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  • Writer's pictureGladys Agwai


“The biggest commitment you must keep is your commitment to yourself.” Neal Donald Walsch

Studies have revealed that three out of five people say they will never get everything done on their commitment list. It is habitual which leaves one with worry, overwhelm, stress, and a spirit of defeat. This makes it almost impossible to be in the present moment with the people and situations that really matter. Too many people’s brains are drained, on overload, or burned out from:

• Integrated and complicated lives as a spouse/partner, parent/teacher/student, friend, family member or within jobs and businesses.

• Being pulled in many different directions.

• Being pressured to get more things done in a shorter period.

• Worry to grow or keep your job/ business, financial and emotional support of immediate and extended family, health, uncertainty about the future.

• Constant switching of your brain between two or more tasks (smart tools, TV, talking to kids and others, reading a book, cooking, projects)

You work so hard to focus on a group of things you or someone else want, need, or think you must do. But the brain can only focus on one or two things. It slows the brain down and the rest of those things on the commitment list sit like boulders on your shoulders. You become 40% less efficient as your body releases stress hormones and adrenaline. According to Forbes, most people are living their “normal” lives full of distractions not keeping their commitments leading to a lack of trust!! 90% of text or chat messages received are read within three minutes while most people spend 3.1 hours per day on email. The distraction, however, is not the text, email, phone, or refrigerator. That is how you fill up your time when you are distracted. Then what is the distraction? It is your boredom, hating what you do, fear of failure, overwhelm, and doing what does not matter. It is important to understand how you are spending your time and why. All of this can put knots in your stomach, cause shallow breathing, headaches, rise in blood pressure, etc. Notice your body’s reaction to stress and overwhelm this week. You will feel it in your body before you intellectualize it. Jot down your experience, understand it and act.

When I wrote my book "Dumped! NOT Dumped On!", I got to a point of having too many distractions or what I thought were distractions. I checked every notification that came through, rummaged through, and cleaned out my emails, and took other breaks to do small tasks that did not need to be done. I kept going to the refrigerator and pantry munching on small chops. I answered calls and took on a project that had no alignment with my direction. I did anything but write! Why? I had to admit I was overwhelmed with the timeline, fear of it not being good enough, and thinking about all the other commitments I had made. I had to remember that my commitment to finish my book aligned with my commitment to my life’s purpose and legacy. The other actions did not. I realigned my commitments to focus on what mattered to me.

If you are not careful, over-committing, fear of saying no, not renegotiating your commitments, committing to what does not matter, and allowing the distractions will result in: lost relationships, time, and money, lower work quality, reduced efforts, limited creativity, or inability to differentiate what is important. If you are a leader of an organization or team, employees may be experiencing a lack of emotional commitment to the organization. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace, 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace. They either view the organization negatively or doing the bare minimum to keep the job.

Accelerated and sustained personal and professional growth will not survive this environment. Have you forgotten your commitment to your over-arching commitment? Your commitment to yourself? All other commitments made must align with what you said you want for your life, business, or career. Not what other people want for you! What YOU want! For this to happen, you must be clear about what you want, why, and keep it top of mind. According to a study, this is difficult to do because most people have a; 1) desire to be helpful, accommodating, and polite (73%), 2) tendency to fix problems, even when not their own (56%), 3) unclear limit or rule about what tasks to accept or reject (39%), 4) non-negotiable demands put on them (38%), and/or 5) do not renegotiate commitments (32%). You wake up and realize that you are carrying all the heavy boulders given and sought out climbing up a steep hill not sure how far you must climb. It is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting!

Here are 10 tips to get back and stay on track

• Decide that YOU MATTER the most! It is ok. Manage the fear and guilt!

• Be clear about what you want and why aligning everything else around it.

• Be present and sit with yourself to know when you are out of alignment.

• Manage your self-imposed pressure to say yes to everything.

• Get better organized. Get rid of the clutter (mental and physical).

• Renegotiate.

• Manage your boulders: Keep, drop, and stop seeking them before you get crushed. Only pick up the pieces matter.

• Take small or big breaks to reboot and breathe deeply to relax.

• Move your body.

• Power off your devices to focus and sleep.

Steve Maraboli, said “Set the standard! You need to stop expecting others to show you love, commitment, respect, and acceptance when you do not even show that for yourself.”

What do you know and what are you expecting?

Know that you are deserving and worthy of BETTER! Expect the BEST as you remember your commitment to your most important commitment –YOU!

“Commitment is an act, not a word.” Jean-Paul Sartre

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