How to Commit
and Make the Right Decisions
Molly Barrow, Ph.D.
stand immobile at a fork in your career road? Do you feel ambiguous
about your job, relationship or purpose? Here are some helpful tips
to find the right path to solid psychological ground.
Commit to Yourself First: Commitment to yourself means that you
work hardest for your dreams and goals, not everyone else’s. Do you
feel powerless? You are powerful. The power to change is already in
you. Your accomplishments reflect your commitment because even with
some bad luck along the way, committed people can become president
or famous or happy. You can rarely attain big goals without
commitment as a top value. Commitment means that if you decide to
lose five pounds or fifty, you do not take a few walks then give up.
Instead, you work up to a walk of an hour or two each day until you
succeed. Commitment means that your finish the projects. Commitment
means you show up. Whatever it takes, you are committed. Commitment
starts in the morning and runs until you fall asleep. A nasty
failure-voice that says you deserve a break or a treat is not your
friend. Commitment bears the pain and deserves the win.
This is Your Doing: Where you are today is a result of your
patterns and past choices. Repeat often, “I gladly take
responsibility for changing my life.” If you blame someone else, the
world, your partner or God because you are not happy, then you will
remain absolutely glued to your excuses and blaming. To get control
of your own life means you stop whining and blaming others. If you
want things to be different, then you must be the one to do it.
Other people are busy with their own lives. They will walk right
over you and not even notice that you were waiting for someone to
make you happy, to fix your pain or to balance your checkbook. What
is the point of a lame attitude that is mostly concerned with
looking innocent? “I didn’t do it.” Would you want those words to be
a synopsis of an entire irresponsible life? After today, eagerly
say, “I did it!” regarding your life decisions.
Who Do You Want to Be? Sometimes societal pressures push you
into desperately settling for any job or relationship just to
fulfill the role. Loss of self-esteem is just one of the severe
consequences resulting from succumbing to predetermined societal
roles or familial roles. What do you value about your life? List
your goals and values in a hierarchy of what is the most important.
When you become rock solid with your values then pervasive change
happens. Did you include your health near the top? Without your
health, you will not have much time to work on your other values and
goals. As you take baby-steps in the direction of your “self,”
expect a backlash of resistance from family and friends who may try
to keep you neatly placed as the “old you.” That is because they are
afraid of change.
Feel the Force: You are more than just an individual; you have
history! Your DNA goes back to the first people on earth. You have a
connection with all the people who have ever lived and strived from
the beginning of human history. You can add self-esteem by the ton
to whatever you have accomplished in your own life if you think of
yourself as a link in a wonderful chain. Remember the people who
have died to win us our freedom from old enemies that we now call
our friends, from prejudice, chauvinism, religious intolerance,
serfdom, slavery—the list goes on back through history. You come
from a long line of people who made good enough decisions to survive
and reproduce. Pretend the heroes and heroines of yesterday are
watching. A good decision gene is in you somewhere.
5. Personal Goals and Values: Do you only “follow
directions” or do you “think for yourself?” The personal goals and
values you choose are the road signs of every decision you make.
What you do is a part of the whole and can affect many other lives.
Make sure the voice in your head is your own and that your decisions
are not just what you were “told” by someone else. List your
personal goals and values and really think them through. Your
health, your family’s health, your children as a priority, your job
as a priority, love, peace of mind, safety, clean world, food, and
water, honesty, integrity, sacrificing now for a peaceful, secure
future, God, and country-all are possible directions and values to
incorporate in your plan. Think of each of these virtues in the big
picture, from a global perspective right down to your own
neighborhood and your life.
Stand Up: If you just lie there like a doormat, everyone will
walk all over you. That is your fault for lying down on the floor
and letting them. The stronger, more aggressive person will trudge
right over you to get what they want. Until the weaker person
becomes stronger, to the point of balance and equity, their business
and personal relationships are horribly unbalanced and eventually
fail. Will the strong-willed partner notice the inequity of the
relationship and help the weaker one? No. Whatever is different
about your beliefs, you can voice your opinion and have a “say.”
Because each time you do, the prison door opens a little more for
oppressed people everywhere.
Take the Hurts: Take your hits like a winner, admit that you
blew it, make the best of a situation or leave it, then continue to
whistle while you work. No one wants to come near a big baby, much
less take the time to assist you in achieving your personal goals if
you just sit there complaining. Choose to take responsibility for
you, stand up, move forward and clean up any mess yourself.
There is Room at the Top: Greed spawns much abuse around the
world. You can be someone better than that. Helping others succeed
will build your success and is far more rewarding than trampling
people on your way to the top. Take your posse with you and share
the wealth and credit. Ask yourself if your plans impinge on anyone
else in a way that he or she can no longer be free. You cannot
predict how or when your small act of kindness, compassion or
courage might change the world or land you a promotion.
Keep it Real: Without integrity in both public and private
actions, the direction you take will have little to do with a
positive outcome. Can you raise your self-esteem and stand for more
by selecting different values? When you incorporate good values that
are your preferences, you will be proud of yourself, and so
will your associates and family. Right now, you could begin to stand
for something great. Real life soap operas have taught us many
powerful and important lessons on the absurdity of life, proving the
maxim: “You always get caught,” and the first rule of happiness is
to: Stop Lying.
Commit for the Duration: The last stretch of your journey may
require some reaching. Maybe you do not have complete assurance that
you will succeed, but you get out there anyway and pound away at
your goal. Eventually, one day, you are there. Significant change in
your life is only possible with this kind of commitment. Do you
admire people who commit to their goals? If so, then choose to
commit to what you want now and if it is not what you want later,
you can change direction again. Feel confident, let go of all the
wavering, questioning and vacillating of indecision and simply move
forward on your path!
Read other articles and learn more
about Dr. Molly Barrow.
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