Creating My Life

Intention versus Commitment

It’s easy to confuse intention and commitment. It’s often easier to want something than to actually get it. I’ve seen this time and time again both in myself and in my coaching clients. We say we want something but then don’t even begin to do what’s necessary to make it happen. A couple of reasons for this are:

What we say we want is not really what we’re after

What we’re really after is the result; what our yearnings would bring us, rather than the thing itself. We might say we want to earn 100K per year. But the 100k is not really what we’re after. What we really want is more freedom to do the things that matter to us, for example. But if we look more deeply we’re likely to discover that some of those things we could be doing right now. We don’t actually need the 100K salary to start them but we’re not doing them. And that’s because . . .

We Are Afraid of Change

We might say we want to earn 100K and that, looking deeper, we want this because we want more freedom. But, because we’re afraid of the change required of us we continue to wait, remain stuck and dream of the things we think we want. This is intention without commitment.

As an example,  for a long time now I’ve been feeling disatisfied about my life in general, and about my work in particular. I’ve set many goals aimed at changing things but none have succeeded. I believe that’s because I had the intention to make the change but not the commitment. True change always requires stepping ourside our comfort zones and basically I’ve been saying, I’m disatisfied with my life, I want to make some changes, but I don’t want to experience any discomfort, doubt, failure or fear. Consequently, nothing has changed.

This time, however, I’m truly willing to move forward. Writing this blog is a demonstration of that.

Last week, someone I know, told me they’d been reading this blog and I was mortified. I even blushed! Whereupon another friend asked me why on earth I would write a blog if I didn’t want anyone to read it. The answer is simple. At this point I’m writing for me. But by making my thoughts/story public (even if I’m secretly hoping nobody is reading them) I’m reinforcing my commitment to making changes in my life. I am facing my fear of “being seen”. I am exploring the process of change in order to help me stay committed to it. Also, the element of being witnessed (albeit only a potential for now) makes it more real for me.

I heard an interesting quote on the Women Who Wow website where Michelle Pippin says “True commitment is evidenced by a structure that supports the results that you say you’re committed to”. This blog is a part of that structure. The key point in the quote is the bit: “that you SAY you’re committed to”.

You’re not really committed until you’ve proved it by putting in place a supporting structure. Until you do, anything you think you want remains an intention without the power of true commitment and, consequently, is unlikely to materialise.

What structures have you put in place that take you closer to your dreams?