If there is something that I have struggled with my whole life, it is commitment. I hear the word and shiver. Making plans and actually following them through? Rare. Being on time? There is no fun in that. My mind changes too much and too often for me to be able to make commitments.
If you ask my friends, they will tell you that I do have an issue with commitment. I have lost count of how many times I made plans and later changed my mind. Don’t blame me, though. What can I do if my bed is so cozy and Netflix so addictive?
In all seriousness, commitment is something that does not come easily to some people, and it can be a costly flaw. You can lose friends, jobs, classes, and more if you are not able to do what you say you will do. I have always been aware of the impact this can have in my life, and finally I did something about it a couple of years ago.
I decided to change my approach to life, and it required a lot of discipline. I told myself that if I committed to doing something, I would not back out later. So, if I told myself I would start working out, I had to do it even when I was not feeling like it or wanted to stay in bed. If I told a friend that I would do something with her, I would go whether I liked it or not.
I was not looking to torture myself. Instead, I was trying to train myself. I eventually learned something valuable. If you are unsure about a decision, do not make it yet. If you are not sure whether you want to go to that concert, be honest about it. If you know that you will not go for a run every morning, do not lie to yourself. Instead, commit to going for a run every other day, or choose to go to places that you actually like.
I am not saying that you should avoid commitments at all costs, but I am saying that you must take them seriously. Saying no is better than breaking a promise. As a close friend of mine would always tell me: it is better if you say you do not want to go instead of saying yes and then never showing up.
However, you do not always have a choice. As we grow up, we learn that commitment equals responsibility, which is part of life. There will be times when you will not be able to say no, and you should be prepared for that. I am a part-time reporter, and when I am asked to cover an event, I cannot merely say that I do not feel like it. I have to swallow my feelings and go.
In those cases, I suggest that you try to make the most of the situation. If you cannot say no, then you may as well have fun. If you do have a choice, then please know that people prefer honesty. Do not commit to stuff you know you will hate, and do not make your friends waste time thinking that you will be there. It’s a simple, yet powerful lesson that will help you stay sane and be more responsible.
By: Jenny Brito
I am a Venezuelan writer living in the United States. I have a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology, and I consider myself a life-long learner. I love everything related to self-help and ending the stigma around mental illness. My hope is to make others smile while leaving them with powerful messages about being true to themselves and empowering other women.