Confession: I used to be a slacker. I’m not proud of all the jobs I ditched, the opportunities I wasted, the days that drifted by in hungover hazes. Thankfully, I learned how to end the madness and stop being lazy.
Because even though I told myself all the time that I didn’t care, the truth is, I did. I cared a lot. My epic hopes and dreams sadly languished, and I hated myself for it, wondering why I couldn’t get it together. Why was I so lazy?
First, let’s turn this entire conversation upside down because the premise is ridiculous. The central question you’re asking assumes you’re flawed, that there’s something wrong with you. There’s not. You’re an awesome being full of divine light.
With that out of the way, let’s continue.
What is laziness?
Laziness is resistance. It’s saying, “I should be doing this thing, but I’m not.” Everyone tells you to fight and push your way to motivation, but that feels horrible. Especially since the cause of so-called laziness often stems from harmful self-talk or an unhealed life event. Shaming ourselves for our pains only causes more pain.
Never fear, you don’t have to become enlightened to stop being lazy. Instead, the image of your dream must be compelling enough to skyrocket you past resistance.
Think of laziness as a mathematical equation. If resistance is stronger, inaction wins. If the dream is stronger, action wins.
So much advice on the web recommends creating to-do lists, finding motivation and organizing a support team around you — but these things are superfluous with the right motivation.
So why are you really lazy? Ask yourself these revealing questions:
1. Do you feel sad or depressed?
When you feel sad about life, it’s hard to ignite the inner passion required for sublimely inspired motivation. Ideally, your days are spent actualizing your heartfelt visions that materialize from a heart full of love.
This was my main problem when I struggled with lackluster motivation. I was sad. I didn’t know what I wanted because I was cut of from my feelings.
If you’re resisting your feelings because you’re living a life you don’t want to live or haven’t accepted the reality of a situation, this can lead to sadness and a loss of motivation. You feel numb, not inspired.
To overcome this, feel your feelings. Meditate or journal. Focus on your breath and allow the breath to carry you beyond the numbness and into your heart center.
2. Do you desire skipping over the little things?
When I was really bad about keeping jobs, I’ll admit I had an entitlement problem. I wanted to skip over the boring work and beeline to the cool stuff.
As a young person with massive dreams, I couldn’t muster the interest for the restaurant or retail jobs that funded my wild escapades.
That changed after college when I snagged my first full-time job working in the state of Oregon’s medical marijuana office. It sounded cool, but the job was mind numbingly boring — filing and pushing papers all day.
Even though it was lame, that job forever changed my life. I needed it, and to survive the long days, I decided to be the best file girl I could be.
I poured my heart and soul into every mundane detail. And doing a kick-ass job built my confidence up and paved the way to my career as a newspaper reporter. It helped me stop being lazy because I stopped believing I was lazy.
Because before, even though I wanted those awesome jobs, I knew deep-down that my work ethic wouldn’t cut it. I self-sabotaged because I didn’t believe in myself. Overcoming my perceived laziness showed me that all I needed to do was light a match to my inner fire. And sometimes all that takes is a decision.
The little things could be anything — start making your bed in the morning if you don’t already. Take pride in making a cup of tea. Do one small thing really well and allow the satisfaction of that to bubble over into other areas of your life and help you stop being lazy.
3. Why are you really resisting action?
This thing you’re resisting — are you excited to make it happen? Or is obligation dragging you down?
Do you hope you’ll be more lovable afterward or are you taking action because your self-love tank overflows? Motivation from self-loathing and not self-loving often plagues people trying to eat healthy or exercise. Do it because you love yourself and want to feel good.
Or maybe an unhealed life experience is literally dragging you down. For example, maybe you resist cleaning the house not because you hate cleaning but because you still harbor resentment that nobody took care of you when you were younger.
Heal your inner child and nurture yourself. Then, clean the house. Maybe you won’t love it, but the image of enjoying a clean home will propel you past the resistance and help you stop being lazy.
Maybe you’re resisting getting started on a new project, but this isn’t really perfectionism or fear of failure like you think. It’s really about feeling like you’re not good enough. You need more self-love.
When you love yourself, you’re firm in your right to put things out into the world for the sheer reason that you exist. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy, but again, you can summon the motivation because the dream outweighs the fear.
Keep asking why. Why do I resist this thing? Why do I feel this way? You may find you need to heal your inner child or do shadow work, or maybe you need to talk one-on-one with a mentor like me.
Whatever the case, don’t stop at the surface answers. Don’t assume you’re flawed or lazy. You’re not. This is a natural reaction from a life that sometimes leaves scars. The good news is that once you identify this roadblock, you can melt it with awareness and voila — you can stop being lazy. Now, you’re unstoppable.
What are you lazy about? Share your story in the comments below.
Did this article resonate with you? Share it with someone who beats themselves up for feeling lazy.
Image by Evan Forester via Flickr