We Enneagram Nines are known for our slothfulness and our inertia. For good reason. I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels like I truly am stuck right there on my bed and I think about the things I need to be doing and I just...can't.
The struggle is real. And sometimes we call ourselves lazy. We see what other people accomplish in a day and we compare ourselves and say we can't help it. We're just "lazy."
But sometimes we're not being lazy. We're just resting because we need to rest.
So, how do we know if we’re being lazy or if we’re just resting?
How do we know if we’re pushing too hard and we truly need to step back and rest, or if we could be getting more done and stop succumbing to the feeling of laziness.
My teacher, Brooke Castillo says this is how you you can determining this:
You take a look at your results.
If you're producing results at the level that you’re capable of doing, then taking a break, you're not being lazy. You're resting.
But if you are physically able to produce the results you want to and you haven't because you don’t feel like doing it, we’re going to call that laziness.
Now, here’s an important distinction. Having the thought and the feeling that you don’t want to do something is completely normal. It doesn't mean that you’re lazy. It doesn't mean that there’s something wrong with you, nor does it mean that you’re in the wrong line of work or that you're not cut out to be a parent, or anything like that. It means you’re a human with a beautiful human brain, which happens (especially for Nines) to be wired to seek comfort and avoid conflict or pain.
So, a good way to test this out with yourself is to write down a specific result (or 2 or 3) that you want to produce today on your calendar. If you accomplish those things even though you don’t feel like doing them, then you take some time off, the time that you spend laying around on the couch staring at the tv or your phone is not laziness. That is rest.
But if you give into the urge to skip producing the result(s) that you planned to produce, then we can call that laziness. And we want to eliminate that from our lives.
The reason we call it "producing a result" is because we can put something like "organize the closet" on the calendar, then spend the hour sitting there trying to decide how we're going to do it, getting distracted by our phone notifications, etc, but not really accomplishing the result of organizing the closet. So we need to be clear with ourselves about the result that we're going to produce during that time, and make sure we get it done.
Time does not equal results Efficiency does. So drop your perfectionism and just get it done! Less-than-perfect quality is better than NO result at all.
Also, here's a word of caution that I want to offer:
If you call yourself lazy, you will end up creating the result of being lazy. Your brain likes to be right more than they like to be happy. So it will go to work proving it's true.
I know there are a lot of funny memes out there about "lazy" Enneagram Nines. So be careful about labeling yourself. YOU are not lazy. You're a human who sometimes chooses comfort over results, like all other types of humans. But just like everyone else, you can also use your higher brain to choose to create the results that you really want.
Like I always say.. "You get to believe whatever you want to believe. So choose wisely! But don't overthink it." :)