The Confidence Course
“The biggest commitment you must keep is the commitment to yourself”
Neale Donald Walsch
Commitment ……..The Sixth Layer
The sixth layer of our confidence pyramid is the component of commitment. When we speak of commitment, we are generally speaking of relationships and the commitment we have when we commit ourselves to another. That is a two-way committed relationship. You pledge your allegiance and faith to another and you trust that they will reciprocate and do the same for you.
There are other forms of commitment as well and perhaps the most important commitment is the one you make to yourself. As Neale Donald Walsch has suggested, the commitment to yourself is vital because no one else knows what is in your head or heart 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year other than you! The ultimate gatekeeper to your thoughts, feelings and intentions is you! This is why the value of commitment is crucial to creating confidence and trust for yourself. You must realize right now that if you do not believe in you, no one else will. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. That is the ultimate commitment you must make to yourself that you will be there for yourself in good and bad times.
Just the thought of this makes many people a bit uneasy because they start to feel as if they are all alone. But no man or woman is an island and that our connections to other people are a vital part of our human experience. But in the end, we have to come to terms that if we do not commit to what it is that each of us wants, then we are probably living by another person’s whims and desires and that they probably have control over us and our actions. Or, we are simply existing in our everyday worlds and not striving to be the person we know we can be. ‘
This is why commitment is vital. It is a pledge and promise to create action! When you commit, you are stating that this is what I want to do and I am going to do it now! Confidence without commitment to your thoughts and actions will not be confidence for very long. For example, when a person says: “I’ll try this and commit a little bit,” is not only going to be an ineffective strategy, but it is a farce. Commitment, like trust, is 100% investiture in the moment and the activity. You cannot just commit a “little bit”. It’s either all or nothing!
When I work with golfers or any athlete in their activity, I want them to invest 100 % of their energy and sense of purpose totally into that shot, that moment and that entire game! It isn’t easy to do, but it is an absolute necessity whether you are an athlete, salesperson, musician, or actor! I like to use this saying to my athletes and clients when talking about commitment to action: “You either commit…..or you’ve already quit”! What this means is that if you haven’t totally committed yourself to your task, your job or your dream, then you have already doomed it for failure.
If we speak of commitment in terms of action, there are plenty of examples that we can use. When a person commits themselves to a new exercise regimen or exercise plan they are stating that they will devote themselves to a new way of eating, exercising and taking care of themselves. Another simple example is when you have committed yourself to take care of your neighbor’s dog for a weekend. Knowing that you will have to walk and feed Fido isn’t that much of a task, but you said that you would do and now you have to see it through! Now isn’t that sweet and neighborly of you! But that is what commitment is all about. You pledge yourself to do something and you carry it out.
Aside from all of the examples that I could provide, the bigger picture is that commitment is the machinery of being confident. Commitment is the motor to get things done and stay steadfast to the proposition that I can and will do this now! The following are a few examples of how to create and enhance your levels of commitment.
Exercise # 1 Creating a Commitment Check List
One of the most important things you can do to start creating more committed efforts into everything that you do, it is important to know exactly what you want to achieve. In this first exercise, I need you to write down the one thing (just one thing!) that you will really want to do or achieve in the next three months and put it down on paper….in black and white. Do not write this on your iPhone or iPad or any form of electronic device. This one aspiration that you will devote yourself to must be handwritten in ink and put in a place that you can see it. Why the handwritten note? Research suggests that when you manually write something down versus a text note in a device, the impact on your brain tends to be much stronger. It is about the act of writing versus just texting that is important. Now that you have the writing instructions and you have it written down on paper, you need to look at this at least 5 times a day! Ask yourself this question: “Am I devoting myself to this goal”? “Am I doing everything I can to attain this goal?” By doing this 5 times a day, it will keep you on task and your ability to commit will be greatly increased. If you are saying this is crazy…..you are the person that needs to do this…..today! Try it…it works!
Exercise # 2 Creating Commitment via a Trust Line in your life
In the sport of golf, I created the Thinking and Acting model for a pre-shot routine. In this routine procedure, it consists of six separate components that start with a plan about how you are going to hit the shot and make a clear decision, a rehearsal swing that pre-sets the feel for the swing you want to make, a commitment phase that is a check list for what you want to do, a trust phase where you simply allow yourself to step over an imaginary line (the Trust Line) and then you step in and address and hit the ball and accept the shot result. The key to all of this is that when you commit, you have committed yourself to the decision, the feel and the club and target that you want to hit. You have made a clear cut decision about what you wanted to do. When you have committed, you have gotten yourself to a YES mindset! When you get to YES, you can now trust your preparation and cross over your Trust Line and hit the shot.
You can do the same thing in your life. For every decision that you make….take the time to think it through and make the commitment that this is what you want to do and then do it! As you make your decision, place your trust in your judgment and step over the Trust Line. The Trust Line is your imaginary line or inner judgment that says “everything is going to work out just fine!” When you start to do this in all of your everyday commitments, you will find that your levels of competence, confidence and ultimately the ability to trust yourself will be enhanced. The Trust Line is a wonderful way to describe the inner voice inside of your head that sometimes questions whether you are doing the right thing or not. But in this life, if you snooze….you lose! You must make choices and if you commit to your decision, whether right or wrong, then at least you know that you have honored your commitment to what you felt was correct. This is what commitment is all about: staying true to your vision about who are and where you want to go and what you will become!