I am a commitment-phobe.
Now to be clear, I’m not talking about relationships. Commitment in that area in many ways runs the opposite way. I’m a commit-a-holic, or as I often say “I’ve always been a ‘Relationship’ person” (as opposed to a single person). In fact I recently realized that despite my belief I had a nonchalant approach to my relationships, I have actually always been a romantic. While I haven’t planned my wedding since childhood, and I don’t have a list of what my ideal partner should be, I do have a dream for this aspect of my future. I have always wanted to meet the right man, be courted but also respected by them, get married, and start a family of my own. In this I have also wanted to be married prior to having children (I have my reasons), and have kids in my 30s. The odd thing is I didn’t realize how much this was my “plan” until recently.
But I digress. I am a commitment-phobe. I love the idea of having a routine. I also love the idea of challenging my mind, body & soul with activities, hobbies, social engagements etc in a routine way. My problem is I don’t like committing to do things.
I have a friend who is always busy. She has social engagement most weekends with friends all over the country and regularly plans her time to see them all. She is a committed and loyal friend, and she loves order, planning and of course seeing her friends!
Now I am no less of a loyal and committed friend, yet I loathe the idea of having so much time allocated that I cannot just choose what I want to do at any given time. I don’t understand this in myself at all. It’s like the pressure of needing to meet my commitment to the person, task or activity outweighs my desire to actually see that person, study that topic, get fit, get moving, whatever!
Now if anyone else out there suffers from this I’d love to hear your thoughts too. I have not found anyone who understands this strange quirk. Better yet, if you have overcome it, what changed?
Basically I am the one who says yes on facebook with a genuine belief that I mean it, I want to go, that sharing in this event will make me happy and generate new memories, and obviously be appreciated by the event organizer. However as the time towards the event ticks down I get a sense of anxiety. ‘Do I really want to go out in the city? It’s to far away/ will cost so much money/ I won’t know everyone/ I may not enjoy myself.’
I’m not sure where this comes from. Is it that I have become more introverted as I have grown older? I used to love a routine of catching up with friends or going somewhere regularly. Why am I now shying away from commitments?
It’s not just social events either. I cannot even commit to regular activities that completely benefit me directly that I wholly enjoy and/or am passionate about ; i.e. exercise, classes/ study, writing, singing, reading, personal development, saving money. I am impulsive and not disciplined. I have a problem and commitment is thy name.
So why am I writing about this? Because I want it to change. I don’t like being flaky with friends, family and especially with myself. The worst is when I am my own worse enemy in this. When after being frustrated by financial pressures, then upset by weight gain, and anxious about a social commitment, I go out to buy a new outfit to wear so I feel comfortable in my body for the social event, and feel positive about myself. This whole approach is completely backwards as it is counter productive. I am buying a new outfit (when I have financial challenges), because I am unhappy with my weight (which I could be doing something about on a regular basis), so in order to feel good about myself I encourage all the things making me anxious in the first place. If I spent time regularly working on the things I want in my life (see above things I am passionate about) I wouldn’t need to buy the new outfit to make me happy, thereby adding to financial pressures. Instead I would be healthy, fit and probably have more fluid cash flow! I think I actually have a fear of reaching my goals and maintaining my passions. This is why I say I am commitment phobic, although probably more accurate would be to say I am afraid to be happy.
So what does blogging have to do with any of this? Well, not a heap really but it’s a small step and an outlet for all the stresses involved in my strange phobia. After a 2 month hiatus in writing (my 6 week daily blog challenge really exhausted me!), I’m setting a new challenge. Again it is to write more frequently, but perhaps daily is a touch much. Let’s be real here, I’m not good at do any hobbies daily even if I love them! This challenge is designed to see me through a 3 month cycle. Why 3 months? Well they say it takes at least one month to form a habit. I pledge to blog weekly for 3 months.
I think a valued side effect of this challenge will be to explore why I shy away from commitments. I struggle with my weight because I have no regular routine in fitness. I am active…. sometimes, and sedentary other times (alright most times!!). I struggle with cash flow because I spend impulsively and don’t have discipline. I smoke because I don’t want to commit to quitting. I want my life to be different but I am not doing anything to change it. I really want to make more permanent changes. I did the Michelle bridges 12 week body transformation a year ago, and to some extent I transformed my body (10kgs down and some great eating habits learned), but then I let it transform back and every day of it I have tortured myself and berated myself for every poor decision. Did that change my choices? No, not really. It just made me feel really bad about myself.
Do I think I will ever be satisfied with my efforts in my passions? Yes I do. But by then I will be too busy enjoying them to think about whether or not my efforts are good enough. Is that to say that the solution to feeling badly about yourself is to keep busy? Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. All I know is that I want to have integrity with myself. I deserve to live the life I want to. I do not deserve to berate myself for every poor choice. I wouldn’t accept this kind of lax attitude from a friend or a partner, so I will no longer accept it from myself either.
What are the things I want to do? Yoga, singing (choir), bush walking, planning & cooking balanced meals, dancing (salsa?), writing, reading, study (psychology?), accepting social invitations and following through.
Today is Sunday night so by the end of each Sunday I will write a new post. Perhaps throughout this challenge I will even be able to commit to a regular day! I hope so.