The C word!

total commitmentWhen I got two separate emails yesterday from two different mentors both talking about THAT word – commitment – I got the message!

I’ve avoided discipline and commitment all my life, even to the extent of choosing emotionally unavailable men or those who live on the other side of the world and have almost no chance of invading my “real” life. My rationale has always been that I want to be “free” but the truth is that I’m NOT free in all areas of my life. I’m certainly more free than I was in the UK, my lifestyle is much better for example, but my lack of discipline shows up in my body and my business – neither of which are yet where I want them to be. What’s the point of having lots of free time when I’m not yet fully living the life that I want?

My particular issue – and I bet I’m not alone in this – is that I tend to take action based on how I feel in the moment, rather than on the longer-term outcomes I want. It’s a parallel issue to my earlier post on feelings versus impulses; here it shows up as true desires versus current mood, but it’s still about giving up instant gratification in order to achieve what I really want.

Thoughts

 
Mood is a passing thing; it comes from the thoughts I happen to be thinking at the time. If I change my thoughts, I can change my mood – instantly. Or I can simply wait for those thoughts to pass, as they all do in time. Either way, I don’t have to believe every thought I have! There are thousands of them every day, most of them pass through without leaving a trace. I’m the one who gives certain thoughts more importance than others but there’s nothing intrinsically “better” or “more true” about them than about the thousands I don’t even notice.

As Abraham says, “a belief is just a thought you keep thinking” so if the belief isn’t serving me, why hold on to the thought behind it? I can choose to ignore it or to pick a thought that feels better. I can change my beliefs!

Outcomes

 
If I actively choose to make decisions and choices based on the outcomes I want to create in my life – in my business, my health and fitness, my relationships, my finances – rather than on my impulses or mood at any given time, I’m committing to those outcomes and using discipline to proactively bring them into my life, instead of simply accepting whatever shows up.

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” ~ Jim Rohn

I KNOW THAT for me, lack of discipline leads to chaos and dissatisfaction, not freedom.

The two questions I need to be asking myself are “what are the outcomes I want?” and “are my daily actions and choices leading me towards those outcomes?”

In Love with Discipline

 
Discipline and commitment come from alignment. If I’m not aligned with a desire or outcome then I’m not committed to doing what’s necessary to get me there. When I’m aligned with a desire, it doesn’t even feel like discipline most of the time, it feels like being in love with life ๐Ÿ™‚ And when you’re in love, you don’t need to discipline yourself to be with someone! You WANT to show up for them, you WANT the commitment.

I KNOW THAT the discipline of a daily routine or ritual works well for me when I consistently do it.
When I commit to that discipline …

  • I do my mindset work and journalling first thing every morning
  • I write a post and email every day
  • I eat the foods I’ve prepared in advance that I’ve already decided are best for me and suit my body, instead of grabbing whatever’s available
  • I plan grocery shopping trips so I have the right food in the house to choose from
  • I go on the walks I’ve planned or take the dance or exercise classes that I’ve committed to
  • I connect with my friends regularly because I commit in advance to meet them instead of seeing if I “feel like it” in the moment
  • I stretch and release my back every day and avoid the issue I had with a trapped nerve a couple of years ago
  • I focus on what I appreciate and want more of and get more to love and appreciate
  • I take care of myself and my vibration instead of needing someone else to “make” me happy
  • I have a skin and hair care routine that I keep to and I look good so I feel more confident
  • I keep my promises to myself, so I trust myself more and more and my self-esteem and self-confidence skyrockets

The Challenge

 
Commitment really seems to be a big issue for me; I know my life works better when I’m truly committed to my outcomes and my relationships so why do I resist it? I need to nail it once and for all and I’ve decided to give myself a 10 Day Commitment or Discipline Challenge. And you’re all co-opted as my accountability partners – you can thank me later ๐Ÿ™‚

For the next 10 days (today through Sun 7th, excluding Saturday) I’m committing to showing up and writing a blog post from the heart EVERY DAY, whether I “feel like it” or not. I’ll be exploring the whole issue of commitment and whatever else comes up. I’m excited now to see where this goes!

Is there an area – or maybe more than one – in your life where you resist commitment? Feel free to join in and share your journey in the comments. Let’s nail this together!

6 Responses to “The C word!”

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  1. Carole says:

    Izzz, I am so conflicted about this thesis, and I have spent so much time in my life pondering the road to freedom, that I can’t wait to hear what you and our fellows have to say.
    I am always of two minds about how to achieve the greatest comfort, and you have put your finger on the conundrum: is discipline the key, or merely an action path that we take when we can’t get to comfort any other way?
    Btw, your daily to-do list may be the most comprehensive set of guidelines for living I’ve heard since the Ten Commandments. You have clearly put a lot of thought into what you must do in order to feel good. I have from time to time in my life followed similar activity lists. At one time in my life, I decide to write out a weekly planner that was calibrated almost to the minute. Even my free time was regimented. I committed to my plan religiously, and at first felt the freedom of which you speak.
    But after a while, I simply dreaded going through the motions, and what had initially felt like freedom felt like slavery to my own beliefs. I did feel self-righteous, but not satisfied. And jumping though the hoops did not always help me manifest happiness and comfort.
    Abraham also tells us that there is nothing that you must do except to find the feeling place of achieving your desires. Your commitment list is a list of actions you believe you must perform in order to get there. But what if you could get there without the list, through meditation or simple mindfullness? There have also been times in my life when I was barely dragging my cloven hoofs to school or work or whatever minimums were required to keep body and soul together that I remember as blissfully free and better-feeling than I had any right to expect. Was I just relentlessly dedicated to feeling good, no matter whether I justified it to myself?
    I’m with you. Let’s commit to figuring this thing out.

    • Isobel says:

      Always so delicious to play with you ๐Ÿ™‚ My feeling and hypothesis is that discipline (or commitment) and alignment go hand-in-hand. Even Abraham says we need to take inspired action, and that’s really what I’m talking about here. It’s not the actions that make me feel good in themselves, without alignment they would indeed be pure drudgery. But when I take the time to get in alignment, these actions are the ones that present themselves.
      The issue is then actually TAKING the inspired, aligned action – and that’s where I tend to fall down. And in that gap between knowing the inspired action and taking it is either my alignment with the vibration of what I truly want or my fleeting emotion in the moment.

  2. I have a daily to-do list, a quarterly-annual-five year plan that guide my activities. But, within that plan, I thrive on the freedom to adjust to the daily contingencies. Including the times when I’ve just had enough- and need to take off on vacation or frivolity.
    I am not for the structured (rigid) approach that many adapt as they follow their daily activities.

    • Isobel says:

      Flexibility is very important, I agree. In my case I need to guard against being so flexible that I do nothing at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Martha says:

    I’m like Roy, while I have a daily to-do list, it’s flexible in my daily work activities. I too get to the point every so often, that I need that “get-a-way” time with hubby. That’s when the mountains are calling us.

    • Isobel says:

      It’s so lovely to be able to take off when you want to! It sounds like you’ve found a great balance for yourselves between work and play ๐Ÿ™‚

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