Every physically healthy person has plenty of energy,
so every physically healthy person has plenty of motivation.
Nobody is lazy.
We are all just motivated toward different things.
Calling someone lazy is like calling them any other nasty
It shows that we are angry at them
and that we don't respect what they are doing,
" but it doesn't say much else.
Calling someone lazy is a callous dismissal of them
which makes problem-solving difficult.
SELF-TALK ABOUT MOTIVATION
Most of us call ourselves lazy occasionally.
If we think we do too little or too much of anything
(eating, sleeping, drinking, smoking, working, making love, etc.),
we may doubt our own motivation and call ourselves lazy.
Calling ourselves lazy is a callous dismissal of ourselves,
just one of many ways that we pick on ourselves
or "punish ourselves"
in this guilt-ridden culture.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking you are lazy:
1) STOP IT! (Actually, you might need to "stop it" over and
over for a while...)
2) Ask yourself what you LIKE about the "lazy" behavior you
3) Ask yourself what other ways there are for you to get what you like.
It takes quite a bit of self-discipline
to break through years of guilt-laden self-talk.
The best way to teach about this is through examples or illustrations,
but please don't think that the SPECIFICS in each of these illustrations
necessarily apply to you.
If you have a problem with smoking, for example, try to learn from the
process outlined in example #4 - but don't expect that the specific insights
in this person's life necessarily apply to you. (They may apply to you,
but they probably don't.)
ILLUSTRATION #1: OVEREATING
Sharon was extremely overweight and called herself lazy, unmotivated
and many worse names as she kept trying to lose. It took her many months
before she could even stop calling herself these names, and many more
months before she even cared enough about herself to care what she liked
about overeating and being obese.
Eventually she was self-caring enough and brave enough to think about
how she actually felt as she sat at the table gorging herself. She found
that what she liked about it was that if she ate enough she would eventually
feel numb. So the question became: "What are you numbing out?"
In her case, the answer was sadness and intense anger at men.
Why was she so sad and angry at men? Sharon "confessed" that
as a teenager she had been sexually abused by her stepfather and some
of his drinking buddies.
Sharon liked being overweight because she thought this might keep her
safe from being an object of violence at the hands of frightening men.
Sharon is still overweight, but she has lost as much weight as was reasonable
and she no longer gorges herself. Most importantly, she is in a love with
a safe man who desires and respects her.
ILLUSTRATION #2: GOING HOME
George's mother called him about three times a week and often tried
to make him feel guilty about his infrequent visits.
George tried not to feel guilty and usually succeeded, but occasionally
would call himself lazy "for not just getting up and getting over
there like I should."
When he asked himself what he liked about staying away from his mother,
the answers were obvious. He didn't like her guilt-trips and manipulations
(which she refused to stop).
He visits her even less often now, but feels good about it.
ILLUSTRATION #3: MAKING LOVE
Bob and Sally have been sexual for eleven years. In the past two years
Bob has never initiated sex, and in recent months he is even refusing
sex when Sally initiates. They were both worried that Bob might be "undersexed."
When Bob asked himself what he liked about this situation, he eventually
admitted that he liked "feeling more in control." This led to
discussions with Sally about the details of their sex life, about her
insistence that sex be done a certain prescribed "right way",
and about Bob's growing feelings of inadequacy.
They learned that they both wanted much more spontaneity and experimentation
ILLUSTRATION #4: SMOKING
Simone had smoked for 23 years and was "always" trying to
quit. She berated herself constantly for being "too weak" and
"too lazy" to go through process of quitting.
When she asked herself what she liked about smoking she eventually said:
"Cigarettes are like my best friends. They are always there for me
when I need them."
When asked if there was anything else in her life that was so reliable,
Simone mentioned her husband, her sister, and a best friend. She had started
smoking when she went away to school and had no friends. Simone needed
the added sense of security her cigarettes brought her then, but she doesn't
need the added security, or the cigarettes, anymore.
Please Tell Your Friends About
Enjoy Your Changes!
Everything here is designed to help you do just that!
Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee)
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