by Kerrie Phipps
What happens when you set a goal/make a commitment?
1. You encounter resistance – it’s like there’s a test to see how serious you are about creating positive change. All kinds of things occur – you suddenly get busier than ever, and you think maybe it’s not the time for this after all. You may find that you suddenly don’t have the cash reserves you thought you did, and the investment you were planning for your goals seems needed elsewhere. You get overwhelmed, and it’s hard to make a decision – that you’ve already made, but you start questioning and losing confidence.
2. You may feel super-enthused about embarking on this journey, which can be incredibly energising, but can lull you into a false sense of it all ‘just happening anyway’ which can lessen your resolve or focus on your commitment.
3. Your commitment to yourself and your goals will be tested. You discover amazing opportunities coming your way, which seem to seem to be miraculous. These interesting occurrences are useful to note, as you’ll be tempted at times to ‘slack off’ and just see what happens, lose the focus on the discipline that you previously wanted, and let go of your opportunities for accountability, which is a great benefit to achieving your purpose. Or you could be totally discouraged when it feels and looks like everything is falling apart! Hang in there!
What does true commitment look like? It’s when you don’t turn back, even if you could; it’s actually positioning yourself so you can’t turn back – put support structures in place to keep you forward focused. There have been times I’ve committed myself to huge goals, clear visions that scare me in their expansiveness, and the natural tendency is to draw back, make a little space for procrastination, an excuse for failure – just in case.
I’ve found myself committed to endeavours that I have an enormous sense of purpose about, and it seems that the more important the goal, the more distractions will come to ‘let me off the hook’. This is when it’s time to be so clear that I can do what I say I will do, that I will continue to dream big, that I will allow others to support me, challenge me and cheer me on, and that I will become all that I’m capable of becoming. It’s when I need to remember quotes like the following – (the first is from W.H. Murray, in 1951 regarding an Everest Expedition)
“But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money–booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
And another that helps me just get on with it –
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson/Nelson Mandela
A purposeful life is not easy, but it seems far easier when we are fully committed, not wrestling with whether something is possible or not – just absolutely committed and believing that all things are possible; that there is always a solution to be found.