Commitment is often hailed as the key ingredient to success. During my years building DrivenWoman I have met thousands of ambitious women who are eager to realise their dreams and goals. These who make it are women who accept that keys to success are in their own hands are ready to commit to the journey ahead.
You can’t drop in and out of commitment. It simply doesn’t work. And you certainly can’t have your cake and eat it. Not being fully committed can be a protection mechanism. When you don’t commit you can’t fail.
Commitment is one of our key principles at DrivenWoman but what does it mean in practice?
Different levels of commitment
1) Committing to what I know now
A dedicated parent. A diligent employee. A faithful spouse. Nobody can challenge such commitment, right? But blind commitment to the status quo can be a trap. If you are not happy in the current role in your life then using commitment as an excuse for not making a chance can make you feel stuck.
2) Commitment to exploring
The whole concept of commitment gets challenged when one stops conforming and decides to start exploring new directions. Can I stay committed to what is ‘now’ if I explore what might be? It can be hard to see beyond the ‘now’ and the value an exploration might bring. It’s easy to fall back into the ‘what I know now’ and never move forward. But there are pitfalls:
– “I put my family always first.” Does such commitment bring you real value or is this an excuse that keeps you feeling stuck? Only you know what is right for you but if you feel there’s more to life perhaps it is time to open up to exploring new directions?
– Do you find it difficult to invest in yourself when there really isn’t anything to ‘complain about’? Failing to listen and value your inner drive and follow your heart may result in big regrets later down the line.
– Forgetting that commitment to ‘the journey’ is a full time job. As soon as you break your commitment and put your journey on hold you give space for self-doubt and uncertainty.
3) Committing to the journey
When you reach this level of commitment you find it easy to re-commit to the work that has to be done, no matter what, day after day. This is when you are guided by that inner compass and you are (mostly) free from drifting according to other people’s agendas. You have let go of being fixated to the outcome and are simply happy to do your best effort.
You can still have a number of commitments such as putting your family first, but now it is your active choice rather than something you are expected to do as a perfect mother. And even when you have a mindset of caring for others you are able to steer your own boat and commit to your journey. You can hear your positive inner voice loud and clear, and no outside impulse will push you off your path. When there are challenges you are able to pivot and re-invent yourself rather than abandon your direction all together.
You don’t need to know where you are going to commit to your journey.
To rise up the different levels of commitment all you have to do is, eh, to commit. All you are committing to initially is exploration. Most people think they need to know the end game before they can commit and that’s why they never enter the journey and rather stay stuck and frustrated.
Many people are also completely unrealistic about the time frame of the journey. I recently talked with a lady who was giving up because she couldn’t answer the questions “What do you want? How do you want to live?” after thinking about it for 24 hours. Most of us can never answer those questions, and definitely not on the spot. It took me 9 years of exploration to be able to write down, with detail, what my ‘bigger life’ really means to me. And it keeps changing too.
So ladies, give yourself a break, don’t give up. Just commit to the journey, and own it.
~ Miisa Mink, founder and chief-doer at DrivenWoman