The Myth of Being Lazy

Leanna Olbinsky

Why haven’t you started your fitness journey? If you believe your reason is that you’re just “too lazy,” I have great news for you! Laziness is a myth. Hear me out.

Laziness doesn’t actually tell us why you’re not following through and quite frankly, you’re not giving yourself enough credit! Believing you’re lazy is selling yourself short on your goals.

Let’s work on overcoming laziness together.

Give yourself more credit

There are reasons that you’re not moving towards your goals and they’re common for everyone. Sometimes we get into our own minds and believe that we’re the only ones struggling with this resistance to achieve what we really want. We all struggle a little bit with this. Being hard on yourself will drain your energy more and as we’ll find out, we naturally want to preserve as much energy as possible.

Have you ever started the day thinking you’d jump into a workout but the more you thought about it the more tired it made you and the more frustrated you got with yourself? We want to break this pattern!

This isn’t because you’re lazy, it’s because we are associating what we want to get done with emotions.

Understand the knowing-doing gap

Author, Brianna Wiest, writes about the knowing-doing gap in her book, “101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think.” As we know, starting a fitness habit would be beneficial for us, we want to do it, we even need to do it, but we still choose otherwise. “Understanding the fabric of resistance is the only way we can unstitch it.”

You know you have to do something, but it’s so hard to actually do it. You have to move past the resistance by considering the alternative if you don’t do the thing you want to do. For example, “If I don’t stretch today, I will be sore tomorrow and I won’t move closer to my goal of being able to reach down and tie my shoes as I’m getting older.”

Focusing on the discomfort you’ll feel if you don’t do what you should do, rather than the discomfort you will feel while doing it should help from widening the gap between knowing and doing.

“If left unchecked, the knowing-doing gap will leave you a shell of the person you intended to be… Anxiety builds in our idle hours. Fear and resistance thrive when we’re avoiding the work. Most things aren’t as hard or as trying as we chalk them up to be. They’re ultimately fun and rewarding and expressions of who we really are. That’s why we want them.”

Motivation isn’t a remedy for laziness

Paired with laziness, is the excuse that we don’t have the motivation. If we rely on motivation, it’ll be really hard to stick to your goals. Motivation comes when it’s a really nice day, or we have a sudden burst of energy, or we hear good news. Where we really need to be relentless in our pursuit to accomplish our goals is when the days are hard. Maybe it’s raining outside, you just got a blister on your foot, and you are feeling tired. Motivation won’t help you then. It’s on those days you just have to get out there and do it.

Replace laziness with the real cause of your resistance to accomplish your goal

Psychology Today writes about what can hold you back from accomplishing your goals in the replacement of laziness. Try to explore more of why you might not be accomplishing your goal based on some of these.

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of success
  3. Desire for nurture
  4. Fear of expectations
  5. Need for relaxation
  6. Depression
  7. Lack of fulfillment

Finding out the root cause of why you’re not accomplishing your goal can help you relieve the pressure of feeling like something is wrong with you or that you should be labeled as simply lazy. For example, if you really haven’t worked towards your goal, maybe it’s because you have a lack of fulfillment.

Maybe your goal is to lose 10 pounds and you’ve chosen to run. You hate running. Therefore you never look forward to the run and even while you’re doing it you’re waiting for it to be over. There is no fulfillment in working towards your goal and until you enjoy the process of reaching your goal, you probably won’t be able to keep consistent.

Stop projecting how the task will make us feel

A lot of times we avoid a task to save our energy. When we say we’re going to go workout, we’re already emotionally thinking about how it’ll affect us. We project the future of how the task will feel. We predict that the task will tire us out and not make us feel good and therefore we work to avoid the stress by telling ourselves we shouldn’t do it. That’s our emotional coping strategy kicking in.

Once we can identify that avoiding a task is just our emotions trying to protect us, we can then work towards avoiding that inner voice and just doing what we need to get done.

Take action and remove laziness as an excuse

If this is you and you’re ready to stop using laziness as your excuse for not accomplishing your fitness goals, here’s what to do. Take a piece of paper and write out the following:

  1. My goal
  2. Why I want to accomplish this goal
  3. What my life will be like if I don’t accomplish this goal
  4. Excuses that may come up as I’m working towards my goal
  5. What I tell myself when I don’t do the task to move closer to my goal (listen to your mind speaking as if you are a bystander. What are your thoughts saying?)

Any time you hear your mind start making up excuses, write them down. Remember you’re an amazing person who can accomplish what you want to achieve. All that is preventing you from doing so, is your mind trying to preserve your energy. With these tools, I hope you can see laziness as a myth and give yourself credit for wanting to improve in the first place. Take the pressure off of yourself and recognize that your mind is the only person telling you you can’t! Laziness as an excuse, no more!

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