I’ve had more than a few clients, after working together for a little while, suddenly start to accuse themselves of absolute laziness.
Their lives aren’t moving in the direction they want to be moving in. Even though they really want it to.
In reality, they swat away the suggestions or ideas or inspirations that might just be the ticket out of their supposed laziness. And in working together once we realize that their nemesis is this label, that’s when we really get to the heart of the matter.
It’s truly amazing how long you can go down a career path trying to be perceived a certain way when the thing you want most in the world is to be free of the label: lazy.
First I always ask: “What do you mean by lazy? Because I bet that you and I have very different definitions of what it means to be truly lazy.”
As someone that offers career counseling in a way that is very mindful about how we live out the definitions of the words we use that we might not even be aware of, I’ve had to come to terms with my own self-judgments of what it means to be lazy too.
In short: I’ve had to re-define lazy to be an actually useful word.
Here’s what I learn about people as they reach for this label to apply to themselves. Because you can get really mixed up inside when you’re expending a lot of energy to keep your life on its existing track while yearning for something completely different.
When you need to rest, reflect, consider, ponder, sort through, deliberate … and any other task that offers you insight or clarity or creativity for what ails you – that’s when you psychically punch yourself in the gut by calling yourself the l-word.
But really, have you ever considered the truth about why you’re so afraid of this word?
Oftentimes, growing up, you were considered “not” lazy simply because you kept moving – bustling to get those chores done, jumping up when someone yelled out to you a little too impatiently (because they were thinking that they themselves were lazy and needed to recruit you to alleviate the lashing out of their own self-judgement), or getting sick from doing what was beyond reasonable.
“At least look like you’re trying!” Maybe that’s what you heard. But therein lies the trap. All of your energy goes to looking like you’re not lazy so that you feel lazy when it comes to doing the things that you actually need to do to live your own life.
What other people put on you when you were younger does not make it you. It is your own honesty in the present with yourself that makes you, you.
Doing anything that just “looked like” you were being lazy, was considered lazy.
However … the possibility existed that you might have chosen to do what was considered lazy to protect yourself, hide out, or lay low – basically staying out of the fray of some harried person who was literally hellbent on doing things their own way.
Laziness was only truly laziness if you turned your nose up at living your life with some meaning and stayed in the womb by choice. And if that were the case, you couldn’t be reading this now.
Choosing the appearance of laziness was sometimes the lesser evil, but that didn’t actually mean that you were lazy.
But now, since you’re out of the womb, real laziness can be at work. You can be lazy now about putting your early critics in their place – whether that’s literal or metaphorical. And what used to be a choice to keep yourself safe or stable in some way, is no longer working because the fear of your own wrath calling yourself lazy is now actually making you lazy.
As an adult that’s capable and competent enough to be moving through your life, laziness becomes not a question of physical agility and speed through life’s pesky task of being alive. Laziness is the refusal to evolve your consciousness in the way that your life is asking you to.
Let’s look at your reality to know if this is true:
:: Are you tired?
:: Do you keep pushing through tiredness and cross the border into exhaustion regularly?
:: Have you entered a new country called fatigue yet?
Finding your way back from this land means to realize that you now have to appear lazy to others in order to return resources to yourself to use more wisely as you carry on.
“Lazy” is a judgment from hell that’ll keep you stuck in a rut without ever really meaning to.
You’re going to need to stop being lazy about not sitting with the feelings that you’re trying to run away from that are masked by the fear of being perceived as lazy.
Hit the break.
Dare to appear lazy.
And then be anything but: Mindful action is the key.
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