“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ~ Vince Lombardi
We often hear about the need for willpower and getting tough with yourself to create the best version of yourself. I’ve written blog posts on how you can use both of these to your advantage. However, willpower and self-discipline, by their very nature, are internal forces you use when you don’t necessarily want to do something, but you know it’s for your own good to do so. And therein lies the flaw to solely relying on willpower and self-discipline — if you don’t really want to do it, you’re NOT GOING TO DO IT! To achieve your goals and attain your dream it’s imperative to first answer the question, “How badly do I want it?” because that kicks in the awesome and unstoppable power of commitment!
Of course, willpower and self-discipline have their place. They’re handy for keeping you on track and getting you past the times when you’re feeling low or are momentarily distracted or tempted to take your eyes off of your desired outcome. They remind you of your passion and get you back in alignment with the power of your commitment. And once that happens, the distraction or temptation loses its power over you. I love how Kenneth Blanchard puts it:
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
Consider this: people who excel, for example Olympic gold medalists, aren’t driven by their willpower or their self-discipline. They don’t wake up each morning and think, “I’m so looking forward to making myself do something today.” No, they’re driven by their vision of standing on the highest podium, bending their head to receive the shiny medal, as the crowd goes wild, cheering their name! They want that prize more than anything, so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to beat everyone else. That’s the power of commitment!
While it’s good to strengthen your willpower and self-discipline, it would serve you best to focus on strengthening your commitment to the few things that are truly important to you. The more committed you are to an outcome the more real it is to you, and the easier it is to choose the things that support that commitment. As Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”
Maintaining your commitment is often easier when you buddy up with someone who has similar commitments.
For example, several years ago, I enrolled in a coach development program through Coaches Rising and met Louise Santiago. I’m a somatic coach, and Louise is an executive leadership coach. We quickly realized we had a deep commitment to helping women identify and bring forth their innate leadership skills to expand their world, their community, and themselves. We began a business partnership at Newave Leaders where we empower women and we lead a life-enriching annual women’s retreat. These retreats are opportunities for highly-motivated women to travel the world and explore how we can use the power of commitment to achieve the next level of growth. (If you’re interested in learning more about Newave Leaders, check out our blog, or sign up for our newsletter.)
Working with Louise has helped me become crystal clear that intentional self-leadership is the core principle for my own coaching practice. To make intentional commitments requires that you make sense of your story, understand where you come from and what you believe, and importantly, how your emotions are showing up in your body. All these things are shaping your ability to step into the next phase of your life.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” What promise have you made to yourself that hasn’t become a reality yet, because you’re not quite sure how to make it happen? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I love working with women who want to unleash the power of commitment in their lives.