How To Overcome Laziness

Published: August 25, 2010
By: Faye Hollands

What I’ve noticed over the years is that those who get ahead in their career are self-disciplined and relentless in the pursuit of their goals.  It’s not that they’re necessarily overly ambitious, or happy to trample on the toes of those around them, but they know what they want and they take consistent action to get there.  That’s all well and good, but what can you do if you’re not a very disciplined person?  Here’s how to reach your goals when your willpower is failing…

Pain Is Power

The truth is that most people have a lazy side to them – even high achievers.  We’ve all battled with the alarm clock at some point in our lives, experienced the discomfort of having to do something we’re unsure of, and struggled to keep up the motivation to reach our goals.  But what sets the successful apart from the rest is that they realise how important self-discipline is when it comes to pursuing your dreams and aspirations, and understanding the importance pain plays in this equation can make a huge difference.

As humans, everything we do is out of a desire to avoid pain or to find pleasure, but we are programmed to take more action and be more motivated to avoid pain.  So when it comes to chasing after your goals, and trying to be self-disciplined, it’s critical that you are aware of the pain associated with not reaching your goals.  Here are some examples: –

  • Goal: Change Career – the pain associated with NOT changing career could be feeling stuck in a job you hate, dreading getting up every morning, boredom, lack of work/life balance …..
  • Goal: Lose Weight – the pain associated with NOT losing weight could be bad health, poor self-esteem, ill-fitting clothes…
  • Goal: Get A New Job – the pain associated with NOT getting a new job could be financial stress, daily lack of motivation, frustration…
  • Goal: Find A Partner – the pain associated with NOT finding a partner could be a feeling of loneliness, boredom, lack of companionship…

Identifying the pain involved is the catalyst to becoming more disciplined in your actions, and therefore getting closer to achieving your goals.

So if you want to get ahead in your career but are feeling sluggish or unmotivated, consider what will happen if you don’t move forward.  Perhaps you’ll plod along in the same job forevermore, earning the same salary and working with the same annoying people.  Or perhaps peer-pressure provides the pain you need to get ahead – is everyone else in your social circle moving up the ladder whilst you stay put and feel frustrated with this turn of events?  Whatever your ‘pain’ firstly find it, and then use it to your own advantage to help get motivated again.

Have you used pain before to help motivate you?  Post a comment below and let me know….

Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting.

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.  You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

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One Response to How To Overcome Laziness

  1. jonathan majavie

    Hi Faye
    I started working on a chicken farm just to earn an income while hating the long shifts. One day while selling eggs to the staff at a college I recognised that it was graduation day. When I saw the graduates in their outfits I saw myself graduating one day. That day encourage me to study and afterwards applying for a position. Today I work in an office and realise my biggest passion is career coaching, but I am not there yet. The pain of the past actually motivated me to stretch to achieve the vision I had.


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