Commitment is a funny thing.
It will wiggle out of any excuse you give it, any crack in your doubt, any chink in your armor. To be fully committed to a goal, person or situation, you must leave zero room for another option. Zero room for plan B, excuses, reasons, doubt or maybes. Full-on Commitment accepts nothing less than your one hundred percent integrity and promises to show up and give it your best effort. No matter what. Anything less isn’t commitment. It’s giving it a hearty try. Perhaps still worth doing- but don’t mistake it for commitment, because you won’t reap the same results.
Does that sound harsh? To most people it probably does. We’ve landed in an era where real commitment is in short supply. We say we will do something, we say we are making a commitment and then we give it the “Old College Try”.
I have no idea what that worn-out cliche means. Does it mean we plan to fail before we even start?
Anything that has the word “Try” in it is a practice shot. It isn’t a commitment.
“I guess I will…unless…” Making a commitment that has built-in escape hatches and ready-made already rehearsed excuses to rehash on social media and the local watering hole- just in case- is not a commitment.
Saying you are making a commitment and discovering three days in that this just doesn’t work for you and changing your mind is not commitment.
Is it wrong to experiment and try new things and see if you like them? Hell no. That is not what I am saying. Experiment, try new things, in fact, try them often, fail a lot. In fact, fail daily, it’s the road to greatness.
Just don’t say you are making a commitment. Call it an experiment.
Tell the truth.
The key here is to be careful with your words. Your word has to mean something. When you give someone your word- whether it is you or someone else, and you make a promise to do something… a commitment to be all in… make sure it is a promise you can keep (short of fire/disaster or life-changing health) or don’t make it.
Be careful with that word commitment. Your word is your integrity. Your word is your promise. Both to yourself and to others. Your word is the key to your self-respect and gaining the respect of others.
Here is how it works in a nutshell
If you can’t trust your own word and integrity, you won’t believe in yourself.
If you don’t believe in yourself, you will have a difficult time trusting yourself.
If you don’t trust yourself, you will have a hard time supporting yourself when the chips are down.
If you can’t support yourself when the chips are down, you will have an even harder time being kind to yourself.
If you aren’t kind to yourself, you will have a really hard time loving yourself.
If you don’t love yourself, it will be very difficult to love others, to trust others, to have healthy, strong, wonderful relationships with others.
If you don’t have wonderful relationships with others, you will miss out on amazing opportunities that would have come your way to create the life you were designed to have.
If you don’t have the life you were designed to live, you continue to run self-deprecating tapes in your mind, calling yourself a loser and a failure, and wondering if this life is a waste of time and why bother anyhow?
You see a pattern here? Does this feel a bit familiar? Maybe even scary?
You have the power to change all of it.
It is really important for you to hear that last sentence. You…Have…The…Power.
You have the power to start making your word mean something.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Start small. Only make teeny-tiny promises that you are certain you can keep.
Quit lying and saying yes to promises you already know you won’t keep but don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. You are going to hurt their feelings and piss them off anyhow when you don’t keep the commitment, so get it over. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. Do it. Say no. You will feel the power. (It feels great. )
Start with yourself. Make a commitment to yourself today and keep it. Show up. Whatever it is, make it tiny and fulfill that promise. Be Proud. Celebrate. And then do it again. Add up a pile of successes. Show yourself that you are a person that can keep your word to yourself.
Become a person of discernment. Get realistic. Don’t make commitments that are impossible for you to keep. Take the time to think things through. Look at a commitment as something you are going to do if you have to walk through fire to get it done. Are you REALLY going to do it NO MATTER WHAT? Maybe not so much? Can you already hear yourself making the back door plans? That is your first clue that this is hell no. Say no.
Forget the past. It’s over. Don’t let the voices in your head remind you of all the times you blew your commitments before. Your word and integrity are as powerful as your choices in THIS VERY MOMENT. This is the moment that you have the power. Choose to use it. The past isn’t driving your car. You are.
Watch your self-talk. Let one of your commitments be to use loving self-talk whenever you are aware. Whenever you catch yourself not using loving self-talk, instantly begin again to use loving self-talk. Notice I didn’t say, ‘beat yourself up for screwing up and being a loser”. Just tune in, and readjust. Live Awake to the chatter in your mind, and make sure you are committed to a positive-talk station in your head and heart.
The word commitment can and will change your life if you give it back the integrity and power it deserves. It isn’t a word to take lightly. It isn’t one to be tossed around or ignored. Words have power. Some more than others and that one… can blow your life up or fill it with magic.
You have the power to choose.
You don’t have to do this alone. If you are ready to make a commitment to do the work and change your life, and will accept no more excuses on the way to living an extraordinary, transformed life, then click here.
Donna Maria Coles Johnson says
Yes, this is harsh. But it is so very true. At the end of the day, what matters is results. That’s not to say that it’s not a great thing to try. It is. We all try and fail. But you are correct that commitment often makes the difference between a try and results, and it does — as you say — start with taking small steps. If you set unrealistic goals, you always have an excuse not to reach them. In hindsight, you can just say, “That was an unrealistic goal,” and if that’s true, neither you nor anyone else can argue with you. But if you set a realistic goal, then you are 100% responsible for meeting it. No excuses. No “it was unrealistic.” Wow and wow. This is speaking to me on so many levels right now. Thanks for sharing!
Donna Maria Coles Johnson\’s last post… #IndieCruise Mastermind 2015 Speaker: Kismet Andrews: Show Off Your Brand at Trade Shows and Markets
Gabrielle Taylor says
I like the distinction between a commitment and an experiment, Wendi! I do think it’s important to sometimes frame things we do within the context of an experiment and that way, we can explore and discover and learn, rather than feel badly if we don’t get the results we set out with at first. On the other hand, certain life situations require commitment and if we are unable to commit, we risk losing out a great deal! So, I guess differentiating between when either approach is best is an important point! I love what you say about committing to ourselves as so often, I find that people forget about that! Great and inspiring post!!
Gabrielle Taylor\’s last post… You’re a Highly-Sensitive Woman Entrepreneur, So What?
Who knew when I first watched Star Wars with my little brother that 15 years later I would be learning his principles as an apprenticed Reiki Master. Our teacher had an exercise to illustrate, she asked us to hold up a pen and “try” to drop it. We either dropped it or we didn’t. There was no Try.
Commitment to self is such a huge an important topic. Brava for telling it like it is!
Alicia Henderson says
Wow, I never looked as commitment as being about of your word. I’ve always said that “your word is bond” and really that holds true. As you said, how can people trust you if you don’t hold your word. I am going to reread this article and take notes of how I can show commitment and gain trust as a business owner.
Ivette Argueta-Medina says
Harsh, but very true. This post is timely and makes me think about the commitments I made with myself, but tend to be flexible because it involves me. For the most part, I follow through with others, but leave myself last. Food for thought.
Ivette Argueta-Medina\’s last post… Guilty as Charged!
Aly Pain says
You are singing the song of my heart! Commitment has been a really journey for me in my life. What I have noticed is my willingness to be uncomfortable is proportional to my success, every single time. When I say I am committed but unwilling to look at myself relative to all the key things you have listed, I can work myself to the bone and won’t achieve my goals. Then I go to victim and say, ‘But look how hard I’m working! It must be something outside of me that needs to change.” (AKA lack of accountability). When I fully commit I realize that means being willing to admit I know nothing, my thinking and mindset may be skewed and I am going to have to learn, lots. That is when commitment and success meet.
Kimberly Eldredge says
I like the idea of little promises that can build upon each other. But I think that’s missing: BUILD upon each other. Like legos!
Kimberly Eldredge\’s last post… It’s A Sprint, Not A Marathon: NaNoWriMo
Alexandra Sheach says
It really is about the fear – what if I put it out there? What if I stand up and say “I’m going to do this” and I fail? But you’re right, it’s a commitment to myself – nobody else matters in the story I choose for myself.
On reading your article, I’m going to get my gym gear ready and set the alarm for the morning and I AM going to go out for a run! Thank you.