Missing the Mark and Commitment
So much successful work starts with a commitment, and all projects may include many episodes of missing the mark: failure.
The criteria (standards) for success or failure depend on context, and it is always related to a specific belief system: project met expectations, or project did not meet expectations. Now, commitment is also related to another belief system: we are resilient, we are designed to bounce back.
Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a well of wisdom and common sense available to us all the time, we are never completely alone or disconnected. Therefore, even if a part of the project fails, since we are committed, we adjust as needed and find another way to complete the project.
Why is commitment important?
Because when we are not committed, we can always find a way out. The mind will always find a reason, an explanation, an excuse to avoid the challenge. Our system is economical and it wants to get the most out of any situation with the minimum effort. When the tough times show up, or when things don’t work out the way we expected; commitment is the main thing that keeps us going. Just like in any other relationship, sometimes when the feeling is not present; commitment keeps us going.
What holds you back from stepping up and committing? A thought (a belief you accept as true) and the corresponding feeling.
Note: the brain repeats old stories, memories, and the corresponding feeling all the time. Remember: there is nothing wrong with your brain, the brain is doing exactly what it was designed to do. The mind generates mental activity all the time, we are always thinking about ourselves, about other people, and thinking about the world in general.
However, we have the option of focussing our attention on the present moment (the task at hand) or focusing our attention on the repetitive stories, diving into the corresponding feelings, and innocently being lost in thought: we unconsciously get caught in a mental loop.
Thinking without being aware that we are thinking can be a problem, because we can spend our time daydreaming, or lost in thought remembering the past, or trying to predict the future. It will feel and appear like we are working hard on our project, but all we are doing is thinking about it. Thinking about it, talking about it, or dreaming about is not enough: commitment and action will make a difference.
Notice the many explanations (excuses) your mind lists as valid reasons for not doing what you said you were going to do: no time, no energy, no resources, the weather, the traffic, my mate, my health, etc., etc.
The perceived obstacle appears solid and too big for us to handle, but after closer examination, we see that the obstacle is made up of stories/thoughts (energy flowing through us). In other words, there is always a story behind what we choose to do, or not to do. We tend to focus on the story and abandon our project.
What do I mean by a story? personal beliefs based on past experiences, memories with the corresponding feelings, imagining a terrible future, and the desire not to experience those unwanted feelings ever again.
Here is how my brain responds and supports the agitated-insecure inclination when it does not want me to commit:
-What if I don’t have what it takes?
-What if nobody likes it?
-What if she/he says No?
-What if we fall out of love?
-What if they laugh in my face?
-What if we fail?
What if we run out of money? Time? Resources?
Are you familiar with any of those statements?
As you can see all these obstacles are NOT solid things that can physically hold us back, or physically push us to do anything at all.
Now, imagine what the brain might say (to support) you when you are in a peacefully confident state of mind: when you are committed.
-How can we get this done?
-What needs to happen to make sure this is completed in a good way?
-What resources do we have? and what else is needed?
-What actions do I need to take to make sure this happens?
-Will I do that?
It happens when you are not thinking about it
Sometime in 2014, I participated in a class called “Creating the Impossible” led by Michael Neill. At that time my mind was so busy reviewing the past and trying to predict the future, that grasping the material presented appeared to be impossible. Then, in 2018 the book came out, and as I read the book a third time, I realized that some of the ideas from the class were already at work in my daily life.
Here there are some things I learned about commitment and the process of creation:
-Whatever you want to create; commit to it and start it as soon as possible.
-Commitment will help you step over the edge of your comfort zone, and it will help you adjust while staying focused on the finish line.
-Expecting temporary setbacks helps reduce anxiety when they happen.
-Knowing that we are resilient reduces fear of failure as we prepare to tackle difficulties while focusing on the main project.
How does being committed help me? I choose to focus on my mission: “I promote a world of hope and courage by listening to understand, speaking up (writing and sharing), while holding space for others to do the same.”
Since I am aware that the mind is constantly generating mental activity, now it is easier to see the stories, beliefs, memories, and the corresponding feelings that innocently grab my attention, and distract me from my mission. The stories appear and disappear on their own, then a new story appears.
Most of the obstacles are fabricated from the inside. These ferocious giants that daily slaughter my dreams happen to be mere stories, beliefs, memories, and the corresponding feelings that consciously or unconsciously distract me from what I want to achieve.
When these stories appear in my mind and I know that they will disappear on their own; I can either entertain them, and give them a home, or consciously relax and let them pass. Or as my friend Alan Fischer says: “I could give them a home, or I could show them the door.”
What would you ‘love’ to create that will help others?
What would love to create that may give you great satisfaction?
Do you want support moving past the stories?
Do you want to learn more about this process?
J Enrique Roman