Re-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2017/05/01/recommitment/
Sometimes we simply don’t fulfill our promises. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we fall short of what we said we’re committed to. Closer readers of my website and blog will notice that I am committed to putting out a new newsletter and blog post every other week…but I haven’t done so since January!
Can you relate? You promise something, you commit to something, and then life happens. You commit to going to the gym three times a week, and it goes well for the first month, and then there’s a busy week at work and your gym practice slips off your plate. Or you make a promise to yourself and others that you’ll stop doing that thing which irritates your friends and family. And then in just a week later, you’re right back to doing it again. Or you make a new year’s resolution, and then you get to May and you can barely remember what that resolution was.
The problem is not that you, and I, fail to follow through on our commitments. The problem is when you give in to shame, despair, and complacency after you’ve noticed that you didn’t follow through. You see, it’s natural, and inevitable, that we fall short of our commitments. So the key to growth is the practice of recommitment.
Recommitting to a promise, resolution, or goal requires us to be honest when we’ve fallen short. It requires compassion and empathy with ourselves, to acknowledge that we’re fallible and aren’t going to do it perfectly. And it requires discernment in finding a new path forward.
Recommitting takes courage, and it builds character, because it requires honesty. Honesty with ourselves and others that we really do have a promise or a goal that we want to work towards, that we dropped the ball, and that we still want to work towards that goal.
But we won’t recommit if we’re drowning in shame and defeatism. If we tell ourselves “well, here’s just another reason why I’m not a good person.” Or if we say “well, I failed again to make it to the gym, I should just give up.” Then we will never reach our goal. We reach out goal not by putting more and more pressure on ourselves to “stay committed.” We reach out goal by compassionately helping ourselves get back on the path.
Finally, sometimes when we recommit we need to look at why we dropped the ball in the first place. Was there a trigger, a new set of circumstances in our life, a particular stressor, or something else that caused us to break our commitment? Was our commitment set too high to begin with? Notice, on my website that now in my recommitting to writing blog posts and putting out newsletters that I am no longer doing every other week, but simply twice a month. Sometimes to recommit, we need to tweak our plan so it becomes more doable.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.