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Commit To A Path

Some years ago, Sally and Terri discussed partnering to present a workshop. Initially, Terri was excited and they started the preliminary planning. As Sally began putting ideas together, Terri stopped returning her calls. Sally moved forward on the project, thinking that Terri had just gotten busy.

But as time went on, and details needed to be finalized, it became imperative for Sally to connect with Terri. Eventually, Terri called and said, "I don't think I'm the right person for this. I kept putting off letting you know because I didn't want to let you down." All the time and work Sally had put into the project was for nothing, simply because Terri wouldn't let Sally know she'd changed her mind.

Because Terri hadn't wanted to disappoint Sally, she hadn't been honest with her. If she'd let Sally know when she'd first come to that conclusion, it would have saved Sally hours of work and frustration. Instead of disappointing her, Terri would have freed her to look for another partner. But the delay undermined/scuttled the entire project.

Have you ever know someone to do this? They agreed to help, participate, or volunteer, but then changed their mind? Then they disappeared because they didn't want to let the coordinator down. By being unavailable, they hoped that the planner would get the message that they didn't want to do it. They didn't want to look like a bad guy by making the break and hoped the coordinator would move on to someone else. They acted this way because they didn't want to deal with the coordinator's disappointment.

The reality was that their actions weren't making it easier on the coordinator, but harder. They held the coordinator hostage, not letting them move on to find someone else or make other plans. They avoided confronting the issue because they didn't want to deal with the guilt of not living up to their agreement and the discomfort of communicating this to the coordinator.

Do you ever do this, to yourself or others? Have you ever said "Yes" to doing something, but didn't really want to do it? And then you avoided communicating your true decision? Have you ever wanted to end a relationship, and rather than making a clean break, tried leaving clues? Unfortunately, if you did, the other person just ended up confused and frustrated.

This lack of communications makes life difficult for the other person and for you. The result isn't that the problem magically disappears, but that the other person is confused. And you wind up looking like the bad guy. People will stop asking you to be involved in projects, not because you lack the ability, but because they no longer trust you.

Not clearly communicating your decisions and desires in a professional and personal situation causes many problems for you, including:

It wastes precious emotional energy when you don't make a commitment one way or the other. You worry about what will happen when they find out you're backing out or breaking up. Maybe you duck their calls and avoid them when you see them. Giving them a definitive answer means that they have closure and you no longer have to be concerned. You can put your energy to more constructive use.

It gives your subconscious the instruction not to commit to a direction. If you have a habit of not making a choice and communicating it, your subconscious will follow that pattern with the goals you do want. It will take much longer to achieve them because your subconscious has been programmed to vacillate. When you are decisive, one way or the other, you give your subconscious the message that you choose to accomplish your goals. Even if you change your mind later on, you still are decisive and can move in a direction.

If you never say no to what you don't want, you can never say yes to what you do want. By equivocating and not definitively saying, "No," to a situation, you can't move forward to what you want. Not committing is essentially the same as being indecisive. As long as you have your feet on two paths, you can never travel down one of them. Pick a path and commit yourself to it. Set the decision behind you and move forward to what you want.

If you don't want to say, "No," when you're asked, you can say, "Let me think about it and get back to you." Then follow through on your statement and give them your answer within a couple of days. This frees them to find someone else.

In personal relationships, give clear messages. When you feel that the relationship has run its course, let the other person know that it's time to go your separate ways. This gives them closure and lets them begin the process of healing and moving on.

Clear communication with others means that you also have clear communication within yourself. By giving a definite answer to someone, you're not wasting time and energy being evasive with others, and you're supporting your dreams, desires and well-being. This allows you to be true to yourself and fulfill your potential.

Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
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As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at You can contact her at or 928-600-0452.


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