Many people give their personal and spiritual growth lip service rather than consistently investing time and energy in related activities. They aren’t committed to change. Yet, they wonder why nothing in themselves or their lives changes. Change takes a commitment of time, energy, attention, and, sometimes, money. You must be willing to consistently devote resources to your well-being, success, and growth.
An Investment in Myself
Late in 2020, I had the opportunity to sign up for a personal and spiritual growth program. I had created and begun offering a similar program just a few months prior. Still, I knew I needed what I was providing to others.
You know the saying: We teach what we most need to learn.
I was stuck in so many ways. I was tired of dealing with declining health, stagnant relationships, working long and hard, not earning enough money, and feeling unhappy and unfulfilled.
Here’s the thing: I knew the problem was me. I could no longer blame anyone else… I had to take responsibility for myself and my life.
I had to change…on the inside. Only then would I see and experience change on the outside.
So, I committed to and invested in my own personal and spiritual growth. I plunked down a large sum of money for this 14-week, time-intensive program as an investment in myself.
I trusted my intuition. I had faith that I would be able to pay off the charge on my credit card bill in a month or two. And I believed the course would help.
Then, I played full out. I attended every call. I listened to every recording. I did every homework assignment. I followed through.
And little by little, things started to change.
What Does Commitment Look Like?
For you, commitment to your well-being and success might look very different. Indeed, we each invest in ourselves in different ways.
However, don’t confuse escapism with a commitment to growth. Two glasses of wine each night while you consume the news or binge-watch your favorite show to relax won’t create change.
Yes, we all need to relax and feel joy. But true success comes from developing habits that make us better in some way. For instance, the practice of exercising or meditating daily makes you relaxed and healthier. Reading a book or listening to a podcast might challenge your old thinking and expand your mind.
Even if you don’t think you are a committed person, you are committed to something. Look around. Your life provides a clear picture of your commitments.
What do you see?
- Hours of television consumption
- Bad relationships
- 20 pounds of excess weight
- A job you hate
- Unread books
Or do you see:
- Joy -A stack of books you’ve read
- Loving relationships
- A fulfilling job
- Daily walks in nature
Anything in your life is there because you’ve committed to the thoughts and behaviors that created it. Yes…even the job you hate and the lack of money you experience.
The minute you change your commitment, everything changes. Commit to wealth. Commit to health. Commit to joy. Commit to a job that you adore!
Committing to your personal and spiritual growth—to your well-being, success, and growth—is a choice. And how you fulfill that commitment could take many shapes.
My commitment to myself took the form of enrollment in a multi-month program—and then a year-long follow-up program. In the past, it has looked like hiring a Certified High Performance Coach or a personal trainer. It has also shown up as courses completed, books read, and new habits formed.
No matter what you choose to do to create change in yourself and your life, one thing remains essential: You must be committed. You must be a committed person.
Consider the meaning of the word “commitment”: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
And someone who is “dedicated” is: devoted to a task or purpose; having single-minded loyalty or integrity.
Ultimately, change looks like a person who follows through. For me, that means doing the work required of those in the program in which I enrolled. It also means making time daily for self-hypnosis, exercise, journaling…or whatever I have committed to doing.
How to Commit
The only way I know to truly commit to something is to decide that you are now a person who does X, Y, or Z. That means you have to change your identity.
For instance, last year, I decided to be a person who does not hit the snooze button. The first day when the alarm rang, I hit the snooze button as I had habitually in the past. Then I reminded myself that I had chosen not to be that type of person any longer. So I turned the alarm off and got up. I’ve kept that commitment to myself every day since.
Who do you commit to being? Do you commit to being a nonsmoker, a better parent, or a writer? Maybe you commit to being a person who is present during work calls, exercises daily, or tithes. Possibly you want to commit to being joyful, a creator, or a millionaire.
Once you decide who to be, the rest is follow-through.
Your mind is going to try to keep you doing what you’ve always done. It wants you committed to the things you’ve been dedicated to in the past because that feels safe. Anything new seems unsafe.
When you decide to be a person who does X, your brain will give you every reason not to be that person or do X. This is precisely what my mind told me that first morning after I decided to be a person who gets up when the alarm goes off.
My mind said, “Oh…it’s so nice and comfy in bed! And you need more sleep…and you always hit the snooze alarm at least three times.”
That translated into my own words: “I want to hit the snooze button and stay in bed. I’m tired and need sleep.”
Had I listened to my mind or myself, I would have perpetuated the habit and been out of integrity with myself. Being in integrity required that I keep my word to myself and get up. And that’s how I transformed into a person who gets up when the alarm goes off.
Change the Habit
There is no reasoning with your mind or this “habit voice.” Instead, you must dismiss it and take different action.
Do not give those thoughts any more of your attention. Do not have an internal dialogue. Place your attention elsewhere.
I put my attention on what I wanted—time for a morning routine. I also focused on who I wanted to be—someone who would wake up on time and spend time on exercise, meditation, and journaling first thing in the morning.
I moved my attention from the voice of my habit—“You can get up without hitting the snooze button tomorrow when the alarm rings.”—to my own voice—“I am someone who gets up when the alarm rings and has a morning routine.”
And then I took action. I embodied the change by turning off the alarm and getting out of bed. I physicalized the identity and, at the same time, proved to my mind that this new habit was safe.
Focus Your Attention
If you’ve read a book or taken part in any personal or spiritual growth program, you know the importance of focusing your attention on what you want—not on what you don’t want. The same goes for committing to your personal and spiritual growth.
Whatever you commit to doing or being, you must focus your mind on that. Yes, your mind will continually try to lure you back to your old habits, but a new habit will form when you commit to new thoughts.
Therefore, commitment to your personal and spiritual growth requires dedication to whatever you decide to do to improve your well-being and success. That commitment comes from focused thought and self-integrity.
To follow through, focus your thoughts on who you want to be, the actions you commit to taking, and the thing you want to have as a result. That’s when you will see yourself changing on the inside. And, as a result, you’ll see your life-changing on the outside, too.
Are you committed to your personal and spiritual growth? Tell me in a comment below what this looks like in your life. And please share this post with someone you know who has not felt they can stand up for themselves.