The Courage to Commit

The Courage to Commit
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

I’m on the fence about a lot of things. I’m not very political. I’ve never marched in a protest or been a very good volunteer. I’m not terribly committed to housework. I can’t act on everything. To do so would be exhausting. Especially the housework.

There are a number of things to which I am committed.
• A healthy diet and regular exercise are non-negotiable.
• My meditation practice is consistent.
• I write an article like this every week.
• I grow vegetables every summer.
• I paint and paint and paint.

Painting is time-consuming, expensive and sometimes very challenging. The possibility of making a significant income is slim to none. But I’m committed to painting as much as I can, continuously improving and selling my work.

Even with the inherent challenges, I am committed. How did I get here? Selling paintings wasn’t always part of the plan, but I always intended to learn to paint in my retirement. I just moved it up about ten years. Now I’m hooked.

When I think of the things in my life I’ve committed to in earnest, I’ve always been successful. So what makes me commit? I think there has always been a seed of inspiration or hope. I wanted something. Core values can play a role. So too can talents and passions.

What does it take to be committed? It really helps to make a conscious decision to commit, but we don’t always do that. Sometimes it happens spontaneously. My healthy endeavours have built up and become strengthened over time, for example. But for others it might require a deliberate decision to start.

Whether you want to get healthy, get rich or get cracking, here are some guidelines for successful commitments.
• Plan ahead. Scheme and dream. Then pick a start date.
• Once committed, dive in.
• Learn everything you can.
• Allow yourself to make lots of mistakes and to fail.
• Exercise your sense of humor.
• Surround yourself with like-minded people.
• Don’t give up.

Do you need confidence to commit to something? Not necessarily. I was no stranger to art with a background in graphic design, yet I was terrified to paint. Things quickly escalated as I discovered a smidge of talent, then passion took over.

It helps a lot to start with confidence, but don’t wait for it. Know what you want and why you want it. A little courage will get you there. It takes courage to be bad at something. For the moment just make a small commitment and hold on tight. You could be onto something big!

Coach’s Challenge
What are you committed to, and why?
How can you leverage what you’ve achieved in other areas of your life?