3 Keys to Overcoming Comfort Zones: Key 2
When my husband and I had the “baby talk” for the first time, we were excited about the idea of building a family and being first time parents. I remember my long nights of research and preparation, hoping to soak in as much information as possible about parenting. And when Kalea was born, I couldn’t imagine why I waited so long to be a mother…
…Until the colicky nights began and I found myself crying with her. More often than not, I felt I was failing and was scared that maybe I wasn’t cut out for the job. I realized then that no books or counseling can ever emotionally prepare you for the responsibility of being a parent.
But one thing I knew: Before Kalea was born, I committed to doing everything I could to be the mother she needed. So, on the mornings that I wanted to sleep through her crying, my commitment to motherhood made me get up to feed her and put her back to sleep. On the nights that her crying made me want to punch a wall and scream, my commitment to motherhood enabled me to sing and pray my way through it. It wasn’t easy (and still isn’t with another newborn!), and I am nowhere near the perfect mother. But my commitment to my children was and is that I will be the best mother for them. That’s what keeps me going.
“Commitment is doing what you said you would do long after the mood has left you” (Fitness Guru)
Commitment is dedication + consistency!
It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re in the “honeymoon” stage with that thing. The beginning of any new journey we embark on brings a big wave of passion and excitement. For example, the excitement of launching a new business, the anxiousness of opening an email with a job offer, the butterflies that arise when giving your first public speech, or the joy of being approved as a first time homebuyer. These are all the beginnings of a new journey, and in the first stages of anything we start, it’s hard to truly grasp the realities of the sacrifices we may face down the road.
So, what happens when the fuzzy feelings and butterflies fades away? What happens when months go by and the “I’m so proud of you” calls and texts from friends cease? What happens when you’re past the infatuation stage of the relationship and you’re starting to realize all the baggage and flaws in your partner? Or - here’s one we’ve all done before - what happens when other people begin to slack on their word so we feel there’s no point for us to hold up our end of the bargain?
Herein lies the true test of your commitment. Can you remain dedicated to what you said you would do despite the fact that the infatuation stage is over? Can you remain consistent with what you said you would do despite the fact that things are getting harder than you could foresee?
Commitment is not a feeling; it’s a state of mind that produces action. That means that when you’ve made a decision to commit to anything, you act on that decision consistently. You won’t see others question one’s commitment when they see consistent action. However, inconsistency will produce a sense of doubt. If someone tells you they love you and are committed to you, but never follow through in dedicating you time and attention, would you believe they were committed to your relationship? You may make excuses for them in the beginning, but after that grace period is over, you begin to question if the relationship was a mistake.
It’s easy to start. But it takes commitment to finish. Stay committed to your goals. No one else will do for you what only you can do for yourself. And when things get difficult and you feel like giving up, remember why you started the journey. Take courage! And let that courage refuel your level of commitment!