I had commitment issues. All of my life. I was always in and out. One foot in and one foot out. Always ready to run. I never expected anyone from anyone. Actually, I expected nothing from people. And usually got it… it works that you know. You choose what you believe. Why would I choose people who be there for me when I couldn’t be there for me?
Commitment to my story, my trauma, holding the knife by the blade, pushing myself, punishing myself, facing and forcing pain at a level most cannot understand… that’s what I was committed to. I loved pain. I loved the pain of hunger. I loved the pain of pushing myself to my limit. I loved the pain because it was the only thing I could feel.
Commitment to myself was the only thing I had because I knew I was all I had.
Commitment to perfection, to bettering myself, to holding myself to higher standards, pushing myself further and harder and faster than anyone else ever could. No one had to ask me for my all, I was all in on all in on everything I did. Partly to prove myself but also because I am inspired, driven, motivated and hungry.
Perhaps I came by it honestly. My father is much the same. Perhaps I came by it from trauma. I’ll never know because I’ll never know who I would be without trauma. That life, that person, that version doesn’t and couldn’t exist. It’s not my story and one thing I’ve hated about healing and therapy and self help and positive thinking was the illusion that we can go back to before.
Before doesn’t exist. Before couldn’t exist and it sends people down the rabbit hole of chasing something that isn’t there. Looking for a version of them that’s long gone. Instead I focused on being the best I could be in spite of it, because of it in fact. How could I improve, be better, make my life even greater because I knew the terror of the darkest nights… that feeling anything was better than feeling nothing.
So I pushed myself. Hard. And I loved it. I loved accomplishing things, creating things, doing things, striving to be the best I could be. But as I broke down walls and opened up to people I sprang leaks in my boat… I believed that pushing myself was wrong… that wanting more was more, wanting to be better meant I was unhappy…
So somewhere along the way I became low key and complacent. I needed to settle, slow, to enjoy life more, absolutely. But I lost my hunger, my passion, my excitement. I lost my commitment, to myself, my craft… I lost myself… and not the in old way hidden behind walls scared way… in the new listening to other people, adopting their beliefs as my own, believing that I was wrong for having high standards.
Not their fault of course, because we are responsible for our own lives, our own beliefs, our own values and our own standards.
This week I challenged all of my clients to write commitment letters. As I did I knew it was time to write one for myself because I hadn’t done that in years. I love repeating work because we go deeper than the first times and deeper than the second and third time… as I reflected I realized how many times I have not walked away or pushed on or held myself to a higher standard because I let people tell me I expected too much, wanted too much, was too obsessed…
And I realized that’s the gift and the curse. The best in the world and the best at what they do are slightly crazy and obsessed. They become absorbed, passionate, excited about it. Not so much they lose their lives or other area’s of their lives but no one gets to be the best, no one stands at the podium, no one wins by settling. No one makes it to the top without sacrifice and obsession and commitment.
The more people I opened to and the more people I let in my boat the more I believed what they told me… that mediocrity is ok, that “good enough” is fine, that “wanting more” isn’t ok. Somewhere along the way I listened to the settlers, cared about what others thought of my dreams and my hopes. I watered myself down so I couldn’t be palatable for people.
And in that I didn’t hold myself to my own standards and I didn’t hold those around my to higher standards. I didn’t always do my job because I broke it apart so others could handle it, I settled so others wouldn’t be intimated, I slowed down so others could catch up.
And don’t get me wrong… good enough is perfect some days… settling for ok is perfect some days… being imperfect is a gold standard… because perfection does not exist and outstanding is the best standard because it’s ours, it’s whatever we want it to be.
There are lots of slow days, too many coffees, lots of reflection… but there were too many watered down, weak, not showing up at the fullest potential and possibility because I was afraid I was too much for people, wanted too much, expected too much and they couldn’t or wouldn’t meet me.
Which wasn’t true. It was only true for those who shouldn’t be in my boat. The right people for my boat, my life, my business want commitment, want next level, want more, aren’t apologizing for it. Becoming the most authentic version of yourself means saying YES to who you are, that isn’t ok maybe, maybe later, or I’ll think about it. It’s a fuck yes to what feels good and a fuck no to what doesn’t.
It isn’t breaking yourself down into a million piece for those who can’t handle you. Stay whole and let them choke. It isn’t watering yourself so you can be dull in the wrong places, instead stay 100% proof and let them get drunk on your aura. It’s isn’t settling for half of what you want because it’s acheiveable, it’s willing to fucking die for what you want.
I don’t know how to be anything less.
When I am, I get exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, twisted, angry and bitter. Why? Because I’m not being me. When I am me I know I am not for everyone. Some people like cheap wine and some people like spiced rum and fires at the beach under the full moon. It’s ok.
But what’s not ok is settling for cheap wine watching tv when you want spiced rum and fires at the beach.
Commitment is about being yourself. Unapologetically. My trauma might be what made me want to be better. But unpacking my life in reverse and healing my trauma showed me it’s a part of me. Wanting to be better, hungry for improvement and the greatness that exists inside of me no longer comes from proving myself but it comes from knowing what I’m capable of, from listening to my passion and allowing myself to be inspired by what I feel, see and know is available to me, to us…
So I recommitted… I allowed myself to accept that I want more and that it’s ok to not settle, to strive for greatness, to be hungry for more and that as much as it’s ok for others to not want more it’s ok for me to want more.
Discernment – knowing the difference. Someone not wanting more doesn’t mean I have to settle because they don’t want more. It means be willing to keep walking, even when the others around you have stopped.
Ps… if you’d like to know more about the conversation around that my clients are involved in – come and check it out ->Tribe