Work and Torture: My Guest Post on the Change Blog

I recently had the chance to share my experience of my desire to slack off and how I deal with it on The Change Blog. The article talks about how I found the root of this problem and gives some practical steps for how to address it. Thanks to Peter Clemens creator of the Change Blog for sharing my work. If you don’t know about his blog you should check it out. 

Below is an excerpt of the piece or you can go to the full article. 

work torture
Photo by Casey Muir-Taylor


Sometimes I’d rather claw my own eyes out then sit down and start working. You might think this is because I have some faceless soulless factory job. Or that I’m merely a cog in the corporate machine but I’m not.

I run my own business. I set my own schedule. And I love what I do. Despite all this, just getting started is one of the hardest things I do all day.

My Start

This is what work morning looks like. I’m sitting at my house after breakfast or a run. I open my computer where I have a list of things I’d like to get done today, this week, this year, and this lifetime.

I look at the list and begin to formulate what I want to do first. Then all of a sudden, as if hordes of Mongols have invaded my brain, I think of some decadently lazy thing I could do.

I could play video games. I could watch the entire 3rd season of Star Trek TNG. I could putz around my house listening to podcasts and reorganizing my socks. This is when the pain begins.

What went from being a clear simple day has become a torturous choice between doing work and slacking off. It literally causes me physical pain. I feel an ache in my stomach, a longing in my chest, and a clear palpable sense of sadness.

But the last time this happened to me, I got curious. I started to wonder, why is this so painful?

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One thought on “Work and Torture: My Guest Post on the Change Blog

  1. I really felt like this post was speaking to me, to so much of what I myself have experienced nearly all my life. I’ve been trying to overcome my own fear of failure, but I do have one question:

    In regards to gratitude…I don’t know how to approach this, because everytime I think about being grateful, it reaffirms this feeling I’ve had my whole life that I’m undeserving of good things in my life because I’m so worthless. It’s like being grateful comes as, “Well, I feel really grateful for because I did nothing to deserve something so fortunate. I’m being given this thing by without knowing what they want me to do with it or what they want in return, and I’m afraid I’ll fail both them and myself because I don’t know how to reciprocate because I’ve accomplished so little that I’m left wondering how can I possibly repay them?” So I guess my question is…how do I divorce this negative mindset of worthlessness or feeling undeserving of happiness from the activity of being grateful? Doesn’t being grateful necessitate that you admit that you didn’t deserve the thing you received for which you’re grateful? Otherwise, if you feel you DID deserve it, wouldn’t it just be payment due, and not something for which you need to be grateful?

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