Commitment seems to be in short supply in our society nowadays. Everybody wants to keep their options open. Have you ever asked a friend to do something, only to hear a vague response back? It’s as if they are hesitant to make a commitment, because something better might come along.
Commitment can be rare in work life and organizations as well. Sometimes it’s difficult to pin people down to specific commitments. People seem resistant to make a commitment to finishing a specific project by a specific time. It seems like people want to go with the flow and see how things go.
Nagging and Pressure
At the same time, there seems to be a lot of nagging and pressure in our society as well. I often get emails from people asking me to do something or help with something that isn’t in my area of responsibility. But the pressured nature of the request sometimes makes me feel bad for saying no.
Connection Between Commitment and Pressure?
Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection between the lack of commitment and the pressure we feel to yield to the requests of others. Perhaps because we tend to be non-committal, people resort to higher levels of pressure to get anyone to do anything. And maybe the heightened pressure we face in our society encourages us to back off from commitment, because we don’t want to feel controlled.
The Power of Commitment
However, there is great power in your commitment. I realized this the other day. I received an email request and was feeling pressure to say yes. But after thinking about it, I realized the request wasn’t part of the commitment I had made. So, I held firm and said no. In a world of wishy-washy people, there is great power in making and keeping commitments. When you are firm with your commitments, there is also great freedom because you don’t need to feel pressure about things you have not committed to.
My encouragement for you today is to be firm with your commitments. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. And then, relax. Don’t feel pressure to say yes when you haven’t made a commitment.