Commitment: are you in or out?


What does commitment mean for you;

Honouring your word?

Seeing a task through to the end? 

Making the necessary sacrifices and dedicating your time?

I see making a commitment as binding, whether it was agreed verbally or documented. Agreeing to meet a friend on a particular date and time is making a commitment. You have agreed to give this person your time. Of course circumstances may occur where you are required to cancel the meet up, in which case you reschedule to an appropriate date.

Even arranging to telephone someone is a commitment, as basic as it may seem. The person will naturally be waiting for you to call as it was previously agreed.

At times we can become zealous and over commit ourselves. This may be due to not wanting to disappoint, feeling pressured or having major difficulty saying no. I have come to realise it is far better to be upfront and honest with ourselves before committing to anything. We must ask ourselves:

1. Is this realistic in terms of my time, finances, lifestyle?

2. Do I want to commit?

3. Am I willing to make the necessary sacrifice(s)?

4. Do I need to commit?

5. What are the obvious impacts of this commitment?

We should aim to avoid having the type of character who hastily commits because a project/idea sounds feasible without weighing up the pros and cons.

Naturally I do not jump into making big decisions. I consider the financial implications and possible effects on my family. I have taken on a project or two in the last few years and though they were not always plain sailing, I have learnt a great deal about running a small business and growing a network. We can learn from near enough any experience assuming we are willing and able to give of ourselves.

Can others be assured that when you have given your word, they know you will keep it?

Do you give careful consideration to an offer or proposal before signing up?

Perhaps you are commitment shy and rarely give your time to anything or anyone.

26 thoughts on “Commitment: are you in or out?”

  1. This is very important! I know a few people whose commitments last till their mood swings. This is bad! People should understand it is not cool to walk away from half fulfilled promises.
    Thanks for writing this Phoenicia.


  2. Thx for the great post, Phoenicia. I was raised to be a person of my word, and so commitment is a very serious thing to me. If I give my word on something, you can bet that I will do everything in my power to fulfill the obligation. If only more people took commitments more seriously.


  3. Once I commit, I am fully in! Until my commitment is completed.
    Many call me stupid coz even if the other person screws up as I have committed I try and give one chance to make it work coz we can clap by two hands and not just one.


  4. Knowing whether you can commit or not can be a hard choice to make in some situations. I know I used to commit because I like doing favors for others; however, I learned the hard way that you need to thoroughly think about commitments before accepting. These questions would be helpful for people to think about accepting commitments.


  5. I understand what you mean by making a commitment, even if it is small. Some people think commitment, means at their convenience. .Commitment are promises, and that is the test of an individual, your reputation, who you are as a person, determines how you fulfill your commitments.


  6. Do I need to Commit? This would be my first thought as it is vital to me. My favourite saying is “Can I think about it or can I get back to you on this one” I feel less pressured and leaves me with time to decide Wetherby or not to commit. You have given us some good lessons in your post. Many thanks for the reminder.


  7. “Do I want to commit” That is the most important question for me. If I obligate myself to a task or meeting I don’t want, I always regret it. Thanks for the reminders. As a business owner, I need them.


  8. I like to start with the fifth question, “What are the obvious impacts of this commitment?” because it covers a wide range. Impact to me, impact to the commitment, impact to the friend or colleague to whom I’m making it. It’s important to me to keep my word, to only cancel or back out of something if it becomes unavoidable. So the more certain I am before I start, the more likely I’ll be to follow through.


  9. Important topic Phoenicia. There is a big difference between committing and being committed. As you point out, people commit all the time but don’t necessarily follow through. I am much better at picking and choosing my commitments these days than I used to be and have no problem saying, thanks but I don’t think so.


    1. As you grow older, it somehow becomes easier to say no. I struggled with this and realised I could not please everyone and should not live to do so. Also it is wrong to carry out a task/duty with secret resentment.


  10. Growing up, I had a few close friends whose mothers were always late when we had plans. And I’m talking HOURS late. My mother would get really frustrated that her time was always wasted waiting for them. And it taught me from a young age to be respectful of other people when I make plans. When you “flake out” on someone, you aren’t just disrupting your own schedule, but someone else’s as well.


  11. Phoenicia,
    Your five questions to ask oneself are great! I like this method of making a decision about whether to commit to something. These questions make one think carefully about the consequences of commitment.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s