“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is to act as if it were impossible to fail.” – Dorothea Brande
I’ve been struggling with inertia lately in the areas of fitness, blogging, and writing in general.
To give myself credit, I have been walking a lot. On a recent trip to Spain and France, I walked miles every day and kept up with my family. But I came back home having gained a few pounds, and I was already a bit overweight. I had eaten what I wanted to on my vacation – who can resist French desserts? One day I had a chocolate-filled croissant as part of breakfast, dessert at lunchtime (included in the meal price) and dessert at dinner (again, it was included.) Three desserts in one day! All my walking was healthy, but it wasn’t enough to work off three desserts.
Given that I haven’t been taking the best care of my body, I’ve avoided writing a blog post. How can I write about taking better care of ourselves when I weigh 15 pounds more than I want to? I do want to express the truth.
So what is the answer for me?
I decided to write a blog post exploring the question of inertia and end it by asking my readers for support. My first step was to pull out the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which I’ve previously recommended for those struggling with resistance about using their talents. But Pressfield says that seeking support is another way to avoid our real work. “Seeking support from family and friends is like having your people gathered around at your death-bed. It’s nice, but when the ship sails, all they can do is stand on the deck waving goodbye.” Ouch.
So what is Pressfield’s solution? He says we must “turn pro”; that is, to act like professionals. Show up every day and do our work. His teachings remind me of the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”
And how do we do that? Pressfield urges us to call upon the Higher Realm – in his case angels and muses. “. . . There are forces we can call our allies.” He says that by using our talents, we are serving God. “Do it as an offering to God. . . .The work comes from Heaven anyway. Why not give it back?”
Being a woman of faith, I like this idea and can apply it to my resistance to writing. I do think God wants me to use the writing talents He gave me. But does this teaching apply to fitness?
I think it does. Fitness is about self-control and taking care of the body that God has given me.
I will keep taking steps to overcome inertia and will share my struggles and successes with you. I hope you will do the same.
Is there something that you feel called to do that you’ve been avoiding? Have you overcome such resistance in the past? Please share your thoughts.
I cannot resist french desserts lol that looks delish! great post 🙂 looking forward to seeing more 🙂
I think that sometimes people have periods of inertia, and maybe that’s what their heart and soul needs for a little while. It sounds as though you just finished a wonderful trip that kept you very busy – doing all that walking and yes, all that eating. That can tire a person out! Your body may be taking a little time to re- energize, and maybe once you get back to your normal schedule, your normal days you will feel that inertia start to lift. Also, there is a natural “letdown” after such a wonderful vacation, so be kind to yourself, and give yourself a little time to bounce back.
Darlene, I much appreciate your uplifting words. I tend to be hard on myself and am grateful for your understanding.
I hereby “poke” my readers to check out Darlene’s blog by clicking on her name. Darlene is truly a leader in her own life who has changed her life for the better.
Nice to hear from you again, Sue! I feel like I’m sitting next to you when I read your blogs because your writing style is so “real!”
I also had an article due on May 1st (a very SOFT deadline) and I’m just writing it today, May 29th. Darlene’s comment above about needing rest is absolutely true for me. After a few loose days this week my brain is working creatively again. Feels good!
That’s reassuring, Diane! Thank you as always for your support and friendship.
This post struck a chord!
Just this morning, after a long evening yesterday, working for hours polishing a manuscript that needs to go to press ASAP ( using an “assisted publishing” press) I was feeling alone, unsupported and unappreciated. Yes, a few friends are supportive of my writing efforts, but most are indifferent (or maybe even a little jealous?). I’m too old to entice an agent or editor with the promise of multiple, glamorous best-sellers. So I’m doing it on my own. And I realize that this is the only way my writing efforts will ever be done and available in print. Determination and persistence. A slogan I have hanging from my computer monitor is: “Do the hardest thing first.”
Joanne, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I like your “determination and persistence” and your slogan would help most of us! We do tend to procrastinate on the tough or scary tasks.
Sue, loved your blog. Sometimes I wonder if it is inertia, procrastination, lack of motivation (courage) in my own life, that keeps me from moving forward. Thanks for your thoughts. Ann
“Fitness is about self-control and taking care of the body that God has given me.” > You’re absolutely right. And I definitely agree with the latter. In fact, keeping in mind that what we have is “borrowed” (e.g. life) or “given” (e.g. talents) is what motivates me (and it’s not easy) to keep moving forward, to keep exploring, to be a better version of what God originally had in mind.
Put one foot forward and the rest will follow. 🙂
Ah…I can so well relate to this because the slight weight issues does exist that I’m also trying to take hold of. What really works is getting down to taking care of your body, just as you mentioned. You can do that easily and yes, take it as blogging that you keep updated or look into each day.
I think by taking out a little time daily for yourself you can achieve success 🙂
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For my readers interested in more info about overcoming inertia related to creativity, please see http://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2013/06/fighting-inner-battles-to-be-more-creative/. I’m proud that Douglas Eby references the above post as a “related article.”
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I could really relate to so much here. It’s so easy to get distracted and lose focus. Inertia can sometimes just creep in without me knowing it until I suddenly catch on and remind myself that I need to get on! At the end of the day it’s about balance. It’s good to work hard but we do also need to rest.
Great post Susan. Thank you.
Thanks for allowing a “guy’s view” in on this. What a talent you have! We men, are not aloud to talk about how we feel? Who made that rule, anyway? You got it! Thanks for being an inspiration to me. I also just returned from France and Spain doing the Camino walk; it was over 500 miles it took me 56 days and yes; I got answers to life’s questions.
I live in Thailand doing volunteer work and enjoying my retirement. One, of my many lessons from my journey was to write down my problem-challenge and magical an answer would appear? It invariably revolves around my view of “other people.” I always questioned myself…Why can’t other people think, feel and do what I do? When I learned to accept them (not necessarily agree with them) I learned how to breath! Really like your blog and F.B. page, let’s grow together!
Jim, I’m happy and grateful when men comment or follow my work. Thank you for your visit and your kind remarks!
My daughter had a semester in Santiago de Compostela and we visited her there while in Spain. We walked just a couple miles of the Camino. It is amazing that you walked 500 miles. You’re an inspiration to me and I’m sure my readers!
I like your concept of writing down a problem-challenge and letting an answer appear. You’re right – we can accept people even when we don’t agree with them.
I look forward to reading more of your work.
I appreciate the reminder. As a writer I need to have this reminder before me. It is easy to give up when things get hard. I just sat down at my computer determined that my entire morning was going to be dedicated to getting those writerly things done. My life and home are very full and I needed to be reminded not to make excuses for not writing. AS for fitness -you hit another chord there. With all the stress in my life right now I have slammed on the pounds. Thanks for the reminder to get my priorities in order.
I must say… I’m inspired. I need to lose at least 40 pounds. I’ve been trying all along but every once in a while I get burnt out. I think maybe telling myself to be professional is going to help. Thanks 🙂
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