Why do we have such a hard time taking ACTION? Why do we procrastinate?
You’ve made your plans to workout, it’s in your calendar, you even have it color coded. But you get to the date and time and you don’t follow through, you don’t feel like it, something else comes up. Anyone else been there? I have…over and over and over again. Why do we have such a hard time taking action? It feels like you’re trying to push a bolder up a hill trying to go to the gym, eat healthy, and be consistent. Are you ready to stop being stuck? Are you ready to take action effortlessly? Great! Keep reading…
Let’s look at where our actions come from. Why do we do the things we do? Everything we do, and don’t do, comes from a feeling. Either we do it to feel good or we don’t do something to avoid feeling bad. Sitting on the couch watching Netflix feels so much better than getting up to take a walk. Grabbing a bag of chips feels so much easier than washing and chopping veggies. Eating Oreos gives us a good feeling in our brains (they’ve done studies on this, sugar causes a chemical reaction that FEELS OH SO GOOD).
So if every action comes from a feeling, where do our feelings come from? Our feelings come from our thoughts. Our thoughts -> create our feelings -> which drive our actions-> which create our results. So when we try to make a change, especially when it comes to health, we often try to start with our actions because that’s the most obvious and tangible place to start. But if the thoughts and feelings aren’t in line with our actions, then it’s going to be like pushing a bolder up a hill. You’re trying to push against the thoughts and feeling to create an action.
Procrastination stems from our Feelings
Stepping back and figuring out WHY you’re not doing something would be the first step to taking action. Here’s an example. A client comes to me and says she’s trying get back into the gym and has tried everything to stay consistent. She’s joined a gym, she put it in her schedule, she’s bought the gym clothes but she gets to the day and time and just can’t get herself to go or something always “comes up.” She needs to figure out is what she is feeling right before its time to go to the gym. What is the feeling she has when she makes the decision not to go? She may say something like, “I have no drive, I just don’t feel like doing it.” Ok great, so she’s recognized the feeling “no drive, no motivation.” Now, why is she feeling that way? “Because I’ve tried in the past and it hasn’t worked so its’ not going to work this time.” Aha! So she realized the thought that caused the feeling. She thinks it’s not going to work because it hasn’t worked before. She can even go a little deeper to see where that thought came from. Maybe at some point in her past, maybe even as far back as her childhood, somebody told her, “Why even try, it’s not going to work anyway. It’s your genes. You were just built with big bones.” So her programming (past interactions), caused her thoughts, which caused her feelings, which caused her action (or inaction).
Can you see how all of this can pile up and cause inaction? So we are just fighting against ourselves. And when you fight against yourself, you lose EVERY TIME.
From Procrastination to Action
Once you recognize the thoughts and feelings that are causing the inaction, don’t try to change it right away. We want just acknowledge it at first and be curious about it with no judgement. Talk to yourself, “Isn’t it interesting that I’m feeling no motivation, coming from this thought. I wonder where that thought came from. Is it a belief that I can let go of? Can I understand that the belief is no longer serving me? Can I believe that the person who told me that or the situation that made me believe that, has no power over me anymore?” As you continue to acknowledge the action or inaction, the feeling, the thought and the belief behind all of it, then you can start to slowly break free into action.
Step back, understand the pattern, then and only then, can you start to change it. If you try to change action without changing the thoughts and feelings behind it, you will eventually buckle under the pressure.
Understanding this can change everything.
To Your Health,
Coach Leslie J. Salling