[1 minute psychology] There’s no such thing as laziness

[1 minute psychology] There’s no such thing as laziness

There is no such thing as laziness.

People hate this, but it’s true. There is no legitimate psychological construct known as laziness.

If laziness was a recognized psychological construct, it would lie between “lay psychology”, and “lazy eye” in my APA psychology dictionary.

But it doesn’t. Instead there is a glaring gap. Apparently our eyes can be lazy, but we can’t.

Most people erroneously believe that procrastination is caused by laziness; and that laziness is a hard-wired personality trait.

However, even if laziness did exist, it describes a set of behaviors – the symptoms, not the cause.

2 types of ‘laziness’

The behaviors that are commonly described as laziness – procrastination, avoidance, abdication of responsibility, etc. are actually caused by one of two situations.

The first cause of ‘laziness’ is simply low motivation. Easy cure – boost motivation.

However, in the second type of ‘laziness’, motivation is typically extremely high. You’ll commonly find this type in students in competitive courses, creatives, and anyone with a thesis to write.

But, in people exhibiting Type II ‘laziness’, something else is even higher than their high motivation.

Procrastination = fear

And that something else is fear.

Specifically fear of failure, criticism, and – fundamentally – fear of rejection.

For a profound social species like humans, with our gigantic pre-frontal cortex’s – developed (teleologically speaking) to help us navigate complex social relationships – our ability to avoid tribal rejection was the difference between survival and being tossed out of the cave to a hungry sabretooth tiger.

Rejected. Alone. Our large pre-frontal cortex’s are no match for a tiger’s large teeth.

Very real psychological terror

This is why, for so many of us, fear of failure, criticism, and rejection is a very real psychological terror.

And this is why, although I help clients optimize their motivation, the bulk of the work involves reducing their fear.

And that is what cures ‘laziness’.

Because it’s exponentially easier to succeed when we aren’t terrified of criticism, failure, or rejection.


FREE download “How to safely use a dangerous – but powerful – psychology strategy to finish anything”  How do you think I finished my Ph.D. thesis on time? This strategy is the big gun of behavior psychology. It provides powerful motivation – but can backfire if applied incorrectly. Subscribe and download the FREE step by step instructions and start finishing!  Click here to subscribe and get the free behavior psychology strategy

Comment below: I’d love you to share how you cope (or not) with ‘failure’, or the fear of failure

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Further Reading:

Why I’m so scared of failure

[1 minute psychology]: ‘Failures’ are the stepping stones to success 

Procrastination is a phobia – and can be cured like one

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