growing up

growing up

Bonus Episode Can You Promise to Commit to You

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Commitment. Committing to ourselves. It’s so easy as women to advocate and commit to others but when it comes to doing this for ourselves – we back away. Why is that? I believe it’s because we are hard-wired to take care of others. We are also nurtured to do this. We are rewarded as children for doing thoughtful things for others but not for speaking up and asking for what we need or want. We may have even had an experience where we were chastised for asking for what we needed or wanted. When I was growing up making sacrifices for others was always acknowledged and celebrated. And it should be; it’s wonderful. But there is something I believe must come first. There has to be a commitment to you and as much as I cringe saying this because of my conditioning, you have to come first. If you don’t come first everything else will suffer as a consequence. I’ve been struggling with this one. I have to be completely transparent that there is a part of me that resists commitment altogether. I sometimes joke that it’s because I’m Sagittarius. I love my freedom too much to tie myself down to too many commitments and that it’s probably the reason why I’m single. I make plans to meet up with friends for dinner and I’m really excited about it. Then the day comes and in the afternoon I get overwhelmed with the desire to just get into my pajamas at the end of the day and watch reruns of The West Wing. I feel a pang of regret that I’ve made plans for the evening but my commitment and my integrity – that I’ve given my word – wins over and instead of pajamas and TV I’m with friends laughing enjoying a good meal and I don’t regret it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always something fun that I’ve committed to and sometimes it’s just the satisfaction that I was true to my word that rewards me for overcoming any desire to be somewhere else or do something else. Making and keeping commitments, especially to yourself, will help you to keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams despite any short-lived cravings to play it small, play it safe and play it comfortable. Here are some things you can do if you struggle with making and keeping commitments to yourself: 1. Make Sure What You Are Committing to is 100% Relevant How often have you found yourself committed to something that has no real value or meaning to you. These are the times you find yourself saying, “I don’t even know why I agreed to this?” Be very clear on what you value and what your goals are and only make commitments that are a reflection of them. Everything else is a “no.” And if you find yourself saying “yes” when you really wanted to say “no” take a look in the mirror and uncover what it was that compelled you to say yes. This can often range from a need to be liked to avoiding conflict. Just know that whatever compelled you, in that moment, you gave it more power than your values and your goals. Think about how you can handle that situation differently in the future so when it comes up again, and it will, you will be able to navigate it with more power and ease. If your commitment is relevant, if it does reflect your values and goals, it will be much easier to overcome the urges to break the commitment. You can remind yourself why this commitment is important and how it will improve your life in the long-term. 2. Focus on What You’ll Enjoy About the Commitment I’m in a phase right now where I have gotten off-track with my workouts and I’m trying to get back to the level of fitness I was at over the summer. Over the holidays and when I was in an intense period of catching up after the holidays my workouts took a nose-dive and I knew I needed to get back into a rhythm. Knowing this would be a struggle, I committed to - at the very least - getting 10-15 minutes of cardio in everyday to start building up my endurance again. Easy, right? Wrong. Every day there was “one more thing and one more thing” t...