5 Signs You Might Addicted to Apathy

5 Signs You Might be Addicted to Apathy and How to Break Free, Donna Woolam, Living At My Best, coach, female Entrepreneurs, Christian, Women

Apathy is a sneaky devil. It masquerades as any number of acceptable attitudes and circumstances. Tragically, left unchecked, Apathy has the power to destroy your relationships, your business, your present and future.

The basic definition is simple enough: absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement; lack of interest in or concern for things others find moving or exciting.

However, the expression of apathy can spread like the vines of kudzu vine in the South.

All in the Family. A Root of Apathy

Perhaps you come from a family background where "silliness" was defined as being too excited about events or people. You may have been scolded for silliness or too much emotion. It's just possible you learned to repress your natural, God-given expressions of excitement, awe and wonder.

Over time, you've just learned to keep everything inside. After all, you don't want to look silly or over emotional, right?

The problem isn't that your family history was warped. It's that you've learned how to become disconnected from the world and your emotions. Rather than a PARTICIPATOR in life, you are now an OBSERVER.

Betrayal. The Poison Dagger of Apathy

It isn't just family dynamics that can cause the root of apathy. Life experiences - love lost, friendships betrayed, plans failed, can all cause us to cut ourselves off from engaging in the world around us. It simply becomes easier to disconnect than put ourselves out there.​

One occurrence of betrayal might make you a little hesitant to put yourself out there again. Another and another breeds suspicion. Before long, you may find yourself living by the motto, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."​ So, in order to not be fooled again, you don't put yourself out there.

Maybe this has become your Theme Song.


5 Signs You Might Be Addicted to Apathy

​1. You withhold yourself from others.

It's easier for you to not interact with the people around you. In fact, you get a type of satisfaction from being withdrawn. You may even have a feeling of superiority because you are able to withstand their cajoling efforts to join in with them in the activity. 

​2. You consider your actions a matter of self control.

The journey to apathy has created a shell of control. Rather than feeling isolated or alone, you have created an island for yourself. On this island, the world and what happens around you is carefully monitored and orchestrated.

​3. You don't give your best self to a project. 

Purposefully, you do just a bit less than what you know you could accomplish. This secures the barrier of protection against ridicule or betrayal. After all, if you don't give your best, then "they" can't accuse you of being less-than or incapable. YOU know the truth, even if "they" don't.

​4. You are saving your best for the right project.

This follows right on the heels of #3. You have consciously made a decision that if it isn't the right event-project-promotion-gathering-etc., you simply are not going to go all out for it. Yet, hidden deep within this decision is a concern that  the "right" thing will never come along. And, though you are comfortable with not giving your best and greatest gifts to the world, the fear of "not being enough" whispers in your ear that it's okay to stand on the sidelines this time. 

5. It becomes easier and easier to exist on the sidelines.

In the beginning, apathy is a reaction to outward circumstances. After all, the root of this French word means without suffering. Our reaction to life events typically fall into one of three spaces: a) head-on assault to conquer the challenge, b) temporary withdrawal to evaluate the environment, or c) permanent withdrawal.

Throughout life we make these decisions almost without thought. Our subconscious mind gathers past responses and then guides us to how to respond in a current situation. Over time, if our habit is to withdraw - our subconscious mind will begin to provide the bricks we need to wall ourselves off from any future suffering.

However, there's a serious problem: it also walls us in from any joy.​ And before we know it, we've learned to live insulated from the world around us. We become observers. And if we don't take action, we exist just outside the reach of family, friends and opportunity.

Break Free from the Grip

Apathy, Eeyore, Donna Woolam, Living At My Best, Female Entrepreneur, Coach, Christian, Women
"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."

"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.

"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

You may be familiar with the characters of the world of Winnie the Pooh. In my mind, our dear friend Eeyore is the epitome of Apathy.

Life has been such a disappointment to him, he believes it will continue that way. No matter how hard Pooh, Tigger and Piglet try, they just can't seem to break him out of his shell. And there is one compelling reason why they fail. He doesn't want out.

If you find yourself addicted to the beast Apathy, your first step out is a decision that you want out.

Battle the Apathy Beast

My own battle with apathy was born out of days - turned into weeks - turned into years - of living in doctor's offices, hospital rooms and hotels. It became easier to live on the sidelines rather than engage in the world around me. (More of that story can be found here.)​ I didn't intentionally become a resident of Apathy Land - it just happened.

But...I had to made a conscious decision to live outside of my bubble of protection from everything scary and freaky in the world. It was hard to step out. And, those first forays into the land of the living again were a bit scary.

Each interaction was On Purpose. I had to put myself out there. I had to decide to become vulnerable again. I had to be willing to be an utter failure. I had to decide to give it my best, even when I knew it could go horribly wrong.

What is Your Compelling Reason to Break Free?

When you break free from the chains of apathy, it is both an All-At-Once and Step-by-Step process. Initially you make a conscious, definite, determined decision to blast through the purple haze. And then every day you take baby steps in the right directions.

Sometimes I faltered. You will, too. But I - you - don't give up.

You see, the reason you decide to break free from apathy isn't just about you...

It's about the people you love. >> You want to give more of yourself to them. You want to experience more of their joy. You want to give joy to them.

It's about the legacy you leave. >> Life isn't about the doing, it's about the leaving behind. What will be your legacy? Withdrawal, isolation, existence, or engagement, creation, building memories?

It's about the opportunities you capture. >> Rather than hiding away from the experiences of life, you capture them. You turn obstacles, pain or betrayal into stepping stones. What you learn, you teach. And what you teach, transforms your life and the lives of others.

Decide today to get out of your own way. Break Free. Break Loose. 

Perhaps, this could be your new theme song...

​Live At Your Best! Live Inspired!
Donna

Want More Help on How to Get Back into the Game of Life?

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Brain, Self, Donna Woolam, Living At My Best, Coach, Women, Woman, Entrepreneur, Christian

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