Getting to the heart of the matter
“Until one is committed there is hesitation – the chance to draw back – always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth; the moment one definitely commits oneself, providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision rising in one’s favour. All manner of unforeseen incidents and meeting and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I love this quote. Mostly because I’ve been a commitment-phobe for substantial parts of life. Employed. Self-employed. Employed. Self-employed. Artist? Writer? Coach? Marcom Consultant? Facilitator? Supportive Counsellor? Make up my mind already! Pick one thing already!
I’m what Barbara Sher calls a ‘scanner’ and I love working with creatives and entrepreneurial types who are scanners too. Because I seriously get that whole “I cannot and will not ever pick one thing” orientation, and I had to learn to stop thinking of myself as a dabbler with an exceedingly short attention span, and find a way to live a life that lassos all that right-brain talent and creativity with all that practical, linear, left brain logic, analytical ability and business expertise – and use my intelligence in a way that brings value to others and brings me a life of “variety, challenge, and joy.” So that’s my thing.
The truth is, if you want to have a successful business, it starts with making a commitment and having a focus. Frankly, even more than focus, I think it starts with standing for something – and wanting for – wanting something for others and having an unwavering commitment to whatever that is. That gets to the essence that is you – and it speaks to potential.
So what’s your potential? And are you living into it?
In many respects, the ability to commit is all about potential. Commitment captures potential. Actually, it’s more like commitment frees up potential that’s been constrained in some way.
Commitment creates momentum. It says, ‘I’m all in.’ But of course, just when we jump in with both feet… we often get cold feet and start to back-paddle because (lack of) commitment says “whoa Nelly, not going there!” and until commitment kicks in again and restates, “hey I’m in this for the long hall, I’m not going to give up no matter how afraid I am, and I’m not going to get side-tracked by other stuff.”
Commitment seems to go hand in hand with confidence, which seems to be ingrained in some people, but certainly not everyone. Many of us feel more confident and thus more able to commit to things, in general, when we regularly experience feelings of being competent, which often comes from achieving something. We are regularly experiencing success (and how do you define that for yourself?)
Anyway, the world needs your gifts as much as it needs mine. And maybe you’re at the point of getting ready to offer up those gifts to the world.
I know it can be really hard to summon up the courage to do something different, to decide to leave some aspects of who we’ve ‘always’ been and what we’ve done behind, and to move forward in new ways that call on us to be all of the best of who we can be; to live up to our potential… In my view it’s more about integration and re-calibration than shedding important parts of ourselves. But whatever it is, when we can finally articulate exactly what matters most to us, what we want for this our one-short-life, and summon up the will to stand for something, even if it means opening ourselves up to scrutiny, to criticism, to people not understanding, and not listening… and not liking us anymore – and being okay with that (I’m finally okay with that) – things change!
And the universe conspires in our favour.