The Cure for Laziness

The Cure for Laziness


When we call ourselves lazy, we do it innocently. Unconscious about what's really going on, the inner critic kicks in and decides the issue is our laziness.

I’ve noticed this a lot lately: bright, capable women calling themselves lazy.

“I’d love to write that book, but I’m just too lazy.”

“I get really into meditating in the mornings for a few weeks, but then the laziness kicks in and I end up sleeping in in the morning instead.”

“I should be doing more to promote myself within my company, but I’m lazy about it.”

Do you ever talk about yourself in this way?

When I first started noticing it, I was a little shocked—it seemed like such a harsh way for women to talk about themselves. But more than all that, I just didn’t believe it. I didn’t see any laziness in these women. I still don’t.

Instead, I see women who are blocked from action…

  • because they are afraid of failure or success;
  • because they fear something they might have to face if they do the real work;
  • because they don’t know what action to take or how to take it;
  • because they’re trying to force themselves to do something that is outside the realm of their genius or their natural flow;
  • because the truth is life is calling them in another direction entirely, and (thank goodness) their souls just won’t let them sell out.

In other words, laziness is never the real story. Something else is the real story. Laziness is a cover word, a distraction, a ruse.

It’s a dangerous term to use, because it takes us in futile directions. Conclude the reason you aren’t doing something is because you’re lazy, and where can you go from there?

There are really only two options: you can sigh and sulk and feel bad about your laziness and become generally defeated about your project. Or you can try to fix your laziness and whip yourself into some kind of motivation, which is unlikely to work for any longer than the very short term. When we call the issue our “laziness” we don’t investigate what’s really causing the block of our motivation, what’s really holding us back. We don’t bring inquiry and self-compassion and wise discernment to the situation, so we don’t really move forward.

When we call ourselves lazy, we do it innocently. Unconscious about what's really going on, the inner critic kicks in and decides the issue is our laziness.

Of course, the inner critic doesn’t want us to figure out what’s really going on, because it doesn’t want us to leave the comfort zone of the status quo. So “lazy” as an explanation works really well for it.

Is there any area of your life in which you’ve been calling yourself lazy?

You aren’t.

Something else is going on. Ask yourself what it is, with kindness, like this: “Honey, what’s the real issue here, and what do you need to address it?”

I can promise you this: you have a natural wellspring of motivation to express your gifts and contribute to the world, the same way a child has a natural wellspring of motivation to explore, play, create and communicate.

Tap the right wellspring, clear the blocks, and motivation will flow. You aren’t lazy, my dear, you really aren’t.

This article was first published on To see the original article, please click here.

Tara Mohr is an expert on women's leadership and wellbeing and the author of Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. She's the creator of the global Playing Big program for women and the Playing Big Facilitators Training for coaches, therapists, leadership development professionals and other practitioners supporting women in their personal and professional growth. Get her free 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook here.

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