What’s that thing you keep telling yourself you would love to do, but don’t have time for, don’t know where to start, or that you’ll get to someday?
If you’ve spent a long time in this cycle, the truth is you might just be interested but not committed.
But if being committed is what you want, tune in as I dispel the mystery of what’s going on and show you how to generate 100% commitment.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 140, Are You Interested or Committed?
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St. Germain.
Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I have an important question for you today. You know that thing that you keep telling yourself that you don’t have time to do, the thing that you say you want to do, but you just don’t know how to do it, or you don’t know where to start? This question will be one that you can fall back on anytime you find yourself confused about why you’re not following through with what you said you wanted to do, and then you’ll know what to do about it.
It’s so ironic that I would be recording this episode today. I’ll tell you about that in a second. I also want to tell you that if you are interested in this topic, you might also want to listen to other episodes of the podcast that have similar themes, so When You Don’t Know How episode 94, Imperfect Action Until, episode 116, and When You Don’t Feel Motivated episode 129. We’ll put those in the show notes so that if you’d like to go back and get a little more information on a similar subject, you can, okay?
So, what is that thing that you keep telling yourself that you don’t have time to do, and you say that you want to do it, and you tell yourself it’s important, but you don’t do it? Maybe you believe that you don’t know how to do it, or you don’t know where to start, or that you’ll get to it someday? What is that thing? All right.
Because the truth is the list of things that we’re interested in doing is going to be much longer than the list of things that we’re actually committed to doing. So, ask yourself, and be honest, am I interested in this, or am I committed to it? Because whenever you find yourself not following through on something, it’s because you’re not 100% committed to it, and that’s not a problem necessarily, but we need to be honest with ourselves.
So, I find it so ironic that I’m doing this episode on a day where it is due. This podcast episode is due today. Usually, I try to put a little more buffer in my schedule, but this one’s due today. Now, I am 100% committed to releasing an episode of the podcast every Monday for you, and I’m 100% committed to doing that also without paying an expedite fee to my editor, which if I don’t get this podcast recorded today, I am going to have to pay.
This is what commitment looks like. Do I want to do this podcast right now? No, I don’t. I have several other things on my list that I would really rather be doing, but I’m 100% committed to doing this podcast, and so, here I am doing it. I was trying to think actually before recording about this issue where I am interested in things and where I am committed to them, and two things came to mind, one, this podcast.
Since starting this podcast in 2019, I have never missed a Monday episode ever because I have been 100% committed to it. I have also, since 2018, I went back and looked May of 2018, I have never missed writing and delivering a Widow Wednesday email. I have done that every week since May of 2018. And the reason is because it’s non-negotiable in my brain. I am 100% decided that those two things will happen, come hell or high water. Right. It’s happening.
Which is very different than, for example, my current level of commitment to my Peloton right now. My brain wants to tell me that I don’t have time, but I know that’s not true. If my doctor said, Krista, you need to ride that Peloton every day for an hour, or something terrible is going to happen to you in 60 days. I would miraculously find the time to get on the Peloton. But what’s really true is that I’m not committed to it. I’m just interested in it, and they’re very different.
My reason, my commitment is not compelling enough. My “why” is not hard enough. When our “why” is hard enough and we’re 100% committed, we find a way always. So, that’s what I want to talk about in this episode of the podcast, is I want you to take that thing that you’ve been beating yourself up over, or that thing that you’ve been making mean that you’re a terrible finisher, and you never finish things, and you’ve been beating yourself up for, and get some clarity around it.
Because there’s no reason to weaponize any of your behaviors, alright? Lack of commitment is not a moral failing. It’s just a choice. Not finishing what you start is not a crime. Right? Just a choice. And you’re not a better person if you finish what you start. You’re not a worse person if you don’t finish what you start. But you also are not a powerless victim, and not finishing what you start isn’t something that you’re just noticing or observing about your life as though it’s just happening to you, right? It’s a pattern that we create with our thoughts.
So, I want you to own the pattern, but I don’t want you to beat yourself up over it. It’s also 100% not a problem unless you decide that it is. Right? I think about all of the things that I have started and not finished. Good Lord, the craft supplies in my life that I bought and never used, right? Does that mean anything bad about me? Only if I decide that it does. Does it mean that I start things and don’t finish them? Only if I decide that it does, right?
Being committed to something is a choice that I get to make. It’s a choice that you get to make, but regardless of whether or not we’re committed, we don’t need to beat ourselves up over it. So, here’s how to know if you’re interested but not committed, and then I’m going to talk to you about the benefits of 100% commitment and what that can actually look like, and how it can serve you, and then you will know how to decide.
So, here’s what it looks like when you’re interested but not committed. Thoughts like this will show up in your mind. There isn’t enough time, right? I don’t have enough time to do this. I don’t know how to find the time, or I don’t know how what will show up in your mind. Or I’ll see if I can get to that, or someday I’ll do that. Or maybe, I’ll try.
Which when I hear that, I think of Yoda saying, what is it? There is no try; there’s only do. Oh no, it’s do or do not; there is no try. I think that’s how Yoda says it, right? But that’s how it shows up in your brain when you’re interested in something, but you’re not really committed. When you’re actually committed, what shows up in your brain is this is happening.
Of course, I’m going to do this. It’s as good as done. It’s happening no matter what. This is non-negotiable. That’s how I think about the podcast. That’s how I think about Widow Wednesday. That is not how I am currently thinking about the Peloton. But listen, if I want to change my commitment level, I can, and so can you. Okay?
We can’t commit to all of the things because we really only do have 24 hours in a day, but if there’s something that’s really important to us, we can increase our commitment to it. Okay, so, that’s how to know what you’re thinking that has you interested but not committed. Here’s what it feels like.
So, feeling interested feels a little hopeful, versus when you feel committed you feel decided. When you feel interested you feel kind of wishy-washy. When you feel committed, you’re completely determined; when you feel interested, you might feel optimistic, which sounds useful, doesn’t it? But it’s very different than the certainty we feel when we’re committed.
And when we are interested, we feel a little unclear, versus when we’re committed, we feel very clear. We have a lot of clarity. Right? Remember, all of this matters because if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you know this, but it’s what we think that determines how we feel. So, those feelings of hopeful or wishy-washy, or unclear, those aren’t just happening to us.
Even feeling excited, determined, certain, and clear, those don’t happen to us either. Whatever we’re feeling is being created by what we’re thinking, by the story that’s in our mind. We get to choose our story. We get to choose what we want to think. Therefore we get to choose what we want to feel, and that matters because it’s how we feel that drives how we behave, the actions that we take, how we show up in our lives.
So, you’re going to take very different action when you’re feeling hopeful versus when you’re feeling decided. Interested looks like telling yourself that something’s important but then making excuses for not actually doing it. Interested looks like planning priorities on paper but then not following through with those priorities. Right?
Interested looks like telling someone that you’re going to do something but then not doing it. Those are all signs of being interested but not committed, and that all starts with the way that we’re thinking. And the reason this matters, just, generally speaking, is because I think a lot of us get so confused about it, and we ask ourselves, well, what’s wrong with me? Why don’t I finish what I start? Why do I say that I want to do these things and I don’t?
And if we would just get honest with ourselves and ask the question, am I interested in this, or am I committed? When we’re not really committed, we’re not going to follow through, and that’s okay, but we can stop being confused about it when we’re just honest in how we answer the question. We can say, you know what, right now, I’m just not committed to that. And then we can ask ourselves, do I want to be more committed? And if we do, we can sell ourselves on why we want to be committed. We can come up with hard “why’s.” We can think thoughts that generate 100% commitment. We can decide to be 100% committed if we want to.
And there’s a lot of value in that. Think about it; there’s a chapter in a book; Jack Canfield wrote a book called The Success Principles. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. It’s really easy to read. If you’ve never read it, it’s broken up to two and three-page chapters, and they’re just all brilliant takeaways. I just love the book.
So, there’s a chapter in it called 99% is a bitch; 100% is a breeze. And I love this chapter because what he’s talking about in there is that when we decide ahead of time that we’re committed to something, life gets easier. All of the energy that we spend thinking about whether or not we’re going to do something or not going to do something is now never wasted again. We don’t ever have to have that argument about am I going to do it, am I not going to do it? Am I going to follow through? Am I not going to follow through?
There’s no energy spent when we commit to something 100% ahead of time. The story that he tells in this book that I find to be a good illustration of this concept is that he talks about someone who is, I think he’s in his 80s maybe, and one of his rules, he is very health conscious. This man that he’s telling the story about very health conscious.
He exercises regularly, and he tries to eat in ways that are best for his body. So, one of his non-negotiable commitments is that he only eats ice cream on a full moon. So, he has a birthday party and people know this rule, and the birthday is not on a full moon. But people at the party come and dress up and like make this kind of stage to pretend that it’s a full moon so he can eat ice cream, and he still won’t do it. Because it’s really not a full moon, and he’s 100% committed to his own concept for himself.
Now, am I saying you shouldn’t eat ice cream except on full moons, absolutely not. Eat ice cream whenever you want. But think about the benefit of being able to use all of the energy that currently gets wasted in the back and forth on something that matters. There’s no more arguing with yourself, right?
Like, do you spend any time arguing with yourself about whether you’re going to pay your mortgage? No. You probably don’t. You have 100% committed to paying your mortgage on time or paying your taxes. You don’t argue with yourself about am I going to do it? Maybe I should; maybe I shouldn’t. No, you’re just 100% committed to doing it.
So, there’s no energy wasted on thinking about whether or not you’re going to pay your mortgage—same thing with brushing your teeth. I bet you don’t think about it. Am I going to brush my teeth? Am I not going to brush my teeth? You just do it, even if you wake up, you go to bed, and all of a sudden you’re like, oh wait, I didn’t brush my teeth. You get back up, and you brush your teeth.
You don’t spend any energy at all in that decision. This can even be true for something like monogamy. Right? Imagine, if when you were married, and I know most of you are listening to this because your spouse died. But think back to your marriage, and this isn’t the case for everyone’s marriage, okay? But, if you had not made a decision that you were going to be monogamous, then every time someone you found attractive said something to you, or you found someone attractive and contemplated saying something to them, you would have to have the energetic discussion with yourself about should I talk to that person, or should I not talk to that person? Do I want to sleep with that person? Do I want to say yes when they ask me out on a date? If you 100% committed to monogamy, you never had to spend any energy on should I or shouldn’t I. That’s why I think it’s a brilliant thing to do in particular areas, right.
Now, not in every area because we don’t have endless energy, but in the things that really are important to you, having 100% commitment to them like I have to this podcast and to my Widow Wednesday email make life easier. Because I don’t waste any time ever thinking about am I or am I not. I spend all that energy on actually doing the thing versus the experience I’ve had with the Peloton.
Which is, oh, I probably should. Yeah, well, when am I going to do it? Well, I guess I could do it tomorrow morning. But then, I’d have to shower, and I have a call at 11. Well, okay, maybe I’ll do it this day. Well, I wonder if I should—Versus the experience that the boyfriend has. It’s just not negotiable. He just goes to the gym, right?
Now, there have been many episodes or many periods in my life when I have been 100% committed to a particular form of exercise too. So, it’s not that I have to be. I’m just saying the experience that I have in the areas where I am 100% committed is very different than the experience that I have in the areas where I’m not. And what matters is that I don’t kid myself.
What matters is that I say, hmmm, I’m not doing that thing that I said was important to me. What’s the truth? Am I interested in it, or am I committed to it? And then, when I’m honest, it’s not a mystery anymore, and I don’t have to use it as a weapon, and I don’t have to make it mean that there’s something wrong with me. I just tell the truth, and I say, yeah, Krista, it’s okay, you know what? Right now, you’re just not committed to riding the Peloton.
It’s totally okay. And if you want to be more committed, you know how to do that, Krista. She talks to herself as she records podcasts. Right? So, what is it that you’re beating yourself up over, and what if you just stopped and said, you know what? The truth is that I’m not 100% committed. The truth is that I’m interested.
Then, don’t stop there. Ask yourself do I want to be interested, or do I want to be 100% committed? And the answer might still be, I just want to be interested right now, and that’s okay. Then, we can just move on, and we don’t ever have to beat ourselves up over the thing. We don’t have to wonder why we haven’t done it. We just know the truth.
Which is that currently, we are not committed. We’re just interested. But, if the answer is I want to be committed, then we go about increasing our commitment with our thinking. We go about selling ourselves on the idea of why the thing really is important to us, right? Like, I didn’t just start Widow Wednesday and believe that it was super important that I did it every week, right?
I sold myself on that idea. I decided it was important. I decided that one of the reasons that I wanted to do that was because I wanted people to know they could count on it. Right? I wanted people to know that if they were having a bad week, that they could count on getting an email from me every Wednesday they had something to look forward to in a particularly dark period of their lives. And that they would know that I was never going to let them down.
It’s the same thing with the podcast, right. I committed to that. I sold myself on the value of committing to that with my brain. I didn’t just show up 100% committed. So, if whatever it is that you’re not currently doing, you have realized you’re not currently doing it or following through with it because you’re interested and not committed, and the answer to do I want to be more committed is yes, then we have to sell you on it.
Why is it important? Why does it matter? Why will your life be better when you’ve committed to that 100%, or you’ve been doing that regularly. How’s it going to improve things for you? How does it line up with your values? How’s it going to be so frustrating to you if you don’t do it? Sell yourself on it. Such that you generate commitment.
What do you need to be thinking? How do you sell yourself so that you can believe this is non-negotiable? This is happening. Of course, I’m going to do this. This is as good as done. How do you get yourself to that place? Because that’s possible for you, but you have to decide that you’re going to do it, and then sell yourself on it.
Alright, so, no more mysteries about why you’re not following through with something. You’re either interested, or you’re committed. Which one is it? Be honest, and then decide, do I want to be interested? If so, carry on. Do I want to be committed? If so, I can do that, too. Okay, that’s what I have for you this week. Remember, I love you, and you’ve got this! Take care, and I’ll see you next week. Bye, bye.
If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future, you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse? I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you. Where I will help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so, you can move forward with confidence. Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than what you deserve. Go to CoachingWithKrista.com and click work with me for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.