Most people are too afraid to commit to anything because they already know they’re going to break their commitment. This internal fear is the primary challenge, yet compounded by another, more external, challenge. Namely, that the systems of society are set up to work against you. Public education, politics, even Medium.com, are set up to keep you stuck.
If you don’t make a definite decision about what you’re going to do, despite the opposition you’ll face along the way, you’re screwed! It won’t happen for you. You’ll be left lethargic, unconscious, and indefinite. You’ll be swayed by external conditions which are inherently meant to slow you down.
However, when you make a decision, things will start to shift. Regardless of the absurdities around you, you’ll get momentum. Stuff will start happening. But only when you’re serious and resolute, come hell or high water.
Four realities exist:
In his book, Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill describes a meeting he had with his “other self,” which operated entirely out of faith and definiteness of purpose. Zero fear. Zero uncertainty.
This other self seized upon Hill immediately following several months of deep depression. He listened to every word that came from his other self, no matter how bold or audacious. He listened with exactness, no questioning at all.
This voice told him who to seek for financial aid in publishing his books. It told him to book world-class suites at hotels when he didn’t have the money to pay for it. It gave him brilliant business ideas which he acted upon immediately.
At a personal and profession rock bottom, Hill entered a mental state with infinite power. Having spent over 25 years interviewing the most successful people of his era, he had heard others talk of this mentality, yet he had never experienced it himself. Now, he was having an experience that validated everything he had learned.
Many others have been gripped by their “other self.” Tony Robbins explains this notion as a 3-part process:
If you don’t make your decisions in a peak state, your decisions will be weak and small-minded. When you make your decisions while in a clear and edified mental place, you’ll put yourself on a more elevated trajectory.
Making a commitment means you’re seeing it through to the end. It means you’re leaving yourself no escape routes. You’re burning any bridges that might lead to lesser paths of distraction. Your decision has been made. There’s no going back. You’ve passed your point of no return.
Where decisions are made in a single moment, commitment is seeing those decisions into the future. Especially when life gets difficult.
“Resolve means it’s done,” said Robbins. “It’s done inside [your heart], therefore it’s done [in the real world.]” When you are resolved, there is no question whatsoever. To quote his Air-ness, Sir Michael Jordan, “Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.”
Very few people make this level of decision.
Most people have an incredibly weak relationship with commitment. People break commitments to themselves all the time. They perpetually lie to themselves.
When you can’t trust yourself to do what you tell yourself you’re going to do, you’re not going to make any real decisions. Rather, you’ll dwell in a state of indecision, which is a weak and powerless state.
Many people will read this article and think I’m being eccentric. Or, they’ll quickly dismiss my words. This article wasn’t written for those people.
However, if you are feeling something inside of you wanting to be more in your life, I have a personal challenge for you.
Make a decision today. Something you’ve wanted to do or have been planning to do for a long time.
Commit to doing that thing.
Resolve within yourself that you already have it in you. If you didn’t, it wouldn’t have been gnawing at you all this time.
Research has found that when people commit to something, their desire to be seen as “consistent” drives them to act according to the commitment they’ve made.
Commitment has been defined as, “Pledging or binding of an individual to behavioral acts.”
For example, one study found that people who made a public commitment to recycle were far more likely to do so than those who didn’t make a public commitment.
When you make a commitment, you develop a self-concept that lines-up with your new behavior. This perceptual shift is your cognitions, values, and attitudes aligning with your new behavior. Hence, your desire to be viewed as consistent — firstly to others and then eventually to yourself — shifts how you see yourself.
You begin to see yourself based on the commitment you’ve made. Eventually, if your behavior matches your commitment for a long enough period of time (this study argues it takes around 4 months), your attitudes will also change.
Fake it until you make it?
Make the decision you want to. Eventually, you grow into that decision through your commitment and personal resolve. Your goals are something you grow into.
This isn’t faking anything.
It’s living with intention.
It’s living with definiteness of purpose.
So what’s the challenge?
Publicly commit to something to TODAY. Don’t be rash or impulsive about this. Think about it for a moment. Make a plan! That plan doesn’t need to be elaborate. In the least, consider the goal you have and a few sub-goals that would be required to achieving your larger goal.
Research has found that non-planned reward seeking is the fastest path to impulsive behavior.
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
But make a decision.
Make it highly public.
Then create conditions that make the achievement of your commitment inevitable. Leave yourself “no outlet.”
Make it a habit, your deepest devotion, to respond to your conscious voice immediately. Never drown it out.
What you will quickly find is that by acting upon these subtle impressions, they will quickly get bigger and bolder. Your confidence will increase. You will continuously make more powerful decisions because you’ll consistently be in more powerful conditions.
If you want to focus on the right activities and get results 10x faster than most people, check out my morning checklist.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com