I recently wrote about how good it is to remember you are not your mood. Today I wanted to talk about a particular mood that nobody likes to admit to being in.
Yuck. So passive, so glum, so Eeyore.
And so deadly.
Resignation kills change, kills desire, kills your spirit. It kills the collective will to stop the greed and stupidity and misinformation that is destroying our planet.
Resignation says, “Sure there are things you could do but what’s the point? Nothing will really change, at least, not for long.” (Yes, it’s why bother by a different name.)
It’s the mood that keeps us from fighting climate change, political malfeasance, and corporate greed.
It’s the mood that says, “Don’t bother going to the doctor, they never help,” and “Why bother to date again, you’re too old to find somebody,” and “Writing is a fool’s game.”
It’s a twitchy draining mood because you want to take action but you hold yourself back.
So if you are feeling like overcooked pasta left to congeal in the colander, here’s an idea from The Oasis where we get our bother on, work with our mood, and break everything down into small steps we actually do. (We open for new members today!)
When you find yourself wanting to do something, yet believing there is no point, try this:
Write down your self-talk—just a few sentences will do. What is the language of your mood? Writing helps you switch on the parts of your brain you need to take action.
Notice what you are denying yourself or pretending isn’t possible. Name it.
Let yourself feel desire, even simply the idea of it, even a glimmer, even for one breath.
Remember growth and change are always possible. Tap into the growth mindset.
Ask yourself: “What’s the next simple step I know how to do?” Make it small.
Take that step.
Turn possibility into action.
It may not feel easy but that’s resignation talking. Resignation wants to keep you defended in a little boring bubble where nothing can harm you.
But where nothing can enliven you either.
If you’ve rarely experienced resignation, and you’ve been feeling it a lot lately, know that moods are also a collective experience. Your family, your company, your church, or your country can live in a mood.
We are all influenced by collective moods, often without our awareness. Resignation and despair are used by politicians to stamp out resistance, for example. Almost all news media now relies on some element of fear, outrage, or tribalism to get you to click. Those emotions can turn into resignation, because your nervous system can’t process that much intensity.
But you are the canary in the coal mine chirping, “Wake up people. Resignation kills, it maims, it drains. I, for one, will not succumb.”
With you in resistance and hope.