I feel like this blog in particular is going to have a whole, “easier said than done” aspect to it. Know that what we are talking about today, and really every week, is usually much more simple sounding than it truly is. It’s okay to take time on implementing anything you want into your life. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Sometimes we lack motivation to do something because of our attitude about the thing. I’ll hear negative attitudes about tasks all the time from clients in the verbal and nonverbal language they use. It’s most common form is in the form of, “I have to do X…” and it’s usually partnered with a groaning or dreading tone of voice. Already we are setting ourselves up for making the task some degree of dreadful because of the messages we are sending ourselves about the task.
Let’s break it down a bit.
What about this task is so bad, or hard?
What are you not looking forward to about this task?
How is it not enjoyable?
Is there something about the timing of this task that is making it undesirable?
What is this task bringing up, or making you think of?
How is avoiding this task working out for you?
What’s worse: the mental/emotional buildup from the anticipation of doing this task, or actually doing it?
How much of this negative emotion or thought around this task is based on fact?
Those questions alone are potentially a lot to think about and unpack. We’ve addressed some of the cons, or hard parts about this task, now lets look at some other aspects of the task.
What would completing this task mean?
What opportunities will this task open up?
Are there any fun parts, or qualities about this task?
What will it be like when it’s done?
What does it mean to have this task?
What would it be like using the language “I get to” as opposed to “I have to”?
We often cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our reactions to them. How possible is it to choose a positive outlook about this task? How will that change things?
What are some active steps that could be taken to choose the positive outlook or attitude? How can a perspective shift be placed in order to make things more tolerable?
Sometimes it’s not so much a task that we have a negative perspective about, but rather some other aspect of our life- environment, relationship quirks/habits, etc. So lets take a quick look at that.
What’s something you are tolerating? How much longer can this be tolerated?
What are you telling yourself about this toleration, and how much of it is based on fact? Feeling? Opinion? Speculation?
In the bigger picture, what does it mean to have this toleration? What are some other things this toleration is bringing to your life- both good and bad?
What’s a more helpful or positive aspect you can shift your focus on? What’s a different message you can send yourself?
Again, this is all easier said than done. We may not even realize these negative things we are telling ourselves about a task, or what we are just tolerating because we are so in the thick of it we cannot see the forest through the trees. Sometimes we just have to stop, slow down, take a breath, and check-in with ourselves and let these moments of awareness and thought happen. It’s okay.