So let me first start off with a full disclosure, I strongly dislike the word lazy, but I used it to get your attention. The word lazy is shaming and I don’t often see it really helping to get people back on track or back in action. However, I think it is important to have some awareness about patterns and strategies that we maybe learning to manage stress or survive a difficult situation and see if we can get to the root so you can change those patterns. So for the purpose of shortness in language, I am going to use the word lazy. We are going to define the word lazy in this context to mean “not doing the things you need to do to have the life that you want.” Another layer of this is “avoiding the hard work that needs to be done in order to get the results you want.” There are times that laziness results from hopelessness and fear. The idea that where we want to be is SO FAR from where we are in the present moment that the distance between those two points feels paralyzing. Quitting, avoiding, numbing out with social media or addictions works to relieve stress in the short term, but in the long-term, it can create more anxiety.
Some of us however, have magical powers and we can be both busy AND lazy, engaging in behaviors that might keep us busy, but not doing the hard work we know we need to do. I can do my way through the whole day and man- it is a great way of avoiding a difficult conversation, avoiding working out, staying out of pain or not writing my blog:-) We can stay busy with all kinds of things that paint the picture of hard-working, of diligent, of engaged, but really we are avoiding doing the hard work that may really be at the root of our blocks. When we get stuck in patterns that we don’t like, they almost become automatic, they feel permanent, and impossible to change, but if we can understand the truth of it, the root of it, we have a much better chance of making sustainable changes.
Mindfulness, truth-telling are going to be your friends here. When was the first time that you remember avoiding, quitting, engaging in the behavior that you are frustrated with? How was it a strategy for you? Did it help alleviate the stress? What do you need to develop out of that strategy? How can you step into a place of power and put your big person panties on? It’s way scarier to really take ownership of our lives and laziness or procrastination can be a way of managing that fear, but it really just makes us feel more out of control. If you have trauma, so-called laziness might really be dissociation, or going numb which is a huge survival strategy, but processing with a skilled therapist can really help leave your past in you past so that you can begin to take the actions you need to get the life you want.