What do you think of when you hear the word commitment? It seems our culture has turned the word commitment into something that has a lot of negative condemnation associated with this word. Are you one of those people who would rather hang in the world of “maybe” rather than jump in or out 100%? Keep reading to find out what your commitment says about how you reach goals in your life.
I use an editorial calendar to help me keep my blog postings focused and that there is a intentional process and flow that happens each month of the year. It’s not something that I study or even know what topic I’ve strategically selected for next month. Funny thing is that the topic of commitment has really been showing up in my life lately, I actually just wrote about it in my weekly newsletter. Turns out the topic to focus on for the month of June is commitment.
Commitment is really important to me for a few reasons, the biggest one is that I didn’t feel like I had a lot of choice in what I wanted to be committed to growing up. It’s not my parents fault, it just is what it is. At 13 years old, I became committed to my boyfriend, now husband. I’m not promoting that teens should be in such serious relationships so quickly, but it worked for me and was what I needed at the time. Showing up when I say I will, makes me feel good. It also releases me from worry of not doing something, because I did what I said I would or wouldn’t do. This is a part of me that I really like, need and appreciate in others. Here’s a few things that I have been committed to over the years, a clean house, my husband, family, friends,my clients, business, work, church, and keeping my word infallible. If I said I was going to do something or be somewhere, you knew I would show up. So when is it okay to renege on your committment? When is “maybe” the best response?
Here’s a few things that I have learned, sadly at the expense of my family. Maybe, just maybe you will resonate and be empowered to make some changes in your life. Commitment is the reason that I learned and became a fan of everything in moderation. Keeping my word was so important to me that I often would put other’s needs before my own needs and the needs of my family. This, is not so good. It’s not sustainable and creates a culture, sending an unintended message to your family that they aren’t enough; because the people and commitments outside of your family take your attention and priority. I beg you, if you are doing this, stop immediately!
Have we forgotten what commitment means? Simply said, its a way to show our dedication and engage with people. Which begs the question, who do you engage with these days? Who needs to see your dedication, feel it through your actions? Who holds you accountable to this? Who needs to be on the other side of commitment for you to engage?
I’ll be the first to admit, when it comes to our work, this can become much easier. After all, spending time working on projects, investing in the team and giving our all at the office is rewarded with a paycheck, pat on the back and other kinds of affirmations. But, what happens when we don’t get the affirmations we may seek? Is this the only way we know that our dedication has paid off? Hell no! If it’s affirmation you are seeking then just carry a mirror around with you. I don’t mean to be harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts.
What ever happened to people keeping their word because it mattered to them? When we didn’t want to be accountable for our yes to actually mean yes or vise versa. It’s simple, if you aren’t ready to say yes to something, don’t. “Maybe” is an elusive way of saying “i’m not sure or I’m too lazy to do the work required”. “Maybe” is a way of saying, “I’m in as long as nothing better comes along”. It’s very passive aggressive. If you don’t have enough information then don’t feel like you need to provide information to commit to something until you do. It would be better to say, “I have a few questions”, or “I need to check my calendar”, or “this isn’t a priority for me right now, can I get back to you?”.
Look around, is your life full of “potential” yet you feel like you are getting nowhere fast? You are on the maybe train. You know, the maybe I’ll do this or that, or go here or there. There’s always the popular, “when this or that happens then I’ll…. “, You know the drill. The symptoms and solution are the same, commitment or lack of in your life. What matters to you? What are you willing to show up for? Where do you want to be in the next 6-12 months? The answer is simple, commit to something, because you know you are worth it.
If you feel you haven’t been dedicated or engaged with the right activities or people, then make the shift. Here’s a few tips that may help you get back on track:
- Start small
- Determine where your belief commitment would move you to the next phase or level in your situation and/or life. Then focus on just one or two things that you feel you could be successful to give your dedication.
- Keep your word
- Let your yes be yes and your no be no. The land of maybe has set sail and isn’t returning. Consider what is being requested of you, ask questions, slow down and respond accordingly. Sometimes we may have every good intention of participating in something, but you simply can’t due to time constrictions and other commitments. It’s ok to say no and it’s perfectly acceptable to delay a response until you have enough information.
- Avoid taking on too much
- Our culture is fast moving and we get invitations to all sorts of events, activities and causes all the time. We are accessible 24/7. Avoid getting caught up in the fastness of our on demand expectations. Know what your own boundaries are, how much you can feasibly handle while keeping previous commitments a priority. If something doesn’t make your priority list today, that’s ok. People will get over it and they will understand. This is not an excuse for you to give permission to beat yourself up.
- Seek accountability
- When beginning anything new, we need to tell people who will help guide us and hold us accountable. Who will that be for you? You don’t have to go it alone, is it your family, spouse, partner or a great friend. Maybe its a mentor or someone who you admire and respect. It doesn’t really matter who it is as long as you will take the seriously and give them the space to be honest with you.
- Tomorrow is a new day
- We all falter, some more than others. Again, get back up, dust yourself off and give it you all. apologize to the people you may have disappointed, including yourself, and begin again. It’s not the end of the world. Truth is, none of us are perfect. I’ve learned these lessons the hard way, trust me I’ve been there.
We will be talking about commitment from other perspectives as the month goes on. I hope you will share your successes and battles with me. I’m here to cheer you along and provide support as we go through this journey called life. Equally important is to remember the all of the above when you are on the other side of commitment. Make allowances for people, give them time, offer more information and practice patience.
Thanks for being here and looking forward to seeing you make a difference in the world, not through your word but your actions and word. You matter. People are counting on you, be the person who shows up in someones life today, starting with you.
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