As a child, I could always count on my dad to find a creative yet condescending way to tell me that I could be doing better at something.
From “loafing it” on the soccer field to being “out to lunch” when I zoned out during math homework, he always had quite the way with words.
However, one particular phrase that always resonated with me was “half-assing it.”
Although at the time I would tearfully insist that I was “doing my best,” that wasn’t truly the case.
When it came to things like math and sports, I was giving a half-assed effort because I was incapable of getting excited about them.
While reading and writing were my passions, math and sports were my obligations. I begrudgingly participated for the sole purpose of receiving my parents’ approval.
Now, at 26-years-old, several of my priorities have changed significantly since I was 8. However, this particular concept remains unchanged. The notion of “giving your all” will always be easier to apply toward things that you genuinely care about.
Looking at it from the opposing side, think back to when you have received half-assed energy or a half-assed response from somebody.
It should be common sense to recognize that lack of effort and move on. However, that concept is often easier said than done. Here’s why:
1. We don’t want to rely on affirmation from others.
Although we understand the importance of “knowing our worth,” we also want to honor our independence.
We don’t want to admit that we “need” something or somebody.
Therefore, we will continue to lie to ourselves and to others. We will pretend to accept situations that truthfully plague us with anxiety.
We’re laid-back. We’re low-maintenance. Things are cool the way that they are.
It’s okay to need validation from time to time.
Acknowledge it and be honest with yourself. Suppressing your feelings won’t serve you well in the end.
2. We accept half-hearted effort because we believe that it’s what we deserve.
We let people take advantage of us because we perceive it as a sign that we’re not good enough.
Upon receiving half-assed effort, we convince ourselves that it’s because we just aren’t worthy of a full investment.
As we trap ourselves in this way of thinking, our self-confidence begins to dwindle. We cling to “maybe” because we figure that it’s better than “no.”
3. We are terrified of escaping the comfort zone.
Once we reach certain comfort levels in a relationship, it can be difficult to wriggle free from it.
Even if we are unhappy or craving more, we refrain from stirring the pot. Our dissatisfaction scares us, but the concept of change scares us more.
Essentially, we’d rather settle for “good enough” than readjust our surroundings.
We don’t want to face the idea of being alone or the thought of starting over and putting ourselves out there all over again. Often times, we fear a combination of both.
It all comes down to this: Accept whole-ass effort at the beginning or look like an asshole at the end.
Through self-awareness, the choice is ultimately yours.