I’ve known people to have 5 year plans. I’ve known people to book their wedding venues years ahead. I’ve known people to decide the exact age they’d ideally hit certain life milestones. But not me. Although I’m a list maker extraordinaire, I’m not a long term committer of plans. Although I’m happily married, commiting to anything too far in advance is impossibly terrifying. Although there are certain things I would like to do, or achieve, I’m actually quite laidback about the timescales involved, which is the COMPLETE opposite to how I behave in my every day life!
The reason I shy away from planning and committing too far ahead is I just don’t know what could change in the interim…I just don’t know how I might change in the meantime. Committing too far ahead leaves the possibility of being disappointed, of disappointing others, of things changing and/or going wrong in all sorts of ways, of my expectations being unrealistic or worse – realised!
Mindvalley Blog sums this up perfectly:
“Short-term goals help you to better deal with this unpredictability because they avoid the mistake of assuming that the next five or ten years will go exactly to plan.”
Therefore, I am a conflicted commitment phobe beause although certain plans may sound appealing and I can definitely commit in other areas (e.g. my animals, my marriage, my mortgage), my anxious brain will soon convince me otherwise, to the point where I end up executing an escape route because the feeling of being trapped is simply too overwhelming and panic inducing.
Meridian Counseling explains:
“People with a fear of commitment also have an extreme need for stability, safety, and emotional connection. Yet, the thing that they long for the most is also their worst fear. Can you imagine the intensity of the internal pain and confusion that they live with? It sounds like torture. Many times they themselves don’t understand why they run away from amazing opportunities, jobs, stability and the people that they love.”
As I touched on in my blog post here, it’s important to be positive, and part of that is having things to look forward to. However, little things can be as happiness inducing as the big things sometimes and, for me, short term plans make me happier and MUCH less anxious than long term plans: reading in bed, going out for tea, watching my favourite programmes, faffing in the house and having Wednesdays off are absolute bliss at the moment! I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to next year or in 5 years etc. and I don’t want to even think about it…I’m concentrating on THIS week and THIS month and THIS year (perhaps vaguely til August-ish – any longer is long term!).
As confirmed by Mindvalley Blog:
“Short-term goals work better for our mental process. They help us to make the best of every day, and eventually, a long string of happy days will connect to a happy life.”
I definitely believe living in the present and fairly immediate future works for commitment phobic me. Are you a commitment phobe in certain areas of your life too, or are you a forward planner?