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Are you a commitment phobe? How to commit to a plan and stick to it.

You come up with a great idea. You get excited and pleased with your brilliance. Maybe you just realized what you want to do with your life. You may be inspired to switch your career path, go back to school for a higher degree, or perhaps you have decided you want to be an entrepreneur. You smile to yourself and decide you will start tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes, and you think there is no hurry. What if it's the wrong decision. This pattern goes on for a few days until the moment when you decide that it will be too much trouble and that things are fine the way they are. At least you know what to expect. If this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from a commitment phobia coupled with procrastination. A fear of commitment is not only consigned to relationships. Many people have problems choosing and following through with a simple plan or idea. They are afraid if they make a decision, they might make a mistake and fail. You might love your vision, but self-doubts plague you, which stops you dead in your tracks. It is not uncommon and may stem from underlying issues such as low self-esteem or even childhood abuse. These are problems you may need to deal with by seeking out therapy. However, anyone can have difficulty making big decisions, especially if your choices will affect loved ones. You might feel a sense of guilt if you decide to change your job or seek out a new career, especially if you have been in a position for a long time and make a good salary. Ask yourself this question - is that job making you miserable? If you are longing for a change, it might mean that you are dissatisfied, leading to resentment. That resentment can build up to the point that you take out your frustrations on your family and friends. I know of what I speak. My mother hated her job but did not think she could do anything else. Her misery led to heavy drinking, after which she would become verbally abusive to my father and me. It made my teenage years difficult, and it created a rift between us that never went away.

It can be tough to make a significant change, especially if you are set in your ways. If the thought of staying in place is scarier than the thought of change, it is time to take action. Remember that brilliant idea you came up with earlier? Perhaps it is time to take steps to put it into motion with a bit of help. It is always good to bounce ideas off of other people. Unfortunately, friends and family may not always be fully honest with you. Some may tell you your thoughts are great, even if they think they suck. A significant other may not be that enthusiastic because they are afraid of affecting them. You need an unbiased person to listen to you, and in your circle of confidants, that person might be hard to find. You might also have difficulty coming up with a strategy for finding a new job, getting a promotion, or starting a business or new career. You might want to consider hiring someone that can help you brainstorm and maneuver the rough terrain ahead. I know what you are thinking; this is where I insert my sales pitch.

Well, yes and no. A personal coach who focuses on job/career changes would not be the worst idea for you. Am I recommending myself to you? The answer is an emphatic no. I would need to know that I am a good fit for you; otherwise, I would be wasting my precious time, and you would be wasting your money. If I don't know you, I cannot recommend that I can help you. That does not mean the right coach is not out there for you. Think of it as an investment in yourself. If you get a new career that pays well and makes you happy and fulfilled, you will be a better spouse, parent, friend, and lover. In general, a better person, which means it was money well spent. There are dozens of coaches out there, but before you drop a dime, ensure that the person you are hiring has credentials. There are no regulations for coaching (although there should be.) Anyone who decides they can offer sound advice can be a coach. However, those who take the profession seriously have the training and are certified. You wouldn't go to a dentist who taught themselves by reading books, would you?

If you decide to go it alone, that is fine. However, if you find yourself making excuses for inaction, you will never achieve success. How can you if you cannot even get started? Change can be overwhelming and scary. Here are some tips for making a plan and following through with it. Write down your idea/goal. Putting it on paper makes it feel more tangible. Once you have done this, you can pat yourself on the back because you have just taken a big step towards putting your plan into action. The next thing you want to do is think it through. How will this change you? Are you willing to make those changes? Is it feasible? It would be best if you were realistic with your goals. For example, if you want to be a famous actor, you must be aware that it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to achieve even a small amount of success. Do you want it because you love acting, or do you want fame and fortune? If it is the latter, you may be doing it for the wrong reasons, which will undoubtedly lead to disappointment. After evaluating how it will affect you, you must think about what it will mean to others. How will it affect your friends and family? If you are successful, will it make their lives better? What would happen if you did nothing? If you feel you cannot continue on the current path, you need to take action, sit down with your special people and let them know what is going on. There is a real chance that they will be excited for you and support you. If that does not happen and they react negatively, there is a deeper issue. Unfortunately, there will always be those that have difficulty feeling joy for someone else's success. Don't let that hold you back. True friends will have your back and be happy with your achievements. If they don't, they weren't your friends to begin with, and you are losing nothing of value.

Once you have done your soul-searching, you will know whether or not you want to proceed. I do want to caution that if you feel scared, that does not mean you should not move forward with your undertaking. It is entirely normal to feel fear when you are starting something new, but you should not let it stand in your way. Here is an article that can help you overcome the fear of making important decisions. After you have found your courage and acknowledged that this is something you want, it is time to move on to the next steps. Your focus will depend on what you hope to achieve. If you want a new career, you need to check to see if you need additional training. You will not become a nurse if you have a degree in marketing. An excellent source for finding out information about different careers is O*Net. It is full of helpful information and can help you determine what you need to be competitive in your chosen field. If you are willing to do what it takes, set a timeline for yourself. I would advise having short-term goals (doing one thing daily that moves you forward on your path) and long-term goals (such as finishing a degree in nursing, getting licensed, getting hired). You can write them out on the same paper you wrote your initial goal.

Having a timeline can help keep you on track. Something important to remember is that life sometimes gets in the way. If there are days when you have no time to work on your plan, it is okay. Just get started the next day again. There is a difference between meeting obligations and procrastination. Procrastination means you have the time; you push aside the task because you don't want to do it. In the other scenario, you have the desire, but you don't have the time. Learn to recognize when you are procrastinating and hold yourself accountable. If your daily task is time-consuming, break it down into smaller parts and do one piece at a time. You are more likely to finish it if you don't feel overwhelmed.

If you follow the above tips and stick to your plan, there is an excellent chance you will succeed. If you get seriously stuck and feel it is hopeless during your journey, seriously consider a coach to help you before you quit. Nothing worth having is easily attained. Even the most successful people have had mentors. It would be phenomenal if you could find someone in your field to help you for free, but if you can't, hire a professional. If the person you hired is legit, it will be worth your time and money.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, or opinions. I would love to hear from you! I wish you all the success in the world.


Linda L.

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