Since we’re committing to something every moment of our life, why are we so afraid of commitment?
The moment you were born, you committed to breathing for the rest of your life. When you tried to walk for the first time, you committed to it. When you’re having a smoke, you’re committing to the instant pleasure over the long-term effects. When you work toward your goals, you commit to a path for a better life. When you get married, you’re committing to your couple.
Every single action is a commitment. And yet, we fear them. We run away from them and put the blame on external factors. Is that the best solution?
“Running away from one commitment means to commit to its opposite.” — Me
A few months ago, I broke up with my ex. After careful consideration, I decided it wouldn’t work between us. I knew the conversation was going to be tough so I closed myself to hearing anything she’d say. I shut down every idea she gave me. Even when she found solutions for the 3 main problems I had noticed:
- I thought she wanted to live in Kamakura → She said it as a joke. Once.
- I thought she wanted to get married in a year or so → She wanted to get married by 35, so 6 years later at most.
- I thought we didn’t communicate enough → She proposed to have a tough conversation once a week.
Obviously, I was right on the third aspect. So right, in fact, that the previous 2 “problems” had arisen from miscommunication!
I committed to the easy choice, to the path of no hurdle, and broke up.
During a recent conversation with a friend, the topic of my relationship with commitment came up. When I mentioned that I was afraid of commitment, he looked at me baffled.
“Dude, you’ve been learning languages for more than a decade and when you decide to post every day last year, you did it. I really don’t think you’ve got problems with commitment.”
He was right. But that meant the perspective I held between my relationship and my endeavors was different. What could it be?
Where you turn your attention matters
When I learn languages, I focus on the lesson itself, forgetting about tomorrow or the day after, even though the goal of fluency is well set. When I decided to write online, I set a goal of one post a day but focused on sitting down every day and typing something.
“We are what we pay attention to” — Chris Baley
When it comes to relationships, we often focus on the extremely long-term. 20 years. 50 years. That’s far and daunting. Yet, the actions to take are in the present.
What are you doing today for the couple? What can you improve today? How did you mess up today?
Tomorrow will come only when you’ll be done with today. Not earlier nor later. Be patient and focus on one task at a time.
When it comes to committing to anything, you need to make things clear with the concerned people.
If you’re making a commitment to yourself, then make sure you’ve reflected enough and have set a system to follow through.
If you’re committing to someone else, it’s important to discuss carefully with the other. You don’t want to make a decision before potential solutions have been brought to the table.
“Communication must be HOT. That’s Honest, Open, and Two-way.” — Dan Oswald
Share, listen, understand, and then set the system to allow commitment to take place.
Remember that it’s okay to be scared. Everybody is. What matters more is how you’ll deal with that fear of commitment. Will you let it control you? Or will you take the steps to combat it?