What are you a commitment to?


Let’s say I feel it’s important to my leadership that I listen more fully to my team members, giving them my full attention. OK, that’s reasonable. But am I the self that can deliver on that commitment? If I were, I probably would have done it already. Habits like how we communicate are embedded in us at all levels – they live in our bodies, our hearts, our emotions and our thoughts.

We ask ourselves something like “How do I break the habit of interrupting?” Or “How do I learn to listen better?” Sometimes that’s not the best question.

Instead, what if I start with my commitment? “I’m a commitment to fully empowering my team” or “I’m a commitment to listening deeply when team members speak to me.”

As you read last month, I’m currently working with my commitment to allowing more and pushing less. As I explored this more deeply after the breakthrough I wrote about, I saw that I was mostly looking at it from the perspective of what I’m doing or not doing. Instead, what if I can ask myself, “How do I become the self that can fulfill that commitment?”

This new question might lead me to look at

  • My felt sense of what matters.
    Can I feel deeply what matters most to me and see how this commitment supports that? If I can feel this in my body, I’ll have something powerful to keep me on the path toward changing this habit.

  • My level of embodied self-awareness.
    Can I tune in to my physical being, life inside my body on a moment by moment basis? That would help me see what’s derailing me from the inside instead of waiting for the behaviors (e.g. interrupting) to show up.

  • My internal narratives.
    When I have that familiar urge to do the old behavior or follow the old pattern (e.g. interrupt), can I hear the narratives in my head that tilt me toward or away from that behavior? That will help me “get upstream” from the problem.

These are examples of ways I might begin to become the self that can live into my commitment fully. You can use these questions with whatever commitment matters to you – fitness, punctuality, flexibility, saving money, etc. Then you can begin to identify aspects of your self that can grow into that commitment.

This is what developmental coaching is all about – becoming the self that can fulfill on the commitments that matter most to you. It’s not easy work, but it is the work that dreams are made of.