“I don’t want to!”

“I didn’t say I would…”

“Something else came up.”

“I don’t feel like it!”

Have you ever had any of those thoughts? Ever said any of those things out loud?

Has any of the above ever seemed to directly prevent you from fulfilling on important commitments? Maybe repeatedly, even?

If so, welcome to the club! You are like the rest of us: challenged to do what it takes to fulfill on all of your commitments. While it is very tempting, and easy, to generalize as such, this difficulty is not the result of being lazy, irresponsible or incompetent. It is, however, an expression of, and an indicator of, your relationship to 1) that to which you’ve committed yourself, 2) the nature of commitment itself, and 3) integrity.

Said another way, the source of the problem isn’t what we know or don’t know; it isn’t in what we don’t know about ourselves or about a particular commitment. But it does lie in the usually unexamined and hidden network of interpretations, beliefs, and assumptions that constrain and shape our viewpoints, thoughts, moods, and actions.

“The problem in my life and other people’s lives is not absence of knowing what to do, but absence of doing it.” – Peter Drucker

The challenge for many of us is that, though we make our commitments with every intention to fulfill on them, we never stop to ask the question “Is this something that I am really committed to?” And if we do indeed ask that question, how would we know? What is a commitment? Will I still be ‘committed’ later? Given this lack of clarity in the matter, it’s no wonder that it’s so easy to doubt ourselves, waffle, or bail out when it comes time to fulfill on the commitments we make.

For a good number of us, we have made so many commitments (without having confronted what it will take to fulfill on them) that managing how or when to fulfill on them, such that we actually keep our word, looks downright impossible.

At ALS, the facilitating of the creation and/or clarification of commitments for individuals, teams and entire organizations is one of our firm’s specialties. We make sure that there are real systems in place to manage these commitments, and most importantly, that each project and each task exists in a clear and powerful relationship to the overall objectives of the organization. This creates a clear future, an actionable pathway to that future, and a sense of resolution and power in the present.

Where are you, or your organization, consistently coming up short on what you’ve committed to? In what areas are you frequently questioning your commitment, ‘gumption,’ etc.? Would you like this to be different? Let us support you!

Edited by Meg Buck

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