PEOPLE TELL ME ALL THE TIME THAT THEY'RE "COMMITTED" TO DOING SOMETHING. AND YET THEY DON'T DO IT...OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
WHY IS THIS?
Oftentimes, the hidden reason lies in their thoughts around "the thing." You see, there's a big difference between INTENTION and COMMITMENT. People frequently confuse the two.
If you "intend" to go to a friend's birthday party, but you don't block out the time in your calendar, or make sure your car has gas, or get a babysitter ahead of time, then it's a lot less likely you'll actually end up going to the party.
On the other hand, if you are "committed" to going to the party, you'll make sure your calendar is clear that evening. You'll get a good night's sleep the night before. You'll put whatever pieces and actions in place to make sure you get to that party!
HERE'S ANOTHER PERSONAL & REAL EXAMPLE OF MY OWN:
My husband recently found out he is receiving a promotion at work (Woohoo!) that will be moving us back to Louisiana ("Yay!" to be closer to family, but at the same time "Ugh!" because it means selling our house, looking for another one, me starting over musically in a new place, etc.)
These are all important things to consider.
But here's another big thing--I am COMMITTED to being a musician wherever I am. This means as of now, I am COMMITTED to being a musician in Louisiana.
When I first learned about the move, I started letting my mind run wild:
In letting my thoughts loose, I remembered hearing about a traditional jazz camp for adults each summer in the French Quarter.
After a quick Google search, I found the camp, looked up the details and decided I was committed to going. There was only one problem--they were already full for my instrument (voice).
But I was committed to going, remember? I had even blocked the week out on my calendar.
So I sent in an email to get on the waitlist. I mentioned my vocal background, that I'd be moving to the area and would be happy to volunteer in some capacity as a way to participate if they needed extra help.
I also reached out to a musician friend who did the camp last summer to see if he had any suggestions of how I might get in. He let me know about the public performances and jams I could attend in New Orleans even if there wasn't a place for me in the camp sessions.
I then enrolled my husband in my desire to attend this camp (it's not free, so that definitely took commitment on my part).
And finally, I decided I would attend all the public events no matter what.
A couple days later, I received an email from the director. "A vocal spot has just opened up. Can you send in a few sample recordings of yourself singing?" she asked.
And since I am committed to being a musician, I had recordings to send her. I had a YouTube channel and website. I was prepared because I am committed.
The point of this story is not that I got in (which I did. Yay!). The point is that there were plenty of obstacles that tested my commitment. I could have let numerous roadblocks stop me, and if I only "intended" to be a jazz musician in Louisiana, that may have been the end of this story.
What is it that you say you are "committed" to but now are realizing you only "intend" to do? It might be time to reexamine that thing and get off the fence--do you want to commit, or is this thing worth releasing for now? (P.S. You can change your mind as you enter different stages of life.)
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.