What do we usually do first when apathy takes over us?
Here is Mary, she talks to herself like this: “Well, what’re you sobbing about? Do you think someone will do anything for you? There is a word and this word is “necessary”! So, pull yourself together! You have to get up and do a million tasks from your To-Do list! No point in wallowing! Lazybones. You’re not a little girl anymore!”.
Oriana has a different train of thought: “That’s it. I can’t do anything. And I don’t want to. I’ll lie down like a ragdoll until my strength comes back. I’ve had no energy for a couple of months, though … But what can you do?! If this is the way things are – I’ll lie around and wait for inspiration and a burst of energy.”
Friends, do you recognize yourselves in Mary or Oriana? Who do you think will get out of the apathy state faster?
We’ll tell you a secret – unfortunately, neither girl has increased her chances of restoring energy. Let’s figure out why.
The first one acts on the “Well, come on now!” principle. You know, there are theater directors who can’t explain the task to an actor, but they really want a great performance. In their imagination, the outcome is fuzzy and blurred. They are not able to put it in words, and they are powerlessly angry at the “stupid” actors who can’t perform “I don’t know how, but definitely not like that”. Or a slave driver, who is standing over a fallen slave with a whip, lashing him with all his might, while the other slave already has no strength left. You can beat them to death, but they still won’t get up until you feed them and give them some rest.
“Just get going!” is pointless without figuring out the reasons why you can’t “go”. Mary isn’t trying to understand what got stuck inside of her and is using forceful methods: threats, manipulation, and harsh words. Like a stepmother from a fairytale who is setting an impossible task for her stepdaughter. “Just get it done – I don’t care how.”
And what about Oriana? She seems to be doing the opposite, and it should work, so why there is no result? It’s simple: Oriana isn’t trying to find the causes of her exhaustion either and is waiting for everything to return back to normal “by itself.” However, it is the same as doing physical exercises mentally and checking every morning: “Do I have abs already? I think so much about them! No, not yet. Let me lie down for a bit longer.”
So, what’s a better approach?
- It is important to consider what your “I can’t” and “I don’t feel like it” are about. Where did they come from? What are their purposes? There can be many reasons, and all of them are yours, personal, individual ones.
- Perform a self-assessment: let yourself go “free” – what would you do if anything was possible? There are many important nuances. What attracts you?
If you want to do nothing, or to uncontrollably consume food, or to dive into mindless scrolling through the Instagram feed, this is an important sign. Most likely, you’ve been living in the “I have to” mode for too long, and now your toggle switch doesn’t turn on anymore. The body simply doesn’t believe that you are listening to it. It tries to get as much rest as possible, to “do a sufficient amount of nothing”, like a child who was suddenly given ice cream, and he doesn’t think about whether he wants to eat it or not, but is simply gorging on it until the adults change their minds and take it away.
In this case, you need to negotiate with yourself. Assume you’ll pig out on three servings of McFlurry – are you going to feel good afterwards? Remember what happened last time? Sore throat, indigestion – and no pleasure whatsoever.
Maybe try to fill this void with something else? We can always return to the dessert: it’s not going anywhere. In most cases, other previously suppressed desires may appear if you let them. And you should pay special attention to these desires.
- The next important question that you need to resolve for yourself is: “Why should I get out of apathy”? And it’s not as obvious as it seems. If there’s no internal reason to stop this condition, it simply will not leave you. It’s like when you feel like losing weight, but … firstly, you are being loved anyway, and secondly, it’s not so bad … So, of course, you want to lose weight, but…
Therefore, ask yourself this: “Why do I want to get out of this crisis and defeat apathy? WHAT would happen/occur/not happen/not occur if I do that?!”
We are hoping that these recommendations from our course “Energy Dropper” will help you regain your motivation.