from the perspective of aligning with the Flow of the universe.

Getting confused between these two different meanings dramatically impacts our decisions.

The different kinds of flow.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between the two. I sense that I’m not the only one who has struggled with this.

If we’re not mindful and have a go-with-the-flow personality, we may find that we are making decisions to keep life comfortable and to avoid discomfort or conflict.

It’s that inner voice that tells us that it’s best to go along to get along.

It comes from the place of not wanting to rock the boat.

If you look closely at your motivations, they’re often associated with avoiding conflict or not wanting to go against the grain. This can result in a sense of having lost oneself, and we may begin to feel like something is missing in our lives.

We may be so outwardly focused on other people’s needs, desires, and expectations that we’ve never established our own or lost touch with them.

This intention arises from our small conditioned sense and is purely concerned with living a contained, controlled, and safe life. Not only does it result in us living a less-than-fulfilling life, but it is often an indication that we are living someone else’s life.

In these situations, we use the idea and resulting action or lack of action of going with the flow as a reason (often we’re not even aware of it) not to take responsibility for our own lives and get clear about what we want or need.

We go with the flow– but if we pay close attention, we may notice that it’s someone else’s river that we’re flowing in.

We may still accomplish a lot and not appear to be flowing through life, but we allow other people’s agendas to dictate our flow.

Going with this type of flow undoubtedly has a person floating in the river wondering, “Who am I separate from my roles? What do I want and need to thrive? Why do I feel a sense of anger or resentment percolating just below the surface?”

It often feels like a sense of emptiness, like we’ve lost our voice and sense of ourselves.

This is a dangerous kind of flow.

We become bystanders in our own lives because we’ve bought into the idea that we’re meant to go with the flow. We have spent much time fitting into the flow of others or watching others’ lives unfold.

For some people, going with the flow is the worst thing they can do to thrive.

For conflict-avoidant, people-pleasing types, their spiritual practice is about being mindful of their intentions behind going with the flow. Not going with the flow is where their growth happens as they connect with who they are at their core.

The other side of the flow coin is when we go with the Flow, and the result is syncing with the natural intelligence and Flow of the universe. It means understanding and using spiritual laws in our lives to co-create based on the higher needs of our souls.

Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use, before passing it on. Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely, without holding on in any way. Anonymous

It’s a Flow that arises from becoming intimately aware of who we are at our core and what the universe asks us.

In this case, it is the universe making the demands and not giving in or flowing around other people’s orders, requests or needs.

For many of us, the universe asks us to overcome our fears and take risks to grow and evolve. For others, it’s about letting go of the need to try and control everything and everyone.

Here are a few suggestions for daily practices to tap into the Flow that nourishes and honours the deeper levels of your soul:

  • Begin to notice the intentions behind your desire to go with the flow. Remember, it’s not what we do that matters; it’s why we do it.
  • Create a daily habit of communicating with an intelligent life force through meditation, prayer, or “divine chats.”
  • Keep a journal and make brief notes about intuitive insights, coincidences, dreams, or synchronicities that arise.
  • Learn to distinguish between thoughts and feelings from your small self and your soul.
  • As part of your daily spiritual practice, begin asking: What is my heart’s desire? What inspired action arising from my soul am I meant to take today?

Going with the Flow is about creating awareness, space, and practices that enable us to tune in to the soul messages and then honour what we hear.

Honouring what we hear for our personal growth often results in discomfort, overcoming fears, and making changes. From a spiritual perspective, this is what going with the Flow is about.

Just as an acorn is meant to become an oak tree, we are told to become a specific type of human being. Getting in the Flow allows us to do that.

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About the Author:

Bev Janisch guides awakening women worldwide to reconnect with themselves, fostering inner peace and empowering them to discover their authentic power. Her unique coaching approach, combining contemporary meditation and mindfulness with spiritual wisdom, helps women navigate life with greater ease, well-being, and fulfillment. Bev is trained as an Integral Associate Coach™, Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, Enneagram Practitioner and Master's prepared Nurse. Bev is the author of Awakening a Woman’s Soul: The Power of Meditation and Mindfulness to Transform Your Life.


  1. Neha November 7, 2021 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I have to make a decision between taking a job at a new place and studying further. At the age of 25 I have not taken any job outside my city and at this point I feel the need to stay with my family more. If i leave this job and continue with further studies I feel scared and anxious about my future as the people around me suggest me to take the job and settle already.
    I feel stuck both ways

    • Bev Janisch November 7, 2021 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Neha,
      Oh, that does sound like a difficult decision!!! I recall vividly being your age and leaving my family/friends to move to a new city. It was SO hard and yet it’s what I had to do to spread my wings and grow into adulthood. What does your deeper self feel is right for you and your growth (letting go of other people’s opinions and expectations)- to stay and further your studies of move for the job opportunity? Be kind to yourself as you make this decision and ask the “Universe” to give you a sign. Much love, Bev.

  2. Stephen Parish July 27, 2021 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Excellent reflections and quite relevant in today’s world

  3. Donna McArthur September 14, 2019 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I will read this many times!! Exceptionally well said Bev. This is an integral part of growth, one I have struggled with for decades. Your words offer excellent clarity and direction for paying attention.
    Thank you! Xo

    • Bev Janisch September 15, 2019 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Donna!! I can really relate to the struggle as well. It’s amazing how what seems to be such a “simple” saying can have such a profound impact on our lives. Thank YOU!! xo

  4. Diana September 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Bev! Love this recent blog just what I needed to read it was beautiful and insightful and meaningful Wishing u all the best in your next journey and training….and again thank you your blogs are like a daily tonic that really make one stop think become aware and hopefully change.

    • Bev Janisch September 12, 2019 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Diana, thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback. I’m so glad to hear that this post resonated with you.

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