It's Difficult To Do Easy Things

by Eric Disco
Mar 25

I recently started going to physical therapy.

I hurt my back two years ago when I moved into my new apartment, a five-floor walk-up.

Since then I haven’t been doing any of the weight training I used to.

I keep re-injuring my mid-back and I decided it was time I need to take care of this.

The physical therapist looked at my back and showed me some very simple excercises she wanted me to do once a day.

The exercises are REALLY simple. Like lying on my back lifting my arms above my head. Old people could do these exersises!

And I don’t want to do them.

I want her to send me to the gym to do 100 reps of pull-downs. Or run a few miles every day. Or do 400 sit-ups every morning. But something easy?

That’s so frustrating.

It feels like it will take forever.

The problem seems so big and the steps so small.

When I first had it in my mind to start learning how to meet women I didn’t know, I wanted it all. And I wanted it now.

I’d heard suggestions like the ones I recommend in my e-book, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. It was too painful to think that this might take three months rather than two weeks.

I knew, though, in the back of my mind, that building up to something was more difficult and at the same time more worthwhile than trying to do it all at once.

But I tried to do it all at once anyway. And I did make some progress. But where I made the most progress–by far–was stepping back and doing something simple, something I could continue to do on a daily basis.

It’s difficult to simply go out and ask three people for directions.

It’s difficult to speak up in a small group of people and make your voice heard when you’re not sure what you have to say will be well-received.

It’s difficult to start up a conversation with someone in an elevator.

Why? Because it seems so easy. It is difficult to visualize how this is helping in the long run.

And we worry there won’t be a long run.

We know we’ll be able to do it today and tomorrow and perhaps the day after. But what about next week? What about next month?

It can be difficult to do easy things because we are unsure of our own committment.

In the end, though, committment becomes confidence.

If you approach a woman today and tomorrow and the next day, it does get easier to approach her on the fourth day, and on the fifth day, and on the sixth day.

It gets easier, not necessarily because there will be less approach anxiety. There will usually be slightly less approach anxiety. It gets easier because you have the confidence of having done something already. You build up a store of successful somethings, no matter how small they are.

And when I say successful, I count just having done it as successful, not necessarily having gotten a good reaction out of anyone.

Find something challenging, but slightly easy, something you can do every day to begin with.

You will become a rock star if you keep at it. Just like I know I will gain full functionality of my back again.

But it’s going to take small concentrated efforts every single day to get on my feet.

Doing small increments is the way only way to make successful lasting change.

And inevitably, if I trust the process and stay committed, it will happen.

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posted in Ramp Up

COMMENTS
4 responses
Anonymous says:

That almost sounds like you’re talking about exactly what I’ve been struggling with lately. Sometimes it is so very difficult to let yourself take those baby steps, and move slowly towards your goal. All those baby steps just feel so trivial and stupid, and like you’re not moving anywhere and your goal is still eons away. I know that’s where I am right now.

Great article, Eric.

[...] It’s Difficult To Do Easy Things From: approachanxiety.com  I recently started going to physical therapy.I hurt my back two years ago when I moved into my new apartment, a five-floor walk-up.Since then I haven’t been doing any of the weight training I used to. » more 1 [...]

Callum says:

Eric, I know your mention of the back exercises was just an example, but I’d like to talk to that.

I’m currently enrolled in a three year yoga teacher training course. In the first semester we went right back to basics. We were taught very simple exercises such as simply opening and closing your hands with your arms outstretched or rotating your ankles with your legs out in front of you. We had a schedule of these exercises to practise through the semester. We were *not* allowed to practise any of our own regular exercises. This was felt as quite an imposition on a class of very flexible, healthy ppl who all had their own favorite daily practises.

Though very simple, the exercises were also subtle in their effect. We had to write about what we experienced when we did the exercises. How our body felt etc. This forced us to practise awareness. How just these simple exercises were affecting us.

At the end of the semester I felt wonderful. I had a range of movement that made me feel like a child again. And I knew that all this came from the simple exercises because I had not been practising anything else. Just practising these simple but subtle exercises with *awareness*.

So stay with your simple exercises. And keep aware while doing them. Often we lose awareness while doing the most simple things when if we did keep aware while doing these the more advanced things will come naturally.

Morrison says:

It’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Been going out each day to ask for direction. It’s quite boring because you want the big stuff fast. But it’s the small ones that make the big ones become true.

Good article, it helped me maintained focus.

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