By clicking on this story, you just admitted that you are intimidated by commitment. Nothing to be shy about, because we all do it in one form or another. In relationships, in finding ourselves, in pursuing our dreams or building a career, a healthier lifestyle, on the search for fulfillment and happiness, the list goes on and on.
But let the first sentence sink in for a second. Are you hiding in denial about being afraid of commitment?
You see, denial is not necessarily limited to issues with relationships or substance misuse as the media and society generally perceive. It is a psychological defence mechanism against acknowledging uncomfortable truths.When we struggle to come to terms with accepting something, we resort to denying its existence in the hopes that it disappears for good.
The only problem with that is, it doesn’t. Hiding from your problems, avoiding responsibilities and shying away from confronting issues head-on, only lead to destructive patterns of behavior that push you even further away from committing to whatever it is that’s important for you to face. Because you can’t commit to something you are in denial about committing to in the first place.
Commitment means ‘no excuse is acceptable’ — You have to deliver no matter what. When we are not too sure about the ‘no matter what’ part of this statement, we feel stuck and trapped. No matter how much we want something, we struggle to give in and completely surrender to it. But in the words of Maya Angelou, “You can only become great at what you are willing to sacrifice for.”
Let’s focus specifically on why you are intimated by commitment when it comes to achieving your goals. What is it that prevents you from fully committing to living your dream and manifesting your greatness?
If it keeps you up at night, if you dream about it, if it’s on your mind every day — don’t you think you owe it to yourself to have a good go at it? Follow your heart, your intuition, and your dreams and ask yourself this.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Before you set off on your journey, take the word ‘try’ out of your vocabulary. When you say ‘I will try’ you are subconsciously putting a limit on how far you are willing to go and so when things get tough, you feel better about throwing the towel in and saying ‘well, I tried’. As the legendary motivational speaker, Les Brown says, ‘there’s no such a thing as try, you either do or you don’t’.
Thinking or saying ‘I’ll try’ is our way of covering ourselves from the blame or judgments that may later arise, [not if but] when we don’t get something done.
Now, let’s look at some of the reasons why you are so afraid of fully committing to your dreams that you convince yourself to only ‘try’ and let opportunities pass you by left right and center.
You doubt yourself
You’re human, of course, you won’t be, feel or succeed 100% every day. But what you can do is show up every day. You can start believing in your abilities and with persistence, hard work, and patience, you will get there.
What gives you confidence in knowing that you can achieve success in any area of your life is doing the uncomfortable. Plant the seed of ‘what if’ in your mind. What if you became fantastic at it? What if it turns out to be the best decision you ever make in your entire life? What if you end up changing the world?
Research has shown that ‘The negative consequences of self-doubt arise when people believe that ability is relatively fixed or stable” — Dweck & Leggett. As a result, we end up ‘self-handicapping and believing that it is better to withdraw effect and fail just to avoid admitting low competence.’ When these thoughts occur, get in the habit of reminding yourself through affirmations or other techniques that you are capable. Because there’s nothing more powerful than the human spirit.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve” — Napoleon Hill
Scared of being completely yourself. Scared of doing something you never thought someone like you could do. Scared of how others might react to you or your decision. Scared of failure and disappointment. Scared of the unknown.
Someone wise once told me “don’t be afraid to fail but be afraid to not take action.” At the time I remember thinking ‘well, great advice but how do I do that, how do I stop being fearful?’ After a while, I realized that I can be fearful and still do it. I learned to use the energy of fear as a drive and motivator instead of a stumbling block.
Don’t be predictable and only do what feels good. Learn to do what makes you uncomfortable because that’s what will make you grow. The only thing you should be fearful of is looking back on you’re life when you’re old and grey and regretting the decisions you are making right now.
You’re too comfortable
You have become desensitized and okay with settling for mediocre. Too comfortable and accustomed to doing the same routines, the same habits that keep you where you are and are now making it very difficult for you to develop new and more favorable habits. Don’t take the easy choice — if it’s easy it probably won’t be or feel enough. Enough to give you satisfaction, to make you feel fulfilled and on purpose.
Ask yourself why you want to pursue your dream in the first place. This will reveal why you are hesitant to commit to it fully. Your reasons will also become a tool to uplift and comfort you when the hard times, rejections and disappointments come your way.
You are not willing to feel discomfort
Comfort is overrated. It keeps us cocooned in a place where there is no growth, no adventure, or possibilities. But we often choose to latch on to it because it is a familiar place and appears to be our best option when we feel crippled by fear of failure.
Learn to actively pursue everything that scares you and make a habit of it. Because it’s only when you become comfortable with your discomfort that you truly experience freedom.
If you’re not happy with where you are in life, dare yourself to step into the unknown. Just step out have a quick look. Let yourself discover what it’s like to be on the other side. After all, you have nothing to lose.
You are demotivated
It’s normal to feel the need to retreat and recuperate sometimes, we all do. However, you should not lose sight of the task at hand.
Whether you feel burnt out or simply experiencing a lack of motivation, you need to gain it back. Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Success is self-mastery, failure is self-abandonment.” Look after your physical and mental health, be present, and focus on what’s important to you, what truly matters.
Get in the habit of planning your daily routines, set short and long term goals which will help stimulate your mind and keep you on track. Maintain relationships with people who motivate, inspire, and challenge you or seek a mentor. This will help you reprogram and intensely focus on what you want to achieve.
Don’t lose the urge. The urge that keeps you going, the urge that motivates you to succeed, the urge that can get you to the finish line. You’ll get tired and feel the exhaustion every successful person has felt, you will feel like a victim when challenges come your way, it might even take you twice as long as you’d like. But if you persist, you will persevere and succeed. Don’t you let yourself quit until you’ve made the difference you’ve always wanted to make.
You lack self-discipline
Many of us often fail in pursuing our dreams. Not because we are incapable but because we lack self-discipline.
We start off with great enthusiasm and energy but then at some point, we let ourselves off the hook. We permit ourselves to stop giving the same level of care as we once did. We don’t care more than normal or more than necessary. Only enough to convince ourselves and give the illusion of ‘trying our best.’
To make your dream a reality, you have to develop constant self-discipline and self-control that will fuel you to where you want to be in life. If you continue to spend most of your free time watching Netflix, playing video games, or doing whatever else that doesn’t get you a step closer to your goals, then you will never experience what it feels like to be successful and live your dream life.
Now that you have finished reading the story, be completely honest with yourself and ask ‘am I committed?’
Without commitment, nothing happens. You will continue to want that business, you will continue to dream about it, you’ll continue to obsess over it but you’ll never make it happen unless you commit yourself to it no matter the circumstances.
Don’t waste your time procrastinating, worrying about what others may think of you, or just living someone else’s life, based on their thinking instead of your own.
A lot of opportunities only appear once in life. If you let it pass you by, you have probably let it disappear for good. Have courage, go for it, and become more of yourself.