The “It” Word in Just Do It!

ITJUST DO IT! Stop complaining. Stop procrastinating. Stop whining.

Nike got it right. It usually takes more time and energy to resist doing something than to just do it.

But Nike also got it wrong.

“Just get over your depression and get on with your life.”
“Just finish the damn project already.”
“Just get a job.”

With situations like this, it’s essential for your well-being that you define your own “it.”

What if instead of getting over your depression already, you decide that your “Just do it!” will be to get out of the house every sunny day, feast your eyes at the sky, gaze at the blooming flowers, listen to the birds chirp and tell yourself, this will be a better day.

What if instead of berating yourself for not finishing your damn project already, you decide that your “Just do it!” will be to put your fingers to the keyboard and simply write or edit a page.

What if instead of berating yourself for still being unemployed, you decide that your “Just do it!” will be to earn money while you are waiting for a “real” job to materialize. How can you do that? Personal services, such as dog walking, house sitting, shopping for disabled people, driving elders to their appointments, are always in need.

Fruitless arguments are often caused by the “it” word.

”It’s hot in here.”
“No, it’s not. It’s freezing.”
“You’re nuts. It’s way too warm.”

Have you ever had an argument like this? If so, scratch the word “it” and replace it with “I’m.” By doing so, it becomes perfectly obvious that two people can have different body temperatures. Then let the communication focus on what to do about this difference so that you can both be more comfortable.

Also recognize that the word “it” often masks a personal judgment.

“It’s weird what you do,” really means:  “I don’t get what you do, so I think it’s weird.”
“It’s going to be the worst mistake of your life,” really means: “I think you are making a really big mistake.”
When you recognize that “it” masks an “I” statement, you will become more empowered, less intimidated.

In case you think “It” is my least favorite word, let me make an exception to the rule. I think “it” is a wonderful word to use when you are helping young children develop routines. “It’s bath time. It’s dinner time. It’s bedtime.”

Much better than saying, “You have to” or “Mommy wants you to.” In these situations, “it” has power which you can use to establish authority so that every command does not become a battleground between what you want and what your young child wants.

Linda SapadinLinda Sapadin, Ph.D. is a psychologist and success coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior.

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