A little over a month ago I attended a seminar in which we spent a good deal of time talking about the difference between an unfulfilled expectation and an unfulfilled commitment, and how it affects us.
Let’s say I am trying to turn a new leaf and make healthier choices and improve my nutrition. I create an expectation that I will eat 3 fruits and 4 vegetables each day. As I work toward meeting this expectation, I falter one day, and get pretty upset. The expectation that I set for myself went unfulfilled and I failed. I probably spend some time beating myself up, and figure out how to start over with a new expectation.
Now, let’s change the language a bit.
Let’s say I am trying to improve my overall health. I make a commitment to myself to be healthy, including improving my nutrition. I start off strong and am making healthy food choices, and then I attend a birthday party and have a big slice of chocolate cake and a glass of champagne. I faltered on my commitment, but has my commitment changed? No. I am still committed to my overall health and nutrition. As soon as I finish licking the crumbs, I can continue with my commitment without beating myself up.
An expectation is finite and has an end point. It is about DOING something. Unfulfilled expectations lead to upset, feelings of failure, and often self-sabotage.
A commitment is through time, and takes time. A commitment is a pledge to a way of BEING. A commitment to something big will never be fulfilled. If, for some reason, a commitment goes unfulfilled, it merely leads back to the original commitment.
We have this false sense that when we set goals and expectations for ourselves; we are eventually going to get to this magical place of perfection. (I hate to tell you, but that magical place doesn’t exist.) As we strive and strive to DO more, we eventually falter and get upset.
Instead, I ask you to commit to BEING something more. That doesn’t mean that you don’t ever have to take action and do something, because you do, but change the language. Make it about BEING, not DOING.
What are you committed to for yourself?