Why is it that sometimes you can be super motivated, productive, and focused on your goal…
And then slip into apathy? As in, you stop caring in the moment about your goal. What’s worse is that you don’t care that you don’t care.
It can be paralyzing, even mystifying. What happened? One minute, you are ON FIRE. You are moving on your goals like a train. The next minute, you hit a wall. A wall of indifference. And it spins you out into a void of NO feeling.
A fun metaphor might look like this: You are on a cruise ship headed for a tropical destination, like Belize. The ship is moving at exactly the right speed, right on schedule. You have packed conscientiously and are enjoying yourself righteously. Everything is perfect. You know your precise ETA and have your whole excursion planned out. 🤩
Unexpectedly, things get weird. The cruise ship slows to a halt. No warning, no explanation. Soon, you learn that there has been a tragic mistake and there is not going to be enough fuel to complete the trip. You actually RAN OUT OF GAS. 😲
Floating aimlessly, drifting off course, no one appears to be taking any action to correct the situation. You’re going to become lost at sea. Instead of organizing some kind of rescue, everyone is more interested in getting drunk and enjoying the cruise ship amenities. They dine, they entertain, and they drink themselves into oblivion.
Nobody actually CARES. And neither do you. You’re detached and indifferent. You can’t figure out WHY you don’t want to get to Belize or save yourself. You know this is going to end badly, but you just shrug your shoulders and stare blankly off the starboard. 🤷♀️
How are you going to pull yourself out of this mess? Why can’t you CARE more?
The bottom line is that apathy is a feeling. We can fall into it because of a setback or for no identifiable reason at all, but in the end, it is caused by our thinking.
Examining your thoughts is the necessary place to start
You might find thoughts like:
- It doesn’t matter anyway.
- It’s taking too long.
- It’s too hard.
- I’ll never get there.
- Screw it!
You must uncover the thought you are believing so that you can question it. Remember, thoughts create feelings. Feelings drive actions (or inaction). Actions create your results.
Maybe you are thinking you’ll never get there. You’re focusing on how much you’re suffering and finding reasons why nothing is working. Your thought: This sucks and I’m never going to reach my goal. You feel apathy. You stop following your food plan, measuring your progress, and taking care of yourself.
Your result? You never reach your goal AND EVERYTHING SUCKS.
You might stay in apathy while you are thinking this thought, but eventually what happens is you get really uncomfortable with everything sucking. With NOT having the goal.
So you decide to try again. You recommit to the goal and start doing everything you know you need to do. But then for one reason or another, you slide into apathy again. Back and forth you go.
“You can’t stand the discomfort of achieving your dreams and you can’t stand the discomfort of NOT achieving your dreams.” — Brooke Castillo
You have to see this for what it is. And you MUST find the thinking that is driving this cycle, or you are powerless to break it.
Now that you’ve flipped on the light switch and exposed all those thoughts, you get to see that they are optional. You THINK that they are TRUE, but are they really? Question them.
For me, I realized I was believing that “it’s too hard” to lose the weight. I had lots of evidence for why it was hard. Once I caught myself in this belief, I thought, “Really? Too hard? I’ve done WAY harder things than lose 10 pounds.” I listed all the things I’d done that were hard. Top of the list? Birthing 5 humans and keeping them alive!
Then I asked, “What’s wrong with hard?” I like hard. Hard makes me strong. I found all the ways that doing hard things makes me resilient and makes my life fulfilling. I stopped believing that hard was a reason to stop, or that it was even hard at all.
Ask yourself, why are you stuck? Why are you not doing what you KNOW you need to do? Write down the answers to these questions.
Then you focus your brain on arguing against these thoughts. If your mind is a courtroom, and the prosecution has just presented a case for why you are out of gas, why you can’t achieve your dreams, I want you to now become the defense.
Write down the case for why this is all a bunch of bullsh*t. Gather ALL the evidence. Find all the reasons why the prosecution is lying. Argue the case like your life depends on it. You have to focus your mind on why you will succeed. Bring into focus why you must succeed no matter what. Why there is no other option.
If you want to take it to the next level, I want you to go in your mind to the place where you have achieved your goal. This would be like imagining yourself in Belize instead of on the cruise ship lost at sea.
Create in your imagination the experience of having reversed your diabetes, lost all the weight, and living your best life. Describe your life in detail so that you can really immerse yourself in that reality. For a moment, your mind will not be able to tell the difference. How do you FEEL? FEEL it NOW. In your bones. If this doesn’t wipe out apathy, you’re doing it wrong.
When you start seeing and correcting your thinking, you will stop feeling apathetic. Your thoughts will inspire new feelings, like motivated, resolved, and driven.
And guess what happens when you start feeling motivated, resolved, and driven? You take action that moves you closer to your goal.
I can show you how powerful this exercise is in just a short conversation. If you’ve been staying stuck in indifference, I can show you how to shift yourself into possibility. We find the reasons why it’s so important to you to change, and then we build a rock solid commitment. When you take action with a plan you create toward your goal, you create the future you want on purpose. Living your life on default never leads to anywhere great.
Where are you going if you don’t choose?