Do What Feels Right to You

Do What Feels Right to You

How many times in a day do you feel like you should or have to do something you don’t want to do?

It’s common to have resistance to things you don’t enjoy doing, like exercising or cleaning. Why is that true — especially when these things often aren’t difficult, so why do we resist doing them?

Psychologist Timothy A. Carey, writing for Psychology Today, says: “The funny thing is…we don’t do anything unless we want to do it.” He means that we are wired to want…“we want our body to be the right temperature, we want the right amount of oxygen in our blood, we want the right number of friends and close relationships, we want the right level of achievement, and so on.”

So, what’s the problem?

It is less about the “thing” you want (the result) and more about the reasons why you are taking action. This usually takes the form of influences like:

  • Seeking (subconsciously) someone else’s approval. (I should ______ because if I don’t my family/friends will be on me to do it.)
  • Feeling pressured to do something that you didn’t choose. (My boss has me doing this project I don’t agree with and I know it’s useless.)
  • Following a set of rules or expectations from an outside source like social media or social conventions. (“Everyone” knows that getting to that next level of success means working on the weekends.)

I say, “If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Whatever these influences may be, the result is that taking action to do the thing may not feel good or right. When you function from that place, you are out of alignment with your deeper self in some way.

It’s better to be in alignment than in resistance.

When you are in resistance, you create an inner conflict that produces stress in your body, causing even more resistance and negative feelings. This doesn’t put you any closer to getting the thing accomplished or getting results that are fulfilling.

Instead of doing something you don’t want to do, ask yourself what you can do to feel in harmony with it.

1. Approach the task differently.

  • Put off doing it for a later time, after you have done something you enjoy that rejuvenates and energizes you. This can be enough to diffuse the feelings causing the resistance.
  • Delegate the task to someone else, or hire someone to do it.
  • See if there could be a different way to do something that would be more preferable, such as exercising three times a week instead of five times, or choosing a time of day to do a task when you have more energy or are feeling less pressured.

2. Explore the resistance and find what feels right to you. A different approach can be a simple fix (with a little practice). However, the resistance may come from a deeper and more complex place, such as:

  • What you feel like you should do doesn’t feel safe.
  • You don’t feel good about the person/people who are influencing you to do this thing.
  • You thought you wanted this, but in truth, you have no desire to do it.

You may begin to think about what you really want. What you thought were the “right” kinds of relationships might not be aligned with what you desire. The “right” kind of accomplishment may be different from what you thought it was, and there are new ways to take action that you will enjoy more and give you the result you really want.

Whatever the reluctance is, it’s worth understanding — and making peace with it.