I woke up this morning thinking about physics. Which is weird for me, because I have not taken a physics class in 37 years. Nonetheless, when my eyes popped open this morning, and it was still dark and cold outside and it was warm and cozy under my down comforter, these words ran through my mind: a body at rest wants to stay at rest.
But staying at rest was not an option for me because I was on the schedule to teach a 7:30am yoga class. So I popped out of bed (albeit, reluctantly), brushed my teeth, threw cold water on my face, hopped down a dozen stairs to the kitchen to turn on my espresso machine, ground the coffee beans, and immediately another thought flowed into my awareness: a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion, also called the Law of Inertia, describes this fundamental truth about how everything works: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an unbalanced force acts on it.
Imagine you are sitting down in a chair. You are effectively at rest. Your body is pushing down on the chair with the same force that the chair is pushing you up. Likewise, the chair is pushing down into the floor with the same force that the floor is pushing the chair up. We call this downward pushing force gravity, and thank goodness we experience that or you and the chair, and everything else on Earth, would float away into outer space. We call the upward pushing force the normal force, and thank goodness we experience that, too, or we’d all be swallowed up by gravity, pulled right through the chair, the floor, the foundation of the house, right into the center of the Earth.
In other words, there’s a fundamental law in nature acting on us that we all experience all the time, and it’s so natural to us that we don’t even question it. When the force of gravity pushing an object down is equal to the normal force pushing that object up, it stays right where it is. It does not move. It does not accelerate. It has zero velocity.
What does this have to do with your life? Everything.
You are part of nature. You are not separate from it. Therefore the natural law that Newton described that pertains to objects in nature, also pertains to you. To your nervous system. To your checking account. To your beliefs about what you do and don’t deserve. Everything, including you, is affected by Newton’s First Law: YOU will continue to do whatever you happen to be doing until a force is exerted on YOU that nudges you off where you are.
If you do the same thing you have always done, you will get the same results you have always gotten. This is the same thing as you being at rest.
What does this abstract concept look like in real life?
Let’s say you want to double or triple your income.
You know you want this, you think you deserve it, you are working your ass off, but you are not seeing the results you want. Even though you are trying hard and doing all the things you think you are supposed to do to make more money, you keep spinning your wheels and staying stuck in your current financial situation. The laws of physics predict this!
You are staying right where you are because the forces pushing you down (beliefs that you might fail, you might be judged, you might make a fool of yourself, people might not approve of you, you might lose money, it will be a lot of work, you are not smart enough, etc.) are equal to (or even greater than) the forces pushing you up (your desire to make more money).
In most cases, the fears of being judged, mocked, shamed, ostracized, fired, bullied and/or abandoned are way stronger than your desire to earn more. Your self-doubt, scarcity mindset and habit of procrastinating are all acting on you more powerfully than your desire to shift your financial state.
Here’s why: your financial state is equal to your emotional state.
In other words, your income has everything to do with your underlying beliefs about what you deserve to earn. If your underlying, nonconscious beliefs are stronger than your conscious beliefs, you will stay right where you are. Stuck. Trapped. Frustrated. Resistant. Scared. Resentful. You have zero momentum. The longer you stay in this state, the more entrenched you feel.
The nonconscious beliefs feel heavy. Constricting. Depressing. You feel like you are being swallowed by quicksand. See how this related like the downward force of gravity? Your internal, subconscious beliefs are keeping you small and stressed.
According to Newton’s Law of Inertia, you will not budge until there is an unbalanced force acting on you. You need something bigger and more powerful than your fears to get you to take action.
Inertia is the tendency to stay at rest. Inertia is the tendency to resist change.
Inertia is the tendency to stay right where you are because you think it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of struggle, a lot of pain, etc. to get somewhere else.
I wanted to stay in bed this morning, but I didn’t because there was a greater force being exerted on me, and that was that yoga students were waiting for me. I had a class to teach. I was being paid to show up. I had made a commitment to the yoga studio. I love practicing yoga because it makes me feel good. I love teaching yoga because it makes other people feel good. All these forces collectively got me out of bed without any effort at all because the multiple benefits to me and others so outweighed staying where I was. I was able to overcome the lure of inertia because I was stepping into something greater than myself.
In the next blog post, I’ll talk more about how to overcome the lure of inertia and how to create the unbalanced force necessary to get you to take action.
Ready to take action right now? Head over to the home page and grab your free copy of TURN ON YOUR TAP: Your Guide to Creating Effortless Flow & Abundance.