One Trick to Making Commitment Stick
March 25, 2015
Commitment…can be a scary word. We tend to associate it with failure…times when we said we were going to do something, but then neglected to follow through with it.
At the heart of any success that has ever been achieved is a resolve or commitment to do it.
We often set ourselves up for failure right from the start because of three little words:
“I’ll try it.”
Did you know that the definition of try is “an attempt to fail”? Scientists have actually proven that when you speak or even think the word try, it sends a lightning-fast message to your brain that inhibits you from doing whatever it was you were “trying” to do. But when you say the word do, your brain receives a completely different message; it is energized with the strength and power it needs to accomplish the task you set out to complete. Rather than self-sabotaging, you give yourself a fighting chance because you are committed.
For example, it is early summer and you are at the swimming pool. It rained the night before, so that means cold water (at least in our neighborhood pool!). But your sweet child is begging you to play in the water with them.
You say, “Let me try out the water and see how cold it is. If it’s not bad, I’ll get in.”
You ever-so-carefully dip the tip of your big toe into the water and immediately recoil because it’s freezing. “Sorry sweetie, not right now. I’ll get in when the water warms up.”
But that moment never comes because your brain has told you the water is cold, so no amount of time will make it any warmer.
Maybe you’ve experienced the same situation with a different outcome. When your child asks you to play, rather than testing the waters first, you toss off your beach towel and run and jump in without thinking (maybe you’ve never done this as adult but full cannon balls into the pool are my favorite!). You’re under water trying to recover from the hypothermic shock to your system. As you surface, your child is smiling at you almost as if to say, “Well? Is it too cold?” You reply with, “It’s chilly but I actually don’t even notice it now that I’m completely in the water!”
That’s how commitment is. If you only dip one toe in, you might as well head to your pool chair and find a comfy, cozy spot to park because you aren’t getting in.
You know it and those around you know it.
But when you go “all in” (do a cannon ball if you have to!), you will experience different results because you committed.
What are you struggling to commit to? I’d love to hear below. I can guarantee you that you aren’t alone. But there’s nothing better than just jumping all in with a giant “cannon ball”. And if you’re not quite ready for a cannon ball, start this week with taking the word “try” out of your vocabulary and assess what changes – whether that’s in your eating, exercise, business, or schedule. Do you get more done? Do you feel less defeated? Are you “doing” more than you thought you were capable of?