You Have What You Want: A Lesson on Competing Commitments

“You have what you want!”

How’s that statement make you feel?

Defensive?  Irritated?  Maybe even angry?

I remember hearing about Competing Commitments in one of my Personal Development seminars.  At the time it seemed vague and not too applicable to my life.

Boy, was I wrong!

Here’s what I’ve learned from my personal experience and from coaching others. Maybe it will help you understand WHY the statement “You have what you want” holds a lot of truth.

Before I get started, here’s a disclaimer. I am not talking about things that are completely beyond our control….such as a grandchild that’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer, or an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I’m talking about the countless number of things in our life that we SAY we want, yet we have a higher commitment to something else.

Here’s an example.

I want to release 10 lbs. I’ve wanted to do this for over a year. I tell myself that I am committed to it!  However, I have a Competing Commitment that enjoys comfort food!

Here’s another example.

Mary says that she wants to retire within the next year. She’s committed to getting her finances in order so that she can live on her retirement paycheck.  However, Mary also likes to buy new things. Lots of new things.  You see, her Competing Commitment is that she loves to spend money and she loves new clothes more than she loves to save money or readjust her priorities.

One more example.

Ben says that he wants to do an online business. He says that he’s very committed to spending 10 hrs per week learning about how to do marketing online. He’s committed to being on calls, writing articles, and getting his business off to a good start. BUT he is also committed to coaching Little League, playing golf 2 times a week, and helping with Relay for Life.  Ben says he’s extremely committed to his online business…but his actions speak differently. What he’s REALLY committed to…his comfort zone, staying busy, being valued for his contribution…obviously interferes with what he says he wants…an online business.  Building his online business would ultimately give him the time and financial freedom he says he wants more than anything.

Once we are aware of the concept of Competing Commitments, we begin to understand that we really do have what we want.  It’s easier to go with immediate gratification or to stay within our comfort zone, than it is to say “no” to things we enjoy.

To stay true to the Commitments that will move you closer to  your Dreams:

  1. Recommit to your dream.  Ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
  2. Post your commitment. Write it out and post it near your computer or do a Vision Board.
  3. Decide what you are willing to surrender to achieve that commitment. Be realistic. What activities are you going to have to change? Remember, you have to be able to live with those changes.
  4. Find a Mentor or a Coach. This is someone who will come alongside you and help you stay true to your desires. Perhaps you need skills that will help you be successful or accountability. A good Mentor/Coach will help you break down your goal into attainable steps.

Competing Commitments will continually jump out of the bushes and attempt to derail you. When you get off course, push ‘em back into the bushes, and keep moving forward!

Remember, you have what you really want.

A mentor with a servant’s heart,

Margi Starr

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