Commitment is often hailed as a key ingredient to success. Commitment is high on the agenda with DrivenWoman and one of the first concepts our new members get in touch with then they join. But what does it mean in practice?
I meet hundreds of ambitious women in our events and generally they fall into two categories: those who are not ready to accept that keys to success are in their own hands and those who are ready to commit to the journey ahead. I believe that commitment is the single most important ingredient on a road to success, what ever you are looking for in life.
You can’t drop in and out of commitment. It simply doesn’t work. You can’t pick and choose. And you certainly can’t have your cake and eat it. So when you choose your tools for success you should choose carefully. A lot of people try to ‘maximise’ the journey by cherry picking from different resources. It may work for some, but I know that when I choose my tools, guides and mentors carefully and then commit to them I get much more out of my journey.
Not being fully committed can be a protection mechanism. When you don’t commit you can’t fail.
Understanding the different levels of commitment
1) Committed to what I know now
A dedicated parent. A diligent employee. A faithful spouse. Nobody can challenge such commitment! Right. But blind commitment to the status quo can be a trap. If you are not happy in the current role in your life then using commitment as an excuse can be deadly.
2) Committed to exploring
The whole concept of commitment gets challenged when one resigns the norm and decides to start exploring new directions. Can I stay committed to what is ‘now’ if I explore what might be? It can be hard to see beyond the ‘now’ and the value an exploration might bring so women often fall back into the ‘what I know now’ and never move forward. But there are pitfalls:
– “I put my family always first.” Is it a real value or is this an excuse never to explore! Only you know what is right for you. If you feel there’s more to life then you must let go of idealism and let the winds of exploration in.
– Do you find it difficult to invest in yourself when there really isn’t anything to ‘complain about’? Failing to listen and value your inner drive and follow your heart may result in big regrets later down the line.
– Forgetting that commitment to ‘the journey’ is a full time job. As soon as you break your commitment and put your journey on hold you give space for self-doubt and uncertainty.
3) Committed to the journey
Reaching the ultimate level of commitment you find it easy to re-commit to the work that has to be done, no matter what, day after day. This is when you are guided by that inner compass and you are (mostly) free from drifting according to other people’s agendas. You have let go of being fixated to the outcome and are simply happy to do your best effort.
You can still have number of commitments such as putting ‘your family first’, but now it is an active choice rather than the ‘way you should act as a perfect mother’ – an outside expectation without an inner guidance.
And even within a mindset of caring for others you are able to steer the boat and make active choices. You can hear your positive inner voice loud and clear and no outside impulse will push you off the path. And when there are challenges you are able to pivot and re-invent yourself rather than abandon your direction all together.
You don’t need to know where you are going to commit to your journey.
To rise up the levels of commitment all you have to do is, eh, to commit, and to understand that all you are committing to initially is exploration. Most people think they need to know the end game before they can commit and that’s why they never enter the journey and rather stay stuck and frustrated.
Women are also completely unrealistic about the time frame of the journey. I recently talked with a lady who was giving up because she couldn’t answer the questions “What do you want? How do you want to live?” after thinking about it for 24 hours. Most of us can never answer those questions, and definitely not on the spot. It took me 9 years to explore to be able to write down with detail what my ‘bigger life’ really means to me. And it keeps changing too. So ladies, give yourself a break, don’t give up. Just commit to the journey, and own it.
What inspired me to commit to this journey?
I wanted to know what I can do, how I can grow and what kind of impact I can make. That was my initial commitment. To find out what was inside of me, what my inner driven could deliver beyond pre-organised job tittles. How could I live fully and be free from the expectations of others?
And now, when I’m finally reaching the third level I can define my route with more detail but I’d not be here unless I committed to exploration many years ago.
I’m committed to creating a global community where women support each other to a bigger life. I’m committed to helping you stay present, find your own answers to success and stop following other people’s agenda. That’s all.
This journey may take many forms, but one thing is for sure, I’m fully committed and owning it!
Are you ready to commit? Find a local Lifeworking group and book one of our autumn workshops.