Rethinking Just Do It

Liz Sumner Resistance Leave a Comment

I have long felt the urge to punch the copywriter who penned Just Do It because it sounds to me like an order– a condescending directive from someone who doesn’t appreciate how impossible the proposition is.

I get that I’m reading too much into it.

I probably spend more energy resisting effort than it takes to actually do something. Why is this? I don’t like to be told what to do. I don’t want to be wrong. No is my default answer.

But then yesterday I noticed a different set of circumstances where I simply took a step without making a big deal about it. I just did it. Afterwards I thought, “Huh. That was different.”

The situation was this– over the last year I lost 30 pounds and got within 10 pounds of my goal on the scale, but recently I’ve hit a plateau and haven’t found the impetus to lose that last bit. I had, in fact, been gaining a little each week. Yesterday I was afraid when I approached the scale and relieved to see that I was back down a couple pounds. 

I hadn’t decided to set a new plan of action for those 10 pounds. I didn’t gear up for a new assault on the “weight problem.” I just explored an app I’d heard about that has a different approach and offered a free trial. The action of signing up made me happy and feel encouraged and gave me renewed interest in achieving my ultimate goal.

I didn’t MAKE A DECISION. I just stepped. 

When I think back on other choices I see the same pattern. I get around my resistance by approaching it sideways. You take the next obvious step before you realize the broader implication and have a chance to gainsay yourself.

We got the apartment in Italy this way. On a lark we stopped into a real estate office just to see what would happen. We weren’t expecting to do anything except find out some information, but we ended up actually seeing properties and fell in love with the first place we saw.

Now granted, taking action without thinking about consequences isn’t necessarily a good idea, but I have a pretty good internal sense of what’s good and bad for me so I trust that my sensors would prevent me from making an irrevocable mistake.

What have you been avoiding with full-strength? For me it’s often exercise, cleaning, or difficult conversations. What if you metaphorically turned sideways?  What’s a natural next step that’s indirectly related? What if the voice saying “just do it” wasn’t your older sister but sounded like Idris Elba?

If this notion speaks to you and helps move you, I’d love to hear about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *