Do you ever just not feel like it?
Are you lazy, depressed or sick?
Like no matter what you do you’re just tired, with zero energy and lacking in any form of motivation?
Just one of those days, nay weeks, when I just wanna sit around doing nothing.
I can’t seem to start my internal engines that usually push me onward regardless of how I feel.
“Every now and then I get a little lazy, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be” (channeling TLC’s What About Your Friends) because I have my purpose, I know my mission and I know that nothing is going to stop me or slow me down. Well, nothing but myself apparently.
Honestly, even the most motivated and self-proclaimed self-starters, like myself, hit speed bumps and just feel like sliding down into potholes and staying down for a while. Just a little while longer.
And as much as I know that this is just a feeling (whether warranted or not) and this too shall pass, I cannot simply ignore it if it persists beyond a few days. I need to get proactive and go on the offensive to figure out not only how I can get moving again, but why I really feel this way.
I know, that even if I manage to find my motivation to get started, without a proper self-analysis as to why I feel this way in the first place, I will just wake up feeling the same again tomorrow, and the day after that… and the (you get it).
Please always seek out professional help for a proper assessment and treatment if you are consistently feeling down. You need to know what’s happening with you. It can get better.
Don’t Feel Like Working
Just like anyone I get worked up and wound up so tight about way too many things that I honestly just need to take a time out, from my thoughts, my worries, my dreams, this stress, and even myself. I’ll just sit in this corner for a bit.
So much to do so little time.
I have to slay my goals right? Work on it every day in order to succeed?
You catch up just to fall behind a week later.
All you do is work, work, work, work, work (Rihanna got it right).
You are constantly being fed images and messages about this, that and the other person. Sensory overload is an understatement. You worry about the outcome and possibly maybes. Maybe you just need a break from having it all together.
And on top of that, you’re also supposed to be living your life.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Maybe I’m the only one who feels like sometimes it’s just too much. Did I tell you that I’m super prone to serious spells of insomnia when my mind is overwhelmed or just being way too creative? At least that’s not an issue right now, or I’d be seriously done for.
Sometimes I have to purposefully ignore almost everything just so I can focus on accomplishing one thing. I believe there is such a thing as too much inspiration. Too much outside noise, drowning out your internal voice.
What If Everything is Alright, Though?
Sometimes the problem isn’t obvious or even simple to pinpoint.
Is there even a problem right now? Sometimes everything is alright, yet you just don’t feel alright. Like, seriously, WTF?
Maybe there isn’t an obvious elephant of a reason in your life why you don’t feel 100% or feel like getting moving on things. This is honestly the worst, and even harder to determine than a tangible reaction to something emotional, environmental, material, practical or any -al causalities.
“Like, come on Nadalie, what’s the problem now? You’re doing alright. You’ve been telling everyone you’ve come so far, isn’t it hypercritical of you to admit that you’re not 100%? Aren’t things going great? What ya bitching about now? ”
“UGH like seriously, shut up you stupid voice of doubt and deception.” That’s the thing, isn’t it? How can I say that I’ve got this, that I’m on fire, I’m a champion and ready to take on the world, but then next week or that same day say that I just don’t feel like it?
The Only Hypocrites are the Critics
There is nothing hypocritical about being honest about how you feel in this moment.
The reality of life is one day you feel awesome and untouchable, but the next you can feel defeated and vulnerable. Your feelings, physically and emotionally, don’t have to correlate to where you are in life or how successful or well things are going.
Just because you’re a successful whatever or well known whoever does not mean that you don’t have days or weeks (heck even months or longer) when you just don’t feel like it. You just don’t feel like putting in the time and energy it takes to keep moving.
We all face barriers and get confronted by walls just around the corner from our victories.
Policing of emotions is right up there with the policing of one’s life choices.
“Why aren’t you smiling? Why aren’t you happy? How can you not be happy? But you’re (fill in title or position here), how can you be (fill in emotion here)?”
These types of questions are crazy judgemental in nature and usually, come from the haters in your life. Personally speaking, I’ve never been a smile all the time bubbly kind of person, my face just doesn’t work that way.
I have a theory that hate is just jealousy in disguise. Jealousy over another’s success, possessions, position, just about anything. So, don’t be distressed because no matter how you do, and how to feel about it along the way, someone’s going to have an opinion.
What can I say, I’ve got sympathy for the haters and the critics.
So, How Are You?
Please, don’t ever ask me this question unless you really want to know the answer, not receive a prerecorded message.
It’s no secret that I seriously hate small talk, but I love real talk.
I just can’t deal with autopilot civilities (not that I’m not civil). I just try and avoid moments of nothingness at all costs.
I will dip as soon as an event is over and I will stick to those I already know to avoid it.
You may also know that I will always keep it 100% honest, even when I don’t feel 100. I refuse to use short conversation ending response like “fine,” “great,” “okay” unless I truly am. And even then it’s usually “I’m great because ….” or as you’ll read below, “I’m not great because…”.
Even when asking myself questions like this about how I feel and how I am, I’m real in my responses.
If you can’t be real with yourself, who can you be real with?
The Importance of Self-Analysis
Just like we all love self-cleaning ovens (because who has time for actually cleaning our ovens), we all should know how to run a self-analysis on ourselves when we’re persisting not feeling 100.
If you’re not feeling like it for a day or two, no reason to panic, just rest and recoup. Get a few nights of great sleep.
But it’s been more than seven days or so, which is usually the time period any “sickness” should have left you alone, it’s time to go on the offensive. Just like the warning on your painkiller bottle tells you, “if you experience pain for more than 7 days seek medical attention.”
Well, we all don’t have a psychiatrist on call or even on insurance so learning a few key questions to ask yourself and be open to answering them can be key for moving forward.
Here are my own reflections on not feeling like it.
Ten Question Self-Analysis:
How are you feeling?
“Honestly, not so great. For the last week plus I’ve been feeling sick or rather having an illness like feelings, similar to when I was in the workforce. The energy level just isn’t there right now.”
Does anything physically hurt? If so, where?
“The first symptom was my ears, they’ve been hurting for a few weeks now. Picking up on odd frequencies and having ear ache type pains. (Does no one hear that high pitched sound coming from the speakers?) I’ve also been having headaches for over a week, the type I used to get when I was working 9-5. My neck is also tight and I’m breaking out, but that could have been the chocolate bar I inhaled while stress eating the presidential debate.”
Have you felt this way before? If so, what were the circumstances?
“Yes, I know that for me I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. The headaches were something that happened a lot while working my last two 9-5 jobs. It was a daily pain, that only serious amounts of Tylenol could temporarily check.”
Did something different happen to trigger or cause you to feel “off”?
“The weather dropped to 8 degrees and I was out in a sweater two nights in a row. Yeah, I know my bad. Also, I had finally caught up on client work and then got hired for a few new projects from now until next summer. Isn’t more work a good thing?”
Has anything made you feel better?
“Laying down, taking a minute and just not doing much has helped a bit. Caffeine has some days helped the headaches. I do rest up, try to get going but no energy. Can I just hibernate til spring please?”
How’s your appetite? Have you been eating and drinking right?
“Nope. Definitely not drinking enough water and probably not eating right. My taste buds are definitely off. Mangos taste like bananas and I have an acid reflux like taste going on, so basically been eating salty and spicy. Hard to eat when nothing tastes right, which makes me think this is physical, not mental or emotional tiredness. I haven’t really been cooking either, which I was totally into after becoming gluten free. But, if I’m being truthful, the whole can’t eat gluten thing is starting to get to me. I got ‘glutened‘ last month and it was so painful that I guess I’ve gone too strict to the point of not eating, and just too lazy to cook everything.”
Are you off your routine? Have you been active?
“What routine!? Just kidding, sort of. No, not really. I just haven’t been doing some of the leaving the house stuff. What are we talking exercise? You already know that isn’t for me. I have been more home bound than usual. Just not feeling 100% to go to family breakfast and dinner.”
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What’s been on your mind? Is anything frustrating or overwhelming?
“I’ve been feeling behind on my plans, and not feeling well is an inconvenience that makes me worry more. The only thing on my mind is why don’t I feel well and all the things I’ve scheduled to focus on. It’s a cycle, I don’t feel well so I think about what’s to be done, then I think about not feeling well. The truly frustrating part is feeling unwell.”
Is anything bothering or worrying you?
“I’m seriously bothered by the immense displays of racism and sexism in the news. I wouldn’t say I feel unsafe exactly. Actually, I would. It really bothers me and after being on the receiving end a few months back of some verbally assaulting language sent by someone who may think he’s being friendly. Compounded the ridiculous amount of horror stories I read and see daily, I haven’t been the same. I’ve always wanted to drive across the continent and now I feel like I can’t, by myself. Confession, I also kind of cannot stand my new neighbors and their damn banging all the flipping time. Like, shut up already. UGH.”
Have you experienced any recent disappointments or let downs?
“Actually quite the opposite, I’ve had some pro-appointments and pick me ups. So seriously, why don’t I feel up? Does being down on Saturday afternoon while watching Luke Cage count? Maybe it’s the opposite – fear of success and progress kicking in perhaps? What can I say it’s complicated.”
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Am I Depressed or Just Lazy
My “prognosis” is likely that it’s 70% not actually feeling physically feeling well, as I’m likely fighting off a cold or infection. Considering the trigger was me being outside when it was colder than I’m used to and the physical signs of not feeling great are there.
But it’s likely around 30% circumstantial and my mental state. Thinking about not feeling great and being upset about worldly things that worry and frighten me aren’t helping either.
Honestly, doing this self-analysis exercise has already started to make me feel better, now if only I would eat and drink (realized that I had gone 8 hours without eating anything today… I know bad right?). I’m fairly confident from my answers and its a load off my shoulders (which will help with that 30% mental) that it isn’t just my mind or my emotions, it’s my body that’s recovering.
I just need time, sleep, nourishment and hydration. Sometimes it takes longer to heal and stressing over it isn’t helping me at all.
Why Don’t You Feel Like It?
The answers could just as easily have swung the other way, with an emotional and mental reasoning behind my feelings.
Leading up to big decisions like quitting my job or starting a business, these are the types of question I asked myself regularly, which is why I keep asking them anytime I feel “off.”
It’s important to self-analyze yourself when you really just don’t feel like it. The answers could be physical, circumstantial, emotional, mental or any combination.
Is it depression, laziness or lack of motivation? If you don’t know you can’t work through it.
And of course, if it’s not just laziness or a lack of motivation, you should seek professional help.
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It’s alright either way, but if you don’t know what’s actually going on with you, how can you address it? We’re complicated creatures and just like we have habits and routines for motivating ourselves, we need routine system checkups for understanding our motivations and even more importantly our lack thereof.