What Does It Take to Make a Committment?

By: Susan Dunn, Ma, Emotional Intelligence Coach

I attended a seminar the other day where the presenter was talking about how to sell. One of the steps to selling he outlined was making a commitment. He defined this as “binding yourself mentally and physically to do something."

Can you tell what’s missing?

Actually making a commitment is easy. It’s just words. You say you’re going to do something -- make your sales quota, stay faithful to your wife, stop yelling at your kids, or lose 20 lbs. There you’ve said it. You’ve made the commitment. You can even write it down and put it on the bulletin board or refrigerator for all to see, and to remind yourself.

What’s hard about that?

What’s hard is keeping the commitment, and what’s missing from the equation is emotions. You must bind yourself mentally, physically and emotionally, because it’s emotions that will sabotage your commitment.

You’ve committed to making your sales quota, but a friend invites you to go on a cruise for a week, which sounds like a lot more fun than selling.

Or one day you wake up and just don’t feel like working at it that day, and pretty soon it’s been a week. Moods are extended emotions.

You’ve committed to not yelling at the kids, but one day you’re hot and tired, the air conditioner’s broken, one of the toilets just backed up, and your child comes in tracking mud across the white carpeting, which you’ve told him a million times not to do, and you blow your cool. Anger gets the better of you and you yell.

You’ve committed to stay faithful to your wife and then you attend a convention where a beautiful woman comes on to you and your lust is aroused, and next thing you know you’ve broken your commitment and you’re saying, “I don’t know what came over me." What came over you was a feeling from the reptilian brain. You acted on impulse, without thinking.

If you’re making a commitment, you must make it emotionally. This means you are willing to manage the emotions that interfere with clear thinking and directed action.

The mental part is making the plan and stating it. The physical part is to take action and continue taking action. And then you must manage your emotions so you stay focused, resist distractions and temptations, and stay positive. Every commitment implies time and during this time the normal emotions and moods we all have are going to occur. How you manage them will make a difference in your ability to bind yourself mentally and physically to what you’ve committed to.

Next time you make a commitmentBusiness Management Articles, don’t leave out the most important element. That’s the emotionally intelligent way.

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