Commitment versus Motivation

At any given time, we all have a list of things we need to accomplish to advance ourselves in our personal or work life.  Some of those things we actually like doing, so we’re motivated to do them.   Other things we procrastinate about.  It may not be something we’re strong at, or it’s a task we just don’t enjoy.  Not everything on our way to accomplishment is pleasurable.  For those things that we don’t like doing, either we don’t do them (and miss the achievement, or worse), or we need some sort of commitment to see us through.

If we let our feelings dominate our actions, and only do what we’re motivated to do, our lives will be chaotic.  Think of it:  if you feel like going to work today, then you go, and if not, you don’t.  If you feel like supporting a loved one in their time of need, you do, and if not, you don’t.  How would either of those responses play out, long-term?  Our feelings are important to acknowledge and work with, but if left unchecked, they can run our internal household like an uncontrolled toddler.

But what we always have the opportunity for, is to connect with what we’re committed to for our higher good, then our actions flow from our commitment to what we ultimately want and need for ourselves.  If you’re going on a vacation, you know all the things that you need to do before you leave, and you know that doing those things will lead to a reward that’s exciting!  If you know you regularly need exercise, downtime, nature, study time/work time, social interaction/family time in order to be healthy, balanced and happy, then you make a commitment to yourself to do those things – and it takes planning and self-discipline to achieve them.  And when you do that, it feels great, and enhances your self-esteem.

Commitment is like a vow you make to yourself.  It’s the integrity you have with yourself.  It doesn’t feel good to let yourself down consistently.  That can create a negative self-image, because it’s a self-betrayal. 

We often struggle to be committed because it feels like a limiting obligation.    By choosing to do the disliked task in spite of having no motivation, it’s a choice you are making for your own long game.  So instead of the glass half-empty, you shift to the glass half-full, and you move forward, from a place of personal empowerment.  That’s a paradigm shift that can give you buoyancy and energy.

Coaching can support those kinds of shifts in your life.  It’s possible to achieve it on your own; on the other hand, it is helpful to have someone’s support to get there.   If it were easier, no one would procrastinate or fail to reach their goals.  There is hard science in the benefits of collaborative exchange.  Much like two whole people come together in love and create a third ‘life,’ that’s what happens in a trusted coaching relationship.   

Just remember, you may not have the motivation to do something, but if you have the commitment, you are exercising a powerful choice, giving yourself the opportunity to connect with your dreams and goals from a more positive and empowered place.

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