Commit to yourself
A while back I saw a wonderful healer called Jody Shield. One of the things she told me was “Commit to yourself”. I don’t think I fully understood the sentiment at the time but the theme has kept coming back to me and I’d like to share it as I think it’s so valuable.
What does “Commit to yourself “mean?
In any self development/ therapy/ healing journey (I believe these terms to be interchangeable- they all basically mean the same thing), it’s important to be 100% willing to put in the required effort to make the change that you want to see. For example, if you wanted to to stop feeling so anxious- are you prepared to put in the time and do what needs to be done to make the shift?
Too often we make half hearted attempts to change and this is so detrimental for several reasons:
- We don’t make the desired change and feel just as bad if not worse then before.
- We now feel guilty. Berating ourselves may encourage us to try again but more often that not it is not helpful – we just feel helpless, like a failure and stuck.
Committing to yourself means identifying what you want (or no longer want), making a promise to yourself to do what it takes to get it, getting up when you have a setback and not letting this cause you to give up completely. A good example is overeating. I see many clients struggle with the overeating >guilt>overeating cycle. Breaking this cycle requires real commitment to ourselves on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. If we believe we have fallen of the wagon after eating a piece of cake this will more than likely lead us to think ‘F* it, I might as well eat the rest of the cake now and give up’. In committing to ourselves we are acknowledging that we are worth it, that there is a bigger picture and we are not perfect but are willing to keep going. We eat the cake, we accept we are only human and we let it go and get back on track.
So, how do you commit to yourself?
- Identify the thing you want to change or achieve.
- Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how much do you want this? Anything less than an 8 isn’t worth committing for.
- Start to believe you are worth it. You are worth investing in.
- Make small, realistic steps towards your goal whist keeping the bigger picture in mind. (e.g- if it’s being more confident, start small – make eye contact with someone you haven’t spoken to at work before or smile at a stranger on the train).
- Don’t make grand gestures or give yourself unrealistic ultimatums like “I will NEVER eat chocolate again” – really? REALLY?! You are setting yourself up for failure if you do this.
- If you notice yourself slipping, do not berate yourself. Accept you’ve made a mistake and move on.
- Look at what has worked for you in the past. Are you motivated by rewards? Promise yourself a new dress once you’ve lost 5 pounds. Do you need some support? See a therapist or ask a trusted friend to be your ‘sponsor’ and be available to pick you up when you’re having a down day.
- Take responsibility. Come back to your goal every day and evaluate what you could have done better and what you can do differently tomorrow. Again, this isn’t about feeling guilty, it’s about tweaking and staying on track.
- Recognise yourself for the little achievements. Before you know it you’ll be where you want to be.
Committing to yourself means taking full responsibility for your life and your choices which can be scary especially if we are stuck in ‘victim mode’. Committing to yourself is so worth the effort. It takes courage, patience, resilience, self compassion and determination. You deserve to be the best version of yourself! What areas of your life are asking you to step up and commit to yourself?