The Freedom Tour has oddly, inexplicably, surprisingly, and perfectly become about commitment. But not the commitment that makes you feel like you suddenly have a ball and chain around your ankle. Not the commitment that’s done out of duty or obligation. The type of commitment I’m talking about is the one that comes from choice, willingness, and the pull of your soul to be a part of something bigger than your own whims and agenda. The type of commitment I’m referring to is the one that expands rather than limits. It says yes instead of no. It jumps in with both feet, all in, full throttle, gas pedal pressed down with vigor.
This particular brand of commitment is one I’ve only recently grasped and only recently even knew existed.
I’ve detected the faintest sweet smell of a deeper freedom on the other side of this new kind of commitment. I’ve heard a very quiet, yet persistent, promise of grand things to come on the other side of the leap of faith required to pass to the other side. The price of admission is 100% commitment. I’ve tried 95% commitment and it sucks. That’s where the shackles have held me in the past. Going for what I want mostly, but in the end always holding something back. It creates friction. It creates tension. It creates an illusion of freedom that really actually just makes me feel like crap.
When your foot is on the gas and the brake.
When an opportunity to commit to something you truly desire comes along and you say yes, but you keep one foot slightly on the brake as you simultaneously gun it with your other foot, you are weighted. You’ve just willingly, though not consciously, put yourself into a cage that you’ve built for yourself, and you’ve clunked the door tightly behind you. You have the key in your pocket to let you out if you’d like. But your trap is constructed of what you’re seeing as a lack of freedom from making one choice over another or one choice that will forever preclude you from the freedom to have all the other choices out there. Your anthem is, “I want it all and if I say yes fully to one thing that means I’m saying no to everything else. So I will remain in the land of maybe’s and sort of’s and we’ll see’s and yeah, if nothing better comes along’s.” And so you get to hang out in this cage.
This brand of freedom, the one that says maybe, is an illusion. It’s a sweet, seductive one, but an illusion nonetheless. However, the key in your pocket is whispering to you ever so persistently, saying:
“Hey, you! Yeah, you up there! Make a bold choice. Jump in with both feet, mind, body, and soul. Give yourself to something, someone, and someplace. Do yourself the favor of committing 100%. Go all in. You’re in this cage because of an idea of unlimited possibility that you’ve gotten yourself stuck in. You’re holding out. You’re holding back maybe only 5 or 10%. On the other side of the cage door is where the good stuff is. Inside the cage it’s crumbs. Outside is the banquet. I know you can’t see it but you have to trust. You’ve got to give yourself over 100% and then, and only then, when you put this key in the lock, the most deliciously satisfying click will echo as your cage dissolves and you’re suddenly free. And this time it will be real, solid, sustainable freedom—freedom that only those who have the courage to go all in can feel. The price of admission is high. It’s the risk of giving up the childish illusion of having it all for the ever so much more profoundly nourishing freedom of having exactly what’s meant for you.”
Freedom is seducing you.
The thing about freedom is it’s seductive. I’m of an incredibly blessed generation of women who have virtually unlimited choice. I could become a brain surgeon. I could become a CEO. I could run away and join the circus. I could get married and have ten babies. I could travel the world. I could go grow organic vegetables in Italy. I could build orphanages in Uganda. I could provide micro-credit for entrepreneurs in developing countries. I could be a DJ. I could be a pastry chef. I could go sit in a cave in India and meditate for the rest of my life. I could go sit on a bench in Central Park and watch pigeons. And what I’ve learned is that when I choose “all of the above” I actually miss out on the depth of any of the above. The thing about this type of freedom is that it’s debilitating. I’ve learned that having so much choice that you don’t ever fully dive in to any one thing is not only boring, it’s also lonely. I’m beginning to see that commitment adds depth and dimension that I never dreamed possible.
Look, Mom! I’m a grown-up!
I recently committed to my first ever official, written down and well thought out, lawyer-approved business partnership, complete with the initials “LLC.” The prospect of it was so terrifying and so exhilarating that immediately after making the decision I shut my finger in a really big metal door. And though saying yes, going all in, and signing my name on the dotted line made the adolescent inside me scream and yell and stamp her feet, my wiser self said yes with abandon.
Already, only three months in, this has been one of the top five most important and best decisions of my life. It has meant canceling plans, delaying a much-desired long drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, saying no to a few parties, meetings, and potentially good times. But it has also meant saying yes to profound growth, having my buttons pushed in that just-so way that’s making me grow up, and expanding the possibilities in my life beyond what would have ever been available to me had I gone in my usual 80-95%.
I’m learning to work in true partnership, to be held fully accountable for my end of the deal, to create from scratch, to build an information product online, to teach, to create content that’s truly valuable, and to be of service. And the business partnership has a very real potential to earn me seven figures. Woah, Nelly. Writing that freaks me out. And pushes my upper limits.
None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t made a strong, unwavering commitment, regardless of my fear and immature cries for the kind of freedom found at the shallow end of the pool where you always know exactly where the bottom is and you never have to worry about keeping yourself afloat.
How to give up good to have great.
I’m certainly no commitment expert. This is all new to me. I created The Freedom Tour to explore freedom. And so far what I’ve found out is that there’s this sneaky, yet critical, ingredient that requires all of you in order to have what you truly want. And it means letting go of what you don’t really want, or just sort of want, or think maybe you might want. It means giving up good to have great. It means taking a flying, sometimes spastic, leap into the unknown to see the glory of what your life can be like if you are willing to give a definitive yes when you hear that the promise of your true desire is on the other side.
The past three months I’ve let go of an apartment, my furniture, at least two-thirds of my wardrobe, all but ten books, a
whole bunch of other stuff I simply didn’t need to carry around with me anymore, a business partnership that was no longer serving my partner or me, and the outmoded notion that freedom means getting to do anything you want whenever you want. And while hanging out in the terrifying, pregnant pause that comes from letting go of having it all and committing to having what you truly want, I have received more love, fun, pleasure, money, opportunities, connections, and satisfaction on a cellular level than I could have dreamed for myself at this point in my life.
So I say thank you to commitment for whispering me out of my cage to a deeper, more expansive, grander level of freedom than I knew was possible. Thank you for forcing me to grow up and hold myself to a higher standard. Thank you for allowing me to glimpse the beauty of going all in and giving myself over, 100%.
7 Steps to Commitment . . . and Finding True Freedom
At the risk of being trite, I decided to come up with a quick seven-step guide to commitment. Don’t let the simplicity of this checklist fool you. This is the real deal, I swear.
1. Identify the thing you’re most scared to say yes to in your life.
2. Notice the biggest area in your life where you’re holding back.
3. Decide to say yes, go all in, and commit 100% even though you’re scared to do so.
4. Tell at least one person you’re doing it. Even better, tell a whole bunch of people.
5. Watch, and behold the beauty that unfolds in your life as deeper, far more amazing possibilities open up for you than ever could have been available had you stayed in maybe land.
6. Rinse and repeat with the other things you’re scared about committing to.
7. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes.
What do you think?
Where are you holding back in your own life?
Have you ever felt like you had your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time?
What does freedom mean to you?
What does commitment mean to you?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.