It’s Not Laziness You Need To Overcome {6 Things You Are Instead of Lazy}


Have you ever been told – or told yourself – that you’re just lazy or that overcoming laziness is an act of willpower?

“I don’t want to go to work. I’m so lazy.”

“She doesn’t ever do anything productive. She’s just lazy.”

“He/I/You need to stop being lazy and just do it.”

Yeah, knock that off. It’s not working. It’s not even helping. You know why? You’re not lazy. And that person you’re judging isn’t lazy either.

Laziness doesn’t exist.

It’s just a word we’ve given to explain away something deeper and messier that we’d prefer to ignore. Think of it as a symptom. It’s a sign that something else is going on beneath the surface.

“Laziness” is the label we give to something when we judge it based on what we think it should be.

People who say that procrastination is about laziness are probably the same people who think that anorexia is about not eating enough. – Christine Kane

6 Things You Are Instead of “Lazy”

No, you’re not lazy. But you are experiencing something…here are six things you might be instead of “lazy”:

  1. Tired:
    Tired of going, going, going in this crazy, fast-paced, speed-obsessed world. You push and you pull and you try to keep up with the expectations of others until your body and your mind and your weary, exhausted soul say enough and you crash, and crash hard. Give yourself a break without judging your need for rest. It’s okay to slow down.
  2. Overwhelmed:
    You’ve allowed it to pile on – the tasks, the goals, the dreams, the need to do it all yourself, and to make sure it’s perfect. You’ve taken on the responsibility, and with it the guilt, the stress and the inability to admit you’re human. You’ve taken on so much that you soon can’t see straight and so it all just sits, staring you in the face while you freak out, settle for spending your time on Facebook, or curl up with Haagen-Daz while you quietly fail. It doesn’t make you lazy; it makes it impossible to move when you’re buried so deep.
  3. Afraid:
    It’s new and big and you’re scared it might not pan out or that it will turn out like it did the last time. You have a record in your head that is stuck on repeat telling you it’s going to get ugly, be difficult, and blow up in your face. And who the heck wouldn’t avoid that? Beating yourself won’t get you inspired and motivated. Give yourself some love.
  4. Hurting:
    You’re holding back, withdrawn or shy or not feeling good enough. Your pain is probably buried, deep and sheltered, because how could you function if it was full force? But it’s still there, an aching or gnawing dragging you down, draining you of your spark, your desire, your passion for Life.
  5. Uninspired:
    People seem to resist this one the most. Most of us just don’t want to admit that not enjoying something – not feeling inspired – is okay. Well, let me tell you…it’s okay. It’s okay to not enjoy washing the dishes or not be inspired to work today. It’s okay to find that class boring and choose to pursue what you love instead. If it’s something you feel is necessary, question yourself – maybe it’s not necessary after all, or maybe there’s a way to change it into something you can love. What’s so wrong with that?
  6. Stuck:
    You’re tired, overwhelmed, uninspired, afraid, hurting, uninspired and you don’t know how to get past it. You may not even know what it is you’re trying to get past. You try something new only to spin your wheels. You’re living your life on repeat, with the same worn out patterns and themes playing again and again. I know “stuck” well. Those barriers are what I’m known for helping others DIG IN to and overcome.

But guess what? None of these are your real problem either. All of these are just symptoms too.

Why “Overcoming Laziness” Techniques Won’t Work (and What Will)

Because it’s not laziness you need to overcome!

You don’t need a carrot-and-stick motivator, or a swift kick in the ass. Focusing on curing the symptoms is a lot like focusing on the fever instead of treating the infection. It gets you through the night, but you just find yourself in intensive care the next afternoon.

Sure you could listen to some motivational talks, drink a Red Bull, finally allow yourself a guilt-free night of sleep, delegate some tasks, or push through the funk.

But if you only address the symptoms – while you may temporarily “cure” your “laziness” – you’ll just find yourself curled back up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and self-loathing again within a month (if that).

You have to DIG IN and get to the root of these symptoms before you can really make lasting changes.

Overcoming laziness with the Digging Deep process? Absolutely.

When you’re ready to uncover and move through the things that are really getting in your way (the things that create your need to do it all until you’re overwhelmed and tired, or that have you so paralyzed with fear you don’t do anything, or that have you chasing someone else’s goals until you can’t recognize yourself anymore)…

When you’re ready to feel energized, hungry for life, and ready to experience it…

The Digging Deep process will walk you through the process of not only overcoming laziness, but also anything else that’s no longer serving you.

29 Replies to “It’s Not Laziness You Need To Overcome {6 Things You Are Instead of Lazy}”

  1. Loved this.

    I’ve always said that I think I’m, literally, the laziest person I know. But honestly, I’m quite a few of those things up there! What a relief. πŸ˜‰

  2. I have two friends whose significant others abuse them with words and call them lazy… if only THOSE men would see through the things that AREN’T getting done and realize that there is something much deeper going on, and that THEY may very well be part OF it.

    I tend to live in the #2 area… lol

    Looking forward to your book!! I can tell it’s going to be AMAZING.

      1. yep. It’s hard to tell a friend you think they are in an abusive relationship when it’s “only” words, but it’s easy to see the damage those words do, and how they hold people captive in the very space they are being attacked over.

        Seriously CANNOT wait to read your book!

    1. Rachel – I know a woman like that who just trashes her poor husband constantly. All he does is work work work to provide for her and her kid. She stays at home and watches soap operas all day and cried for like two days when her favorites were cancelled.

      When her husband gets home from doubles he just wants to relax and read or watch the tv and she nags him constantly about everything.

      I just want to hug him and take him away from all of that. Ugh. But he loves her. So I support him and try to convince him to seek counseling for the both of them with self-help books and gurus like Tara. Argh.

    2. Thank You for writing and posting this, the last thing I’ve ever been is lazy even though I’ve been called that many times by people who where trying to skirt their responsibilities!

  3. #2 Overwhelmed
    the need to do it all yourself, and to make sure it’s perfect.

    Oh how you hit the nail on the head! I know that some of the other symptoms apply to me as well, but I tend to do tasks myself because then I know they’ll be done the way I think they should be. This is something I find easier to let go as I have gotten a little older (and more laid back after a divorce), but I still have room to improve.

    I’m looking forward to Digging Deeper and growing into more of who I want to be!

  4. I ordered my copy last night and am so enjoying every moment spent in re- discovering myself. Great Job Tara!

  5. I have found that since I am fine with my kids having “do nothing” days – which are really days of rest, recovery, relaxation, or processing etc. – I am able to do the same for myself. I want my kids to listen to their bodies, (and spirits!) so I am doing the same. I long ago noticed that when I have a “lazy” day or days I often have a spurt of energy and extra “productive” day afterward. How much better to not even call them “lazy” or “productive” though and just see that they are different but equally needed? Obviously I still have to think about it, but I am gradually embracing the slow days as part of a natural cycle for me.

  6. Stuck. That sounds familiar. I think I’m moving past it, though. I’ve been looking inside myself more and I haven’t been suffering with depression so much, so that’s good!

  7. Being overwhelmed is my biggest block to forward motion. I constantly have to remind myself that housework done half-assed is still better than no housework at all. Exercise done with a bad attitude is still exercise. Mediocre cooking of fresh foods is better than grabbing fast food. And, I’m not a perfect parent everyday, but I’m doing the best I can with the information I have at the time.
    Fear is my second biggest block. I think it goes hand in hand with being overwhelmed. I’m afraid I’ll do the job wrong. I don’t know who the judge of my work is going to be, but I fear being judged. This is becoming more of a non-issue for me as I take the “what ifs” to the very end of the line. Look forward to seeing the e-book.

    1. Yes to all of this. Fear often leads to overwhelm which leads to procrastination. The process of moving out of it is exactly what the e-book is about. πŸ™‚

  8. thank you.
    i’m not feeling lazy lately, but i have felt lazy ~ and been called lazy ~ before. for several-year stretches. i think i could claim Tired, Hurting, and Stuck ~ different symptoms at different times. And, boy, when i’m there, i don’t see a way out.

  9. This was a great post and wonderful reminder. It’s something I’ve just been discovering about myself. I’ve been working through the book, “The Artist’s Way” and am beginning to understand that I am NOT lazy, but creatively blocked. It’s such a relief.

  10. Ah…as a kid I was told I was lazy (by my mother and stepfather) and so I believed it and it shaped many years of my life. And then one day I realized…wait, I am NOT lazy, I just enjoy doing other things and in different ways. Basically I was uninspired because I thought I was supposed to want to do the things they liked and in the way they did them. Once I figured that out, I became a freaking powerhouse! πŸ˜‰

  11. GREAT post. You’re so right! I recently headed to an ashram for a week and realized that I don’t spend enough time digging deep. It’s the only way to realign yourself when you’re overwhelmed, tired, and ready to give up on your goals.

  12. Yes, I’ve tried explaining away laziness by using several of these 6 “underlying reasons” but in the end, I believe that these are really just more excuses for the true underlying cause – laziness. I know that it feels like we’re being harsh on ourselves by calling ourselves lazy in certain circumstances, but developing excuses that explain away laziness makes it even more difficult to muster up the willpower to overcome the inertia. I’m afraid that trying to tackle these “underlying issues” is simply another form of procrastination when we should be pulling ourselves up and forcing ourselves to move on.

    I’m convinced that what we really need is simply a friend to push us – to motivate us to simply get going. Once we overcome that simple inertia it becomes easier to accomplish our goals.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’ve found the opposite to be true.

      When we DIG IN to these internal struggles and remove and heal them, we un-dam the motivation and energy and naturally begin moving toward what we want.

      Every time I’ve been tempted to call myself “lazy” I reminded myself that name-calling is always hurtful, I’ve looked for the fear that was holding me back and I addressed the fear, rather than it’s symptom. Yes, a good friend or coach is soooo beneficial to this. But ultimately I don’t want to be doing something simply out of inertia or habit. I want to do it because it flows naturally from Who I Am. I want to do it because it bubbles out of me. And it always does whenwe get reconnected to the Truth, rather than muddle through the excuses or symptoms of the real problem. πŸ™‚

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