One of the most common self criticisms I hear from my clients is: “I’m lazy.” This statement is typically delivered like a sad fact: “I can’t climb that hill, my leg is broken.” It sets the tone of what to expect.
But what we perceive as “laziness” is actually just resistance. And resistance is fear.
When we pull the veil back and get down to the heart of our true feelings, we can see them for what they are and name them accurately. Once we do that, we can start asking the right kinds of questions. The life changing questions.
Instead of self berating questions like: Why am I so lazy, why do I procrastinate, what’s my freaking problem?! We can ask: What am I afraid of?
Suddenly, the door opens.
Now we’re beginning to see differently. We’ve shifted our mindset from judgment to curiosity.
We make ourselves wrong or bad as a way of hitting the pause button and stalling our advancement in life. This is a natural reaction when we’ve come to associate change with trouble.
But there is no way to uplevel without changing. Just as there is no way to enter the ocean from shore without diving through the breakers.
We may go through times when we’re cruising along, learning, growing, feeling excited. And then we hit a wall.
We’ve lost our momentum. Our inspiration.
We try to bribe ourselves. When that doesn’t work, we threaten ourselves. But none of these tactics address the real issue: we’re scared. Our Wound caught a glimpse of all the sweeping changes we’ve been undertaking in our lives and it hit the brakes.
When we regard our laziness as resistance and come to understand that resistance is a reasonable fear response in the face of our rapid progress, we can celebrate it as proof that we’re really in the neighborhood of our true heart’s desire.
This is exciting!
Excitement and fear are indiscernible in the human nervous system. As author and thought leader Mel Robbins says: “Fear and excitement are the exact same physical state in your body.” And the only difference between the two, according to Robbins’ research, “is what your brain is doing.”
This means that depending on how our minds interpret what we’re feeling, we can either tell ourselves a story that reinforces our fear or transforms it into excitement.
“Lazy” is more than a word. It’s a whole narrative about the kind of person we are, what we’re capable of and what we’re willing to ask of ourselves. If we swapped out the word lazy for the word scared, a whole different narrative would form. And if we began to relate to the scared part of ourselves with kindness and with the desire to support ourselves through the dark patch along our path, the outcome could be totally different.
We can spend years in an energetic fetal position, believing that we’re lazy and incapable of taking steps to change what’s not working in our lives. The concept of being scared carries more urgency to it. When a child is scared, they call out to us and we rush to their side to ask what the fear is about and how we can help them with it.
Can we show up for ourselves in the same way, in the context of our laziness, which is actually our fear? Can we practice the healing work of re-parenting, which means tending to ourselves, as adults, in the kind of attuned and tender way we may not have been cared for the first time around, as kids?
Let’s start with the basic premise of: it is not our birthright to live small, constricted, scared lives. We are buds programmed to open. We are here to work through our fears, not live at their mercy.
By rejecting the misconception that we are lazy and reframing the laziness as fear, we can align with what we need to address and heal what we’re afraid of. In this way, we free ourselves up to live our best, most powerful lives.