The paradox of commitment

We’ve all been there: What should I do? Whether all the options seem equally good, equally shitty, or you just don’t know how things are going to turn out. Whether you’ve got way too many options, opportunity is offering a few radically different directions, or you just can’t decide between two pathways towards the same goal… 

Every choice we make means that we’re saying ‘no’ to ALL the other options that are available to us at that moment; and you can never go back in time and make a different choice. Plus you’ll never, ever find out whether or not it was the right choice to make. 

A recent coaching client was faced with such a choice, a big one, life changing – the kind of choice, once made, it’ll be with you for the rest of your life. And, in a way, he already knew what he wanted to do. It was just really difficult to commit to it. Because if they were to make this choice, it would, by definition, limit their freedom. 

That’s the nature of commitment – it can feel heavy, because we are now responsible for the choice we’ve made, and any consequences that may follow. But what happens for most of my clients who commit and make such choices, is that they feel a whole lot lighter because whatever happens now, the choice has been made, so the gruelling contemplations just evaporate, as long as you own that choice, and run with it. 

When facing big choices, our experience is intricately shaped by our relationship with commitment, freedom and responsibility. And it never ceases to amaze me how paradoxical these relationships can feel. 

What I know is that we tend to feel most alive when we feel “both and”, when we allow ourselves to bath in the energy of the tension that’s being created when we’re open to embrace it. 

Any choices you’ve been avoiding lately? Take a moment to check in with yourself. Perhaps you can spot some paradoxical relationships… 

And I think by now it probably goes without saying that a coach with an existential lens offers a powerful lens for you to make sense of what’s at play there. 

With Love

New content: Coaches Rising #193 – Vibing with Joel Monk

“Dear Yannick,
Yesterday, I heard the conversation between you and Joel on the “Coaching Rising” podcast. Quite honestly, it stirred my soul!”

Now that’s the kind of feedback that stirs my soul! I do believe that Coaches rising is one of the best coaching podcasts out there, and I’ve always loved how deeply present Joel from Coaches Rising is with his guests; so I’m delighted that this conversation finally took place and to be able to share it with you. 

To give you a sense for what’s on the cards, here’s a road map of topics we discussed:

04:00 The challenges and possibilities of AI
14:00 The limits of coaching and coaches
22:00 Positive psychology and existentialism
33:00 Enabling choice through value exploration
38:00 Prioritizing presence over process
43:00 The breadth of phenomenological inquiry
51:00 Exploring the nature of truth
54:30 The nature of a client agreement
1:00:00 Including an existential approach
1:06:00 Resolving existential tension
1:09:30 Integrating rules and intuition
1:15:30 Exploring our coaching boundaries

You can listen to the conversation here