commitment and accountability

So you want to know: How can I do something, say I’m going to do it, and then see it through? How can I practice true commitment and accountability ?

Well, for one thing, it can be good to know whether or not to say something. When something is fertile and just being birthed, sometimes we need to hold it close to ourselves, so that it can’t be tainted by other people’s judgments or opinions.

It can be the hallmark of self-sabotage to tell someone what we’re doing–especially if you notice that you always seem to tell the person who is most likely to criticize or downplay what we do.

The flip-side, however, is that at some point, we need to tell people about our goals, our dreams, our lifestyle changes, because again and again it seems that when we tell people what we do, we automatically become more accountable and more likely to commit to and then finish what we start.

So if you’re thinking about taking on any new endeavor or making a shift in your life, and you’ve noticed in the past that telling people has not brought you the support that you had hoped for, I encourage you to:

1.) Tell only the people who you trust will support you, and even among supportive people, tell few. Sometimes people think they are being supportive when they offer caution. Since I believe that my experience will be my experience, I prefer not to hear cautionary tales.

2.) At some point, do start being public. Declare what you are doing. And then be prepared to let other people’s opinions about it roll right off your back. Or–even better?–declare it while sharing that “at this time, I’m not feeling open to feedback.” True, people might not honor that that request and they might still throw out their opinions, anyway, and yet there is such value in declaring for yourself what you need.