Updated: Sep 16, 2020
I spent the majority of my adulthood thinking I was lazy. Spoiler Alert: I'm not. Lazy people don't win Employee of the Year, work several weeks in a row without a day off (DO NOT RECOMMEND), hold multiple jobs at a time. Dudes, I once worked at Ruby Tuesday's AND TGI Friday's at the same time! (AGAIN DO NOT RECOMMEND) Lazy people don't journal for a decade or keep a daily meditation practice for two and a half years. I finally realized that believing the Negative Core Belief I was lazy, was actually a cop out. A way to stay small. Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. says, "Core beliefs capture our fundamental view of the world, other people, and ourselves. They're what we believe to be true on the deepest level."
My Negative Core Belief said I was lazy but in reality, it was one, or possibly even a combination of three things: Fear, Misaligned Action, or Exhaustion. Let’s discuss...
Say you’re a writer and OMG you love love love to write and desperately deeply want to write a novel but every time you start or try you can’t keep it up. Is it because you’re a lazy worthless no good piece of shit? NO. You’re scared honey bunny! It’s scary to put yourself and your art out into a world that may or may not like it. Cause let’s be real, both possibilities are terrifying! If someone doesn’t like it they might say shitty things on the internet and that would HURT and feel like failure. And if people do like it and it sells a bajillion copies then you will be SEEN by So. Many. People. I once had a therapist tell me our deepest fear was to never be seen and known and to also be seen and known. She wasn’t lying.
You never seem to finish a project or follow through with something. OK. I want you to sit down and ask yourself: Did I fucking love what I was doing? Like Love.com it? Or was I simply trying it and it was sorta cool but not cool enough to hold my interest? Or maybe someone suggested I try it and said I should like it and I should be successful at it but really doing that job sucked my soul right out of my body so I stopped trying hard because I just didn’t enjoy the work. If you’re like “Yeah that’s me, how did she get inside my brain?”, you were moving from Misaligned Action aka You haven’t found what truly interests you, or the right combination of interests, that make your soul sing. Yet.
OK, so you’ve just spent multiple days on your feet moving and creating for hours and hours on end and oh my god you still have so much shit to do but are so tired. Do you call this desire for inaction lazy? Welp, you’re wrong. It’s called rest bb and every single body needs and is entitled to it. In fact, if you don’t rest you could work yourself so hard that you become sick and then guess what? You can’t work at all.
If you’ve called yourself lazy in the past but recognized yourself in any of these scenarios and are now wondering what the hell you should do, here’s my professional opinion: Become curious and kind. When you want to drop the L word on yourself or someone else use it as a cue to ask yourself, “What’s really going on here?” Check in with your body. She/He/They know what’s up. If your body is Tight and Tense = You’re Scared. Indifferent = Misaligned. Can’t Keep Your Eyes Open = Exhausted. Now that you’ve been curious, see if you can become kind. Tell yourself it’s OK to feel however you’re feeling. It’s a part of being human. Our feelings aren’t facts but they are a handy dandy road map. Take your kindness deeper by accepting them and giving yourself what you truly need by journaling through your fear, meditating on your misalignment, or taking a goddamn nap and a few days off without judgement. Any of these actions will move you forward faster and more efficiently than calling yourself lazy ever will. I promise.
Let me know where Curious and Kind leads you! Comment below!