It seems innocent enough. With all the things you have on that to-do list, why would you feel like doing another thing? Ever. Have you heard of “eat the frog?” Where you do the task you least want to do first in the day? It’s great in theory, depending on the mindset behind it. What I find with busyaholics is our list gets so big there’s nothing but frogs on it, and soon you find yourself on procrastination highway, with no destination in sight.
That’s what constant overwhelm will do. It’s your mind’s way of saying, “give me a break.” Go do something fun.
You should get a break and do something fun, for sure. But plan ahead otherwise you might get stuck in your own power of wills.
The dialogue in your brain sounds like this:
I don’t feel like it…
I should do it…
But I don’t want to…
But I do want meet my goals…
But there’s so much to do…
Next thing you know you’ve unconsciously been scrolling through Facebook for the last hour. You look up and realize what’s happened. If you were avoiding this task in the first place, now the guilt and shame attached to it makes it feel like you have to lift a 10-ton boulder. It’s all too overwhelming and you tell yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But the process starts over again with all the dread and disappointment attached to it. No wonder you “don’t feel like it.” This is agony.
If you read and are implementing how to live your freedom calendar, first of all "GOOD on YOU woman! Second, you’ll already have FREE time that’s allocated for you. Guilt-free time scheduled! The act of doing this alone helps with the inner dialogue of the “I don’t feel like it’s.”
My philosophy is when I’m telling myself “I don’t feel like it” if it’s something that’ll move me towards one of my dreams it’s non-negotiable. I do this sans the whip, and you can too.
If you wait for inspiration, it may never come. A lot of you do this because you don’t understand the way the brain operates (it wants to conserve energy, exert the least amount of energy possible and avoid pain). The great news is you can create inspiration based on what you think. But even so, there are gonna be the things you “don’t feel like doing” and that’s ok. You can choose to do them anyway.
When “I don’t feel like it” comes up for me, I talk back to my mind, in the same loving way I would a child I’ve just asked to do a chore:
“It’s ok to not want to do things. You are totally allowed not to feel like it, but the good news is you still can. And you’re gonna be just fine even if it’s hard, and I love you so much.”
The power of this statement took me setting big enough goals and dreams to finally understand it. But I wish someone had presented it to me this way, rather than threatening a punishment for a task undone. Because isn’t that what we do to ourselves now as adults, try and motivate ourselves by avoiding the fear of punishment? Either from ourselves (which is the worst) or from some other authority figure. But if you train your brain to punish yourself into submission, it takes all the joy away from doing tasks you don’t feel like. And you actually can get some joy from doing things you don’t feel like.
This is why inspiration doesn’t come a knocking and dreams don’t come true.
So we gotta retrain our brains. Who’s in charge here? You are. If you stop beating yourself up there’s not much to fear. When you opt for that instant gratification it feels good in the moments but bad in the long run. Cut to 90-days, six month, next year, when you haven’t inched closer to that important goal.
Punishment and other fear tactics aren’t inspiring. They’re avoidance based. You want motivation to come from love.
When you generate motivation from supportive loving thoughts about how you deserve to reach your goals, it feels good, and inspiration visits more regularly. Ironically, the point is to feel good about choosing to do something you don’t feel like doing.
Doing things to avoid punishment and fear robs you of joy and the ability to build momentous motivation. Retrain your brain’s ability to choose to do things on purpose and feel great about it.
How many times have you nagged someone (or yourself ) into compliance? It doesn’t work. Not long-term anyway. There’s something really satisfying about choosing to do something even when you don’t feel like it, instead of grinding away at some task— because you’ve told yourself you HAVE to do it. It’s the difference between a “workaholic mindset” and a “creative mindset.”
When you purposefully choose to do things even when you don’t feel like it, you build self-trust. That’s the best feeling. You can count on yourself to take the small steps to a big dream, or to pay your taxes, or to have a clutter-free life, or to get your heart rate up for 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. The stuff you’re not immediately like, “sign-me-up,” but you want to have the benefits of.
The better I get at doing things I don’t want to do, the more of my goals I’m able to accomplish. The more confidence, motivation, inspiration, satisfaction, and commitment I generate. It may not always feel awesome in the moment, especially when you’re in the throws of retraining your brain from an “avoidant” or “workaholic” mindset to a “creative mindset.” But when you lay your head on the pillow at night, all is good.
There are some days I hear my mind telling me “I don’t want to” and I listen. And I don’t do it.
I usually regret that.
I always regret it when I’ve made the choice on autopilot.
Other times my mind says “I don’t want to” and instead, I tell myself, “It’s ok you don’t have to want to, but just do it anyway.
You try it. Don’t do what you want to do in the moment.
Instead do what will lead to what you want to CREATE in the long run.
Paradoxically, it feels amazing.
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