Are You Sitting There Doing Squat?
Will Rogers, born in 1879, was a Cherokee Indian, a cowboy with remarkable roping skills, a movie star, a columnist and finally a legend. He was one smart guy but no boring intellectual. He spoke in simple words that everyone could understand: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Are you on the right track just sitting there? Or, could you be on the wrong track?
Perhaps a primary reason you may be feeling lethargic - not doing what needs to be done - is because your butt is where it doesn’t belong. Maybe the field you’re working in is not the best place for you, yet you’d thrive in an area better suited to your interests and inclinations. Maybe you find the atmosphere stifling where you work or live, yet you know you’d flourish in a place with a more relaxed atmosphere.
Hence, give serious thought to whether you’re in the wrong place. If your answer is yes, consider making a change. If you need to learn a new skill or marketable trade, go for it! Indeed, if you are eager and excited about learning a valuable skill, you may very well do better – financially and emotionally – than those who still have no idea about what they want to do and just settle for whatever comes their way.
Then again, maybe you are on the right track but just sitting there doing squat. If that’s true, you need to learn what’s holding you back. Here are a few possibilities:
You can't resist the urge to put things off, despite knowing the consequences. In psychology, this is termed perceived helplessness. This syndrome creates a lingering sense of powerlessness, making you feel like a failure. You may direct this feeling inward, viewing yourself as stupid or incompetent. Or outward, feeling anger toward others or the situation you're in.
You rationalize your behavior, telling yourself you can’t do anything about it. You shrug it off saying, “I’m just lazy by nature.” Or, you make self-vindicating excuses to others saying, “I always forget to check my messages.” Or, you forestall criticism by laughing or even boasting about your fizzles and failures, glossing over the problems it creates for you and others.
You start off on the right track but get sidelined with more magnetic matters. Sure, intense work can be intimidating. As you delve into a task, you may become baffled and bewildered. But, instead of seeking assistance, you distract yourself with easier, more enjoyable tasks, like posting on your social media accounts.
You experience recurring regret which eats away at your capacity to realize your goals. You may literally feel this regret building as a moment of truth draws closer - a frightening feeling that can either reinforce your inertia or push you forward to finally doing what needs to be done.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few, too few to mention,” crooned Sinatra. If your regrets are truly too few to mention, great! However, if you continue dawdling, delaying, pining and pouting, your regrets will be too many to mention. Over time, these regrets will close windows of opportunity and you'll end up fulfilling a shell of your potential. This-is-not-what-you-want!
So, take steps to ensure that you are on the right track and not just sitting there doing squat. No more excuses; no more delaying. It’s time to get going!
Linda Sapadin is a psychologist and personal coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her by email or visit her website at PsychWisdom.