I was chatting with a friend last week, and the words tumbled out of his mouth, “If I won the lottery, I’d still go to work.”
I asked him to say more. He went on to say he loved his job so much and was so clear that it was the right place for all the growth he wanted to experience in his career. Now, if only he didn’t need the money, and could literally choose to go to work or not every day of his life.
I was amused.
In typical Rachel-fashion, I piped up. “Can you even hear yourself? You’ve found a place that you want to be every day for the foreseeable future – that stretches you in all the ways you want to be stretched, and pays you handsomely to do so – and you’re trying to find a way to not have to be there?! Do you understand how insane this is?”
Ok, if you’re here, chances are, this isn’t your problem.
I’ve got a solid sense that being able and willing to commit isn’t your issue. It’s knowing how to have that commitment feel like one you chose, and not one that owns you. (Gah, the ones that own you are the worst, aren’t they?)
The reason we commit is because we see something in it for ourselves.
When you’re feeling owned by the things you’ve agreed to, it’s easy to feel like we weren’t thinking clearly when we said yes. (And sometimes, we weren’t.) But, often the things we say yes to, we say yes to because we see something in the opportunity that will help us become who we really are, who we want to be.
And if you’re stuck in the muck of it, it’s easy to forget that.
So, whatever commitment you’re struggling with right now, remember you chose it, and there’s something you want here. See if you can connect back to the thing you wanted that made you choose the commitment you’ve got.
Also, the thing you thought you wanted to get is probably not the only thing you’re there to get.
So, let’s say you embarked on entrepreneurship, because you really wanted to call your own shots, work your own hours, and keep all the money you made. But now you’re having to dig deep to claim the fees you want to be paid (aka sense of worth), to make yourself visible enough for people to know you exist (aka being seen).
You probably didn’t sit down at happy hour one day and declare, “Friends! I really want to become an entrepreneur because I’m dying to confront my issues with worth and fear of being visible! I’m so excited!!!”
No, those aren’t consciously things that most people want, BUT they do want them. You just have to know that sometimes the gold of what you really want is buried where you least expect it.
Your job isn’t to question your commitments, but to question what you’re committed to.
It’s not uncommon for people to start mulling over all the “wrong” choices they’ve made when it comes to things they’ve committed to (both over the years, and presently.) But, guess what?
THERE. IS. NO. WRONG. CHOICE.
The thing that is consistent across every single commitment you make is who you show up as.
Sure, some careers and relationships fit better than others, but they all serve to show you exactly who you are in any given moment.
So, what are you committed to? Or, better said, who are you committed to being?
A person who makes other people’s lives easier?
A person who stands for her own sense of worth?
A person who believes she deserves to be happy?
A person who wants to be loved and supported by others?
A person who puts herself first, because she knows that everything else is so much better from there?
If you’re in a commitment right now that isn’t working for you, before you claim that you’ve leveled up and it’s time to move on, I’d encourage you to take a closer look at who you’re committed to being before you move on – just to make sure you don’t reincarnate another, higher class version of that thing you’re ditching right now.
And what if your commitment is about to have you committed?
If you’ve committed to something and it’s making you crazy, or full of rage, or despair, I have two thoughts for you.
The first is that the commitment is not allowing you to be who you truly are. (And chances are, you’re the one that’s decided that – you haven’t been willing to be more upfront about who you are because the commitment staying intact has likely been more important than whether it’s serving you.)
And the second is that commitment doesn’t mean forever. Seriously, it doesn’t. It means, I’m all in – to see what’s here for me. (And, I can choose to be not all-in at any time, but my commitment is to get what’s here for my own growth. Mind you, growing through an experience is not the same as allowing yourself to be bludgeoned by it.)
Your commitment can be day to day, week to week, year by year. What IS important is that your commitment get all of you, so you can get all of it. And when you decide you are no longer committed, you name that, and exit gracefully.
Ok, time to spill your guts. Are you a runner, or a waaaay overstay the value of the thing kind of committer? Leave a comment below and tell me something about who and how you want to commit to being, that you think you could commit to for a lifetime?