com•mit•ment – (noun) the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
Do you struggle with this word? Does it scare you to death? Do you cringe at the very mention of it?
If so, hear this: You’re not alone.
People fear commitment–especially those in their 20’s and 30’s. Commitment includes a binding contract. It requires keeping your word. It demands selflessness. And in a world where people grow up being told they can be and do whatever they desire, well…commitment doesn’t always mesh well with that standard of living.
I was a victim of commitaphobia (fear of commitment) for several years. Growing up, I wanted to be a part of so many things–sports, arts, church, academics. I wanted to be everybody’s friend. I feared missing out on, well, anything. And, essentially, I didn’t. But in the midst of giving pieces of my time to almost anything and everything, I lacked genuine commitment. And guess what? I actually did miss out. I missed out the best parts of truly getting to know others. I missed out being a vital part of a team. And I never fully developed skills and talents that I could have if only I had stayed or played longer.
For any relationship, career, or hobby to experience vitality and joy, a genuine level of commitment is a must. Sure, you can make anything work for a period of time. But you’ll never really learn to swim until you dive into the deep end. The deep end is mysterious, uncomfortable, and requires much endurance, but it makes you stronger and better.
When I committed to jobs, I found passion and fulfillment. When I committed to friendships and relationships, I found real community. When I committed to marriage, I found harbor and hope. And when I committed myself to God, l found purpose.
Commitment is not an end; it’s a beginning. Commitment doesn’t close doors of opportunity; it opens them. Commitment is not giving up; it’s giving in.
To what or whom do you need to commit? What’s holding you back?
Go ahead–commit. Don’t let a fear of missing out keep you from truly missing out.