Definition of Commitment
A commitment is simply a pledge to do something.
We make commitments all the time, and most of us follow through all. Your calendar is filled with pledges to see someone or something, or to show up somewhere–the dentist, the bank, a friend for coffee, work. And unless you are sick, you mostly show up.
There are really two components to commitment: (1) the reason why you made that pledge, and (2) the ramification of not following through.
The ramifications of not following through on keeping your commitment for no particular reason is almost always thinking poorly of yourself. And that becomes what you teach your brain. Remember the toxic trees growing in there if you don’t watch over your brain carefully?
The ramification of not following through on commitments becomes a nasty self-talk which turns into a habit, and habits run the show.
When you “fail” again, it’s just going to be more proof that you’re a screw-up.
But beating yourself up doesn’t work. If it did, it would have worked by now.
The more negative thoughts you have, the more negative emotion you create, and you cannot create positive actions and positive results through negative thoughts and negative feelings.
But the real ramification of not following up on your commitments is even more than feeling bad about yourself. The real ramification is that this habit of thought becomes more and more entrenched every time you don’t follow through on your commitment.
Changing the Habit
When you are ready to change that nasty habit, you’ll have to decide how you want to go about it. How will you start intervening with the program that is running in your brain right now when it comes to commitment?
You don’t get to just go find the volume knob on your unwillingness to follow through and just turn it
down without any work. The way that you turn it down is by the work of saying no, by teaching your brain that just because you have a desire to not follow through, it must be rewarded.
Commitments to Self
Did you ever notice that your follow-through rate with yourself is much worse than your follow-through rate with other people? Did you ever wonder why that is?
Why is it that you and I find it easier to keep commitments to others than to ourselves?
Either way, we made a plan, right? But for one of them, we think, “I must show up.” For the other set of plans, the ones for ourselves, we think, “my commitment doesn’t really matter.”
Why do we feel it is rude to miss an appointment or show up late to one with someone else, but we don’t consider it rude to do that for ourselves? When we made the plan, it mattered to us or we would not have made it, right?
Could it be because we are more concerned about what they think of actions than what I think of myself? If so, why is that?
Remember, we are always teaching our brains. And our brain is always learning. It is learning how to respond to commitments.
What Commitments to Self Mean:
Commitment to self is about practicing the belief that you matter. You cannot practice teaching your brain that you matter from a place of self-loathing.
Beating yourself up only teaches you to not like yourself.
If you want to have your own back, you need to learn to make good on your commitments to self. This stuff matters.