Commitment is everything.
In coaching, we hear a lot about “The Power of Commitment.”
It makes a huge difference in all aspects of one’s life.
When you commit to something and make sure that nothing will get in your way, the Universe aligns and conspires to make it happen.
When I transitioned to coaching, I remember it took me more than a year to get ready. It had been years since the seed of becoming a professional coach was planted in my mind.
I was determined to learn from Rich Litvin, the best coach I came across.
I remember at some point that I wanted to register to a Deep Dive with him (his exclusive event for high performing coaches) which was a significant financial investment for me (I had never invested as much money in myself for such a short transformational experience). Furthermore, I would have to take time off my full time job, which was a challenge since I had been in that position for only 6 months (and I intended to stay for another 6 months only before I fully transitioned as an independent coach).
So I passed the opportunity, and continued to save money and prepare.
Sometime later, there was another opportunity for the Deep Dive, in Los Angeles. I booked it in my calendar months in advance.
I was determined to go there, no matter what.
Either I would love it and go for professional coaching, or quit and find something else, but I would find out.
I was checking the newsletter, as I saw the number of spots for the Deep Dive filling up quickly. This exclusive experience was for 10 people only.
As soon as I got the money from my departure package, and gathered my savings, I went to register for the event.
It was sold out.
I was furious. In my mind, I said: “NO! I will not let this happen!”
So I reached out to Rich Litvin’s team to ask them if there was a spot left, or if there was a waiting list.
They replied that they would check if there was an available spot, and get back to me.
Six days later, I received an email saying there was a spot that just opened up, and they would keep it open for me if I sent the payment in the next three days.
I was in.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.“
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
I would say that “Commitment has Genius, power and magic in it.”
This decision was the one of the best professional decisions I made in 2019.
I got 10 times the value I invested in this experience, had the most amazing time in California, and met phenomenal people (some of which I suspect might become lifelong friends).
That’s the power of commitment.
At this stage, you might be thinking: “Yes, but I’m not sure what I want.”
That’s being in the grey zone. Sometimes, you need more clarity on what you truly want.
But once you add decisiveness in your life, things will get easier.
Commitment is a skill
The good news is that commitment is a skill. It can be developed.
Here are 6 things you can do to develop this skill:
-Say what you will do and do what you said (practice impeccable speech).
-Commit only to things you are certain you want to commit to (at least for now). It’s ok not to commit to everything but at least, be clear about it with yourself.
-Acknowledge when something is in the grey zone for you (a Maybe).
-To clarify your commitments, use the Yes/No/Maybe Tool (see below).
-Practice activities with a beginning and an end. Open mindfully and close mindfully everything that you undertake.
-Finish what you started (or at least, check in with yourself if you feel complete).
For instance, during my holidays I had started a sculpture and left it in a box for almost a year. I decided to finish it and reopened the box. After some time working on it, I saw that I was deriving no joy from this project, and would not feel satisfaction from having it completed either (pushing through is a quality to be developed, but you also have to learn to let go – discernment makes the difference).
I consciously decided that I would bring this project as far as I could to completion, but would not invest too much work as I didn’t care that much about it nor did I care about the result. This project was an experiment, a side project. It was certainly not the Masterpiece of my life. Once I was done, I felt complete. I let it dry for a whole day and the next day I put the highly imperfect statue back in the box.
The price to pay for anything you want
If you want to find success (no matter how you define it), there is a price to pay.
Back to my Deep Dive story, soon after the confirmation of my registration, there was the test to the commitment.
I was asked at my full time job to participate in a meeting that was on the day I intended to take my flight (which was the day just before the Deep Dive). I said NO to that meeting.
My family invited me to spend Christmas with them: I said I was not sure about my plans yet (which later turned into a NO, because I wanted to spend Christmas in California).
I said NO to many OK things to say YES to the thing I really wanted.
I never experienced any regrets for these decisions.
And yes, it’s OK to want things (even though as kids we often have been taught otherwise).
Unless you want to grow as a repressed adult, you have to learn to be OK for wanting the things that you want.
It doesn’t mean that you need to have them right now.
It doesn’t’ mean that you have to do anything to get there.
But it’s ok to want what you want (if it’s important enough, it’s probably an expression of your Soul).
What are you willing to sacrifice to be where you want to be?
How far are you willing to go?
Now, here is another truth: there is also a price to pay to stay where you are.
What price are you already paying for stagnating in your position?
The other day, amazing coach Hayden Lee asked me:
“What is the discomfort you are experiencing in your comfort?”
There is always a reason why we want to change.
The reason why we don’t is that we have competing commitments.
For example, one of my clients works on facilitating projects and workshops at a national scale. Yet, she feels discontent from all the politics involved and the complexity of the task. She told me how rewarding she felt some of the much smaller local projects were to her, and how much she loved to see the effects of her work.
What she has was competing commitments:
On the one hand, the commitment to help the business grow and prosper on a wider scale.
On the other, the personal desire to be close to the people she serves, and to channel her energy into fruitful projects (instead of wasting it in politics and strategic moves).
The goal in coaching is to help your clients become aware of the competing commitments, and create integrative solutions.
In this case: What if she created projects that could create long-term prosperity while being at a local scale?
What if she worked on complex projects at a national scale with partners that were exponentially synergistic with her (where 1+1=11) ?
What is an area where you have competing commitments?
What are the things in your life that you are not really committed to?
To help you find out, here is a tool to get things clear.
It’s called the Yes/No/Maybe Tool.
On a piece of paper, create three columns:
YES: List all the things you are truly committed to
NO: List all the things that you don’t want to do/are not committed to.
MAYBE: Things that you would be willing to try, but are not your highest priority.
Your job is to place the YES activities first in your calendar.
Remove all the NOs, delegate them, and say NO.
Maybe: you can play with that and experiment to see what would make that a Hell YES!
I stole it from my amazing coach Rich Litvin (thank you Rich !).