Beliefs lead to attitudes. SUCH a simple concept. Makes total sense, right? Why don’t we take the time to figure out where our attitudes are stemming from? The origin stories of our attitudes go back to our beliefs.
Let me be painfully honest
My attitude about taking time to relax was quite shitty for a long time. I didn’t think I deserved it. I hadn’t worked hard enough. Sitting around was for lazy people.
Speaking to a friend, I was the last to criticize someone taking a vacation or going for a massage. I was secretly envious of people I knew who spent an entire Sunday in bed, reading books.
But I was also conflicted. My attitude that taking time to rest, unforced, was for lazy people. So even though I longed secretly to do it as well, I struggled to justify it.
It’s all about those origins
Where the hell did this crazy attitude come from? I had to look at my beliefs about it. My attitude was reinforced by society at large (“work hard, play hard” left no room for “relax hard”). It was reinforced by watching my dad, who never seemingly sat down until forced to by my mom. He went from working a full day as a carpenter in a large company to his home workshop, with just a stop for dinner in between. He would spend several hours more making beautiful cabinets for customers, mostly in the neighborhood. He only ever came upstairs and stopped working when my mom shouted down that the 11 o’clock news was coming on and it was time for him to quit.
From these influences, my belief was that you needed someone else’s permission to stop working. I also believed it was somewhat selfish to sit and relax when there was still work to be done.
A work in progress
As we all know by now, intentionality is the name of the game. After becoming seriously ill to the point of not being able to get out of bed, I had a come to Geezus talk with myself. Going and going and going until I literally couldn’t was dumb. It had consequences I didn’t like. It made me feel way worse than just scheduling my time differently would.
This is an ongoing process. If we’re being really honest, I still struggle with this attitude sometimes. But I’m aware of it now. And that allows me to stop and examine what beliefs are behind it. Getting to the origin story of those beliefs gives me the opportunity to do something different. It can for you, too.