I'm a commitment-phobe (and you should be too) | Inge Dowden Coaching

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I’m a commitment-phobe (and you should be too)

Yes, I confess: I’m a commitment phobe. I hate commitment and will do anything to avoid it. And I think you should do the same.

This may seem an odd thing to say. If you know me, you know I am very reliable – if I say I’m going to be somewhere, I will be. I am also happily married (for the second time!). So at first sight I might not seem like your typical commitment-phobe.

But the reason I don’t like to commit, is because when I do, I do so wholeheartedly. I say ‘yes’ to that invitation because I’ve checked my diary and know I’m free that evening. I will also put the event in the diary and when something else comes up, I will say no. I will commit to that voluntary work because it fits in with the rest of my activities and I know I’ll be able to keep to it. I will put the dates of a networking group in my diary and even plan my holidays around it so that I can come to most if not all of the meetings.

You see, I find too many people aren’t commitment-phobe enough. They don’t like saying no, so they end up saying yes to far too many things. They’re afraid to miss out or that people won’t like them. But it results in them double-booking dates, feeling overwhelmed and having to pull out at the last minute, or even missing appointments because they were hastily made and not properly checked. And that just leads to them feeling unhappy, stressed and disappointing others – the opposite of what they wanted.

So if you find yourself saying yes to too many things, or you feel stressed and overwhelmed, here are some simple tips to help you be better committed:

1. Use a diary system
Phone, calendar or paper diary – it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you have it with you all the time and check it regularly.

2. Don’t say yes immediately
You don’t have to say no either, but always check your diary before you say yes to anything. Are you free? Do you have enough time to commit to this? What is everyone else doing?

3. Once you’ve said yes, be fully committed
Once it’s in the diary, don’t commit to anything else. If a better opportunity comes up, say that you’ll have to check first and if you can change your previous commitment, do so in plenty of time and without upsetting others.

So remember, be wary of commitment, but apply these principles and you will have more happiness, health and time for yourself and your loved ones.

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