Showing Up When You Don’t Want to Makes All the Difference

I want to clarify something. There’s a difference between harming yourself mentally or physically, and showing up when you don’t want to.  When you hear all the self-help gurus out there talking about showing up when you don’t want to, they’re not referring to instances where you can cause yourself physical or mental harm.  For example, if you are training in a particular sport, I’m not telling you to train through injury or to train through something that’s potentially going to injure you.

But I will say this.  If you know for a fact (from a doctor or your past history) that you are physically and mentally capable of doing something, 9 times out of 10 you should do it if it can improve you in any way possible.  Again, let’s take being an athlete as an example.  If you don’t feel like practicing one day but your body and mind are good enough to do so, then you are not only missing out, you are relegating yourself to being “normal.”  And being “normal” doesn’t cut it if you want to be the best.

Your not supposed to always want to

Here’s something that people don’t always realize.  You’re not always supposed to be gung ho about doing things.  That’s just not the way life works. I like what Zen Habits says about this::

Most of us have an expectation that we should feel in the mood to do something. We should be excited, rested, focused. And when we do it, it should be easy, comfortable, fun, pleasurable. Something like that. That results, predictably, in running from the things that feel hard, overwhelming, uncomfortable. It means that when we’re not feeling it, we are going to run to distractions and comforts. Nothing wrong with this, but it usually creates a life we’re not happy with.

When we do the thing we don’t want to do, it is often uncomfortable or difficult. We feel like we’re forcing ourselves to do something we really don’t want to do, which can feel coercive. No wonder we avoid it! Who wants to feel coerced? But that comes from our belief that we should only do things when we’re feeling in the mood, and that things should be easy, comfortable and fun. That means we can never do anything hard.

So how do you actually show up when you don’t want to?

That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? If you know in your heart of hearts that you just don’t want to do something, yet deep down you know it’s good for you, how in the world do you muster up the motivation to do so?  That my friends, is an individual choice.  And let me point out, it is a choice.  No one will make this decision for you.  No one can make you do something.  Only you can.

But how you come to this decision is where work is required.  How you make that choice to get out of bed when you don’t want to is what you need to create for yourself.  For some it’s fear.  For some it’s necessity.  For others it might be anger.  It doesn’t matter what the reason is.  What matters is that the reason is strong enough to get you from thinking “I don’t want to do this,” or “I don’t need to do this,” to “I have to do this.”

So what emotion or feeling do you have that gets you there?  Like I said, it doesn’t matter.

What’s make me show up when I don’t want do?

For me it’s practically different every single time because it depends on what the actual thing is I don’t want to do.  So let’s say I don’t want to do laundry.  I hate laundry.  We all hate laundry.  And one day I’ll see that my laundry is piling up and it’s starting to look like crap.  What motivates me to do my laundry?  Nine times out of ten it’s the anger I feel at having to do a laundry that’s overflowed and will take twice as long. Once I get the thought of having to do 3,4, 5 loads of laundry in one sitting, it’s enough to push me over the edge to get my laundry done that day.

Remember I mentioned fear as a motivator?  Here’s another great example of something I’ll use to get me to show up when I don’t want to.  My fear is being normal.  Seriously.  Normal in America is having a job you don’t love.  Normal in America is being overweight.  Normal in America is not having the time to do the things you like.  Normal in America is not having enough money to pay your bills.

What gets me fired up each day is the fear of being normal.  I don’t want to be normal.  I want to be exceptional.  I want to have options  I want to love what I’m doing.  I want to be healthy.   If I’m “normal” than I am none of these things.

That in itself calls me to get up, get out of bed and starting working every single day at 6am and not stop until I know what I need to get done is done.

Are you going to show up today?

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