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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

10 Tips on How to Do Something You Don’t Want to Do

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10 Tips on How to Do Something You Don’t Want to Do

We all have to do things in life we don’t want to do. For me, it’s laundry, cooking, and exercising, and for others, it’s something else. Some of these things we need to do on a daily basis, while others are more long-term goals. However, it’s important for all of us that we learn how to do something you don’t want to do.

In a world where every person seems to be a procrastinator, how do you find the willpower to do those dreaded activities in your life? Do you often find yourself saying “I can’t get myself to do anything”? If so, it is likely an issue with your motivation or willpower.

Here are 10 tips to help you do what you don’t want to:

1. Face Your Fear

Doing things you don’t want to do isn’t always based in fear (think cooking or laundry), but many of them are. What if you have to give a big presentation[1], but you feel like you’d rather put a bullet in your brain than speak in front of a group?

Many of the things you need to do can lead to personal growth. Facing your fears head-on will make you a better person. And remember, the more you do something, the easier it gets, but you have to stop putting it off and just complete the task.

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2. Think of the Long-Term Effects

Let’s say you know you need to eat healthier and exercise. In this case, procrastinating is only hurting you. The longer you wait, the more your body will deteriorate, but you just don’t know what to do when you don’t want to do anything.

It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone, but your comfort zone often has negative consequences for your future. Therefore, the trick is to think long-term.

When you want to learn how to do something you don’t want to do, think about how your actions (or inaction) today will be affecting your tomorrow or 10-20 years from now.

If this isn’t enough to motivate you, try checking out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: Activate Your Motivation.

3. Consider Others

Maybe your spouse has been asking you to clean up your huge pile of junk in the kitchen for a long time, and the reason the junk pile is there is because you hate dealing with the details of paper, mail, and all the other random stuff that has collected in that spot.

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Putting off cleaning is probably creating resentment in your relationship in this case. Not only is your inaction affecting him/her, but also the overall quality of your relationship. It’s best to suck it up and do the unpleasant task for someone you love, especially when it isn’t causing you any emotional or bodily harm.

4. Break It Into Smaller Steps

Sometimes the tasks you need to accomplish seem so daunting and overwhelming you don’t know where to begin. When this happens, you end up doing nothing and accomplishing nothing.

Before I started my Ph.D. program, the thought of writing a dissertation that was several hundred pages long seemed like an impossibility. However, once I reframed it and thought of it as several shorter “papers” put together, then it didn’t seem so bad. Breaking it down into smaller tasks helps immensely when you’re trying to figure out how to do something you don’t want to do.

5. Don’t Do It All at Once

If you need to clean that junk pile, don’t feel like it all has to be done in one sitting. Any effort toward your end goal is progress. Even if you’re pursuing a degree or doing your taxes, any small effort counts.

Give yourself permission to take the time to get the job done right. At the same time, this doesn’t mean you have unlimited time; you have to stick with it and refuse to give up. Also, don’t allow yourself to leave it until the last minute as this will force you into doing it all at once.

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6. Prioritize Steps

Once you have the small steps mapped out, rank them on what is most important. What is the most immediate need and the least? Maybe you’ve been putting off paying your bills, and if that’s the case, make sure you first pay the ones due soon.

As obvious as it sounds, many people don’t prioritize like that. Even if it’s cleaning your house you are procrastinating about, start with the room you think is the dirtiest.

7. Put the Steps on a Calendar

Whether it’s a physical or digital calendar, take the time to put your tasks down on particular days so that when you get up that morning and look at what you have to do that day, you will see your tasks. When this happens, you will be more likely to accomplish them because it’s on your daily to-do list.

You’ll find that you feel more motivated when you’re able to check something off of your calendar, which may help to keep you on track as you’re learning how to do something you don’t want to do.

8. Remember the End Result

Some goals don’t show results quickly, and those are the most difficult ones to start. If you need to lose 50 pounds, you’re probably not going to see the scale move a whole lot for the first week or two.

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It’s easy to become discouraged when you are not seeing the results of your efforts, but stick with it. Remember how great it will feel once you accomplish your goal.

Visualization can help with this process. Bring to mind what you end goal will really look and feel like.

9. Appreciate What You Have to Do

If you’re grumbling about cleaning your house, doing your laundry, paying your bills, or cooking, remember how lucky you are to have a house, clothes, food, and money to pay for it all. Not every activity you do is fun, but you can always find some appreciation in whatever you need to do.

10. Reward Yourself

Grab a hot fudge sundae or treat yourself to a long, hot bath and some wine when you’re done with your task. It’s great to spoil yourself, and when you decide to reward yourself after you have accomplished what you don’t want to do, it will serve as more of an incentive to get it done!

The Bottom Line

Our days will not always be filled with our favorite activities. Occasionally, you have to learn how to do something you don’t want to do. This really comes down to motivation and using the correct perspective for a given task.

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Take some time to remember why you need to do a given activity and how you will feel once it’s done. You’ll be surprised how your mind begins to automatically shift when faced with a challenge.

More on Finding Motivation

Featured photo credit: Magnet.me via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology Today: Why Are We Scared of Public Speaking?

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on December 14, 2021

15 Simple Ways To Get Confidence Back

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15 Simple Ways To Get Confidence Back

Confidence is essential to survival. If you’re a man, you can’t even attract a mate without it, as women (and even gay men) are attracted to tenacity. There are times, however, when a devastating or unexpected loss can sap you of your poise. If you’re down, here’s how to get confidence back into your system so you’re ready to take on the world again.

1. Find Your Comfort Zone

Everyone has a comfort zone, whether it’s food, music, art, a favorite book, movie, TV show, a specific geographic location or group of people. Whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable, get into that zone. You’re not there to hide from your problems or dwell on them. You’re there to recharge; just like your muscles and mind need time to recharge, so does your mood. Take a staycation in your comfort zone to regain your composure.

2. Change Your Thoughts

Actively make a conscious decision to change your thought processes. Every time you doubt yourself, counter those thoughts with ways you can overcome. Remember most of your problems are in your head. That’s not to say they don’t exist – merely that you’re allowing them to affect you. Stand up to and for yourself, and you’ll learn ways to stand up to and for everyone else.

3. Smile Like You Mean It

A smile goes a long way. Even if you’re not fully sure of yourself, you’ll exude a sureness that encourages people to perceive you as a confident person. You’ll be seen as a leader rather than a follower, and things will be more likely to go your way. The media portrays Special Forces soldiers as killing machines, but one of their most used weapons is a friendly smile. Diplomacy is strong, so put a smile on your face, and make the world a better place.

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4. Don’t Slouch!

Your posture and the way you carry yourself goes a long way in determining your appearance. If you’re slouched over, people assume you’re weaker. This is how nature works – every plant and animal species on this planet understands survival of the fittest, and you need to look like you’re fit. Make an effort to sit up and stand up straight and tall.

5. Take Baby Steps

Everything happens in steps. Don’t get discouraged if there’s no magical change that suddenly makes you confident. Focus on your path, and understand it’ll take baby steps to get where you want. You’ll soon be taking baby steps from confidence to full-on success in life.

6. Clean Yourself Up

Cleanliness is close to godliness (or so I’ve heard). Hygiene is vital to your confidence – it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re stained, sweaty and smelly. No matter what your circumstances in life are, do your best to stay clean, as it’s the key to your confidence.

7. Face Your Fears

Everyone has a list of fears and phobias, although many don’t want to admit it. I’m afraid of snakes, spiders, heights, loss of control, drowning, the dark, other people, and just about everything under the sun. I’m even afraid of the sun since I have moles and have a high melanoma risk. These are natural fears that everyone has on some level or another – it’s a fear of death and the unknown. Face at least one of your fears. When you survive, you’ll be that much more confident.

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8. Define Yourself

You are your present choices. Your past decisions and future aspirations determine how your present choices are perceived, but you are your present choices. Learn how to define yourself. Set your rules and boundaries and follow them. These are your morals and ethics, and they’re the foundation of who you are. Never forget that.

9. Embrace Mistakes

Looking back (even while it was happening), we judge Michael Jordan on his successes. People quote him as the greatest basketball player of all time and use his wins, championships and statistics to back it up. Jordan himself, though, reached that level by focusing on his failures. What drove Michael Jordan wasn’t the high from making a game-winning shot, it was the low of missing one.

10. Live In The Present

Learn to appreciate everything around you. By practicing gratitude, you’ll change your perspective. Instead of being upset about losing an important client or failing a test, you’ll be grateful for the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and the people you love. Focus on the now, because it’s all you truly have.

11. Take Inventory

If you’re reading this, you also have a lot of secondary stuff, such as a computer, the Internet, the knowledge to use it, the ability to read. You have a lot of skills and resources available to you, even if they’re not the ones you wish they were. Figure out what you have, and find ways to use them.

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12. Socialize

Talk things out with friends and family – they’re normally happy to help you regain confidence. If they (or lack thereof) are the reason you lack confidence, expand your social circle. Go to public places and interact with strangers. If you fail to make an impression or completely blow it, who cares? They weren’t in your life before, and you won’t miss them.

13. Play A Game

Video games are great for a lot of reasons, and gaining confidence is just one of them. In real life you may be a boring file clerk with a dead-end life, but in a video game, you can be whoever you want. Every video game console (as well as the majority of computer and mobile games) has achievements. Hunt down some easy wins to jumpstart your spunk.

14. Do Something Crazy

I’m a firm believer in spontaneity being the spice of life. Go out and do something you said you never would. When I reached a point in my life where it felt like nothing could go right, I jumped out of an airplane. As I fell through the air, I had several epiphanies that forever changed my life. No other decision in my life had more of a direct impact on my life than that one crazy act.

15. Try Again

If your lack of confidence is caused by failure, pick up and try again in any way possible. It doesn’t have to be immediately – you can practice, learn and evolve prior to trying again. This time, however, go in as an experienced veteran who took a few licks and got back up stronger, faster and smarter than before.

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It’s easy to lose your confidence. Unexpected things happen, and you can very easily find yourself on the short end of the stick. Even though it seems like you’re the only one it’s happening to, we all experience inequalities and failures. Stick it out, and you’ll eventually get the confidence it takes to succeed.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Mowe via unsplash.com

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