My New Favorite Word: Commitment

Posted on 10 February 2010

For the past few months, I’ve been playing around with the word commitment.  It’s not a word that has come into my realm of thought much before this year.  In fact, I’ve thought of commitment as the anti-thesis of freedom and I really value freedom.  I LOVE the word freedom.  I love the concept of freedom.  I can rally around freedom.

But commitment?  Hmmm…..

My play with this word came out of a Landmark course that I took in which I was asked in multiple contexts – what are you committed to?   Committed to?  At first I couldn’t answer that I was committed to anything.

The word had been cropping up, even before Landmark.  Last spring for weeks on end I was handed the paper cup by many a Starbucks barista with this saying on it:

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”
– Anne Morris, Starbucks customer

Honestly, the fact that I got this cup so often was irritating!  Commitment is liberating?  Okay, I got the concept, but still… committed to what?

I believe in many things, no doubt, and can argue for or against, but one of the things I believe is that life is not black and white, with rights and wrongs, so to be committed to something seems like being against something else, and I value freedom too much for that. Right?  Yes, there’s my rational hesitation.

Yet, the elusive answer to what am I committed to seemed worthy to explore, so, in a willingness to play with this concept, I’ve been practicing saying this word like this:  I am committed to love.   I am committed to my clients. I am committed to my clients living a life that they love.  I am committed to my own self living a life that I love.  I am committed to a powerful life.  I am committed to expressing who I am.   ….and the play goes on!

That feels good!  And, it IS freeing.  Do I know what I stand for?  If I do, I have a lot of space in which to grow, express, and create.  If I don’t know what I stand for, what I am committed to, where do I go from there?

Somehow in this play I’ve come to realize that being committed to something isn’t really about being opposed to anything.  It is about pointing myself in a consciously chosen direction, taking a stand, and rooting.  From there, I am powerful and creative.  I am engaged in my own life, and I have a purpose.

Ah!  I find energy in that!  So, keeping it simple, here’s what I will tell you:  I’m committed to love, to fulfillment, and to authentic expression – for myself, for others, for the world around me.  I’m behind those three things and am quite willing to make my life about them.  That then is my work – for myself and for you.   And, in that I have purpose and I know what I’m about in the world.

So, I have a new favorite word:  commitment.  It rates up there with that other favorite word of mine:  freedom.

It’s a worthy and powerful question to shape your life, and so I ask you: what are you committed to?

If you know what you are a stand for, share it with us!  If you don’t yet know, consider coaching with me to find out!


7 comments to My New Favorite Word: Commitment

  • Stephanie says:

    Very interesting discovery Jessica – I can see the light in your face while reading this. What am I committed to? Ending obesity!!

  • Vanessa says:

    Wow Jessica, you are SO inspiring!
    And I also struggled with the word ‘committed’ for quite a while…

    So now I can say I am committed to bring enlightenment, art and beauty for my life and the others around me ^_^

  • Alex says:

    Again, a super awesome post. It is also powerful. Ironically, I have been committed to freedom. Let me clarify… I have been committed to recognizing what thoughts, actions, behaviors limit me from living my most authentic life. I am committed to freeing myself from these limitations. I am committing to soaring high as I cut these strings that hold me down. There… that felt good to state! Quite empowering! Thank you 🙂
    I am posting your blog link on http://www.yogitoes.com and our Twitter page! Keep rocking it!

  • admin says:

    Ah, Ladies! Thank you for being committed to a greater world. I know where to find you — I know where you are standing and what you are standing for. Ending obesity! Enlightenment, Art, and Beauty! Freedom from limitations! Hearing your declaration of commitment is exciting. And powerFUL! Thank you!

    And, Alex — thank you for posting my blog link on yogitoes.com! Fantastic!

    xoxo
    Jessica

    • What a wonderful freeing way to explore commitment. You made it so enticing. I love the way you defined it and woke up the “I want that” in me. Great blog, love it.

      Marianne Emma Jeff

  • Sharnette says:

    I am committed to redefining what love is to be ALL inclusive and for others to be inspired by the unconditional love I share with those that are in my life.
    I am also committed to inspiring everyone to love and accept themselves as they are…perfect, whole, complete…nothing missing
    And finally I’m committed to living a powerful life that I love and to inspire others to do the same.

  • Angel says:

    I can totally relate to the conflict of commitment with my free spirit that longs to fulfill its desires. That has been my number one “commitment” to myself. Following that heart, has allowed so much. I’ve been able to travel, move to a different state because I wanted to, and start anew. Its what’s kept my life fresh and me continuing to believe in myself.

    The quote by Anne Morris illustrates a poignant point: “The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation.”

    Thank you for sharing your honest point of view. Very relatable. This past weekend I rededicated my commitment to KidzCan, to see it full out. Since, its been more freedom and fulfillment. I only anticipate more.

    All the best!

    Angel, Founder
    KidzCan!

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