Last week I had to contact a few people to say that I had over committed and would not be able to fulfill my promise to complete some work for them within the agreed time frames.
There was an immediate sense of relief as I knew I had made the right decision.
- Is this something I really want to do?
- Does it fit with my values – is it something I am passionate about?
- Is it something that I have the ability to do, or am I well supported as I develop the necessary abilities?
- Is the time frame workable – do I have enough time available to meet any deadlines?
It is really important to me to fulfill my promises and I have learned over the years to be more discerning when making promises to others. However I am human and can still over commit at times.
I have also become more aware of how easy it is to let commitments to myself slip as a result of over committing to others. Being a person of integrity is not just about honoring the commitments we make to others, it is also about honoring those we make to ourselves as well, and finding the balance between the two.
Here are some questions I find useful when choosing whether to commit …
Once I have made a commitment I will continue to use these questions to check in periodically, especially at those times that I start to feel resentful, or under pressure.
By asking these questions I am reminded that I always have a choice.
There is nothing wrong with changing your mind when an ongoing commitment no longer works. It is better to end the commitment and invest your time and energy in something that “fits” rather than perform from a place of resentment and anger.
So why not pause right now and reflect on your current commitments and see what you discover?
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