Throughout the day, your mind wrestles with two competing desires: one that longs to achieve your goals/hopes/dreams, and one that longs for comfort/pleasure/relaxation. 

An exhausting game of tug-o-war in our minds. 

These competing desires cause angst to many people. It adds a layer of pressure to what we think we should choose (the first desire), but instead, we repel and do anything but what we “should” be doing.

We start to “should” all over ourselves! 

For example:

We tell ourselves, “I should be working on that writing project,” or “I should meditate daily.”

However, we find ourselves procrastinating and beating ourselves up for not doing these things.

I want to normalize this experience. 

How do you turn the volume up on the desire you truly want to focus on? Engage in a simple exercise where you spend time getting to know each of your wants without judgment.

Explore WHY you want to write or meditate in the first place.

What is so compelling about _______?

Get really familiar with your future self, as if you’ve already accomplished these things. Consider the sustained pleasure you may get from publishing your first book or achieving the long-term benefits of meditating. 

Then spend equal time exploring why you would rather go on your phone, online shop, or do things around the house instead of writing or meditating.

Remember to explore competing desires without judgment.

The result…a realization that it is harder to write or meditate than to relax or distract with technology.

This is normal, but if you understand your WHY and make it compelling, you can lean into your desire to achieve the longterm goal. 

This requires you to feel discomfort and say, “no,” to immediate pleasures and distractions. Once you do this, you will increase your capacity to do hard things and create better habits over time. The battle to not do it will lessen.

I know this exercise works because I’ve used it with clients time and time again. 

In summary, spend time understanding your two competing desires without judgment and resist the urge to “should” yourself into doing anything. 

Instead, intentionally choose to do the harder thing because you are now aware of the sustained pleasure you will get from pursuing or accomplishing it. 

Turn up that volume to do the hard thing, resist the urge to “should” on yourself. You won’t be sorry.

If you need help with the dial to turn up the volume on what you really want, join the exclusive group of Self Coaching Champions. Grab more info on the upcoming 8-week course that aims to shift your mindset from victim to victor and give you the mental strength required to overcome any obstacle in life.

Mind your strength,

Melanie Shmois

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.


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