Why do we fear backing out of commitments?

Have you ever made a commitment to do something then changed your mind at the last minute because that’s what’s best for you? I don’t mean flaking on the friend you see 3 times a week for coffee. When it’s a big commitment, it’s hard to do the right thing and put yourself first. Most people will suffer through it out of fear for consequences or because of peer pressure.  I know I have.

When you really think about it though, what are the consequences we all fear?  Here’s what I came up with:

  1. People may think you’re a flake,
  2. Missing out (FOMO is real), and
  3. Monetary impact (if any).

Are these fears really worth going through with something you don’t want to? Maybe I’m becoming too selfish but I don’t think so.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a car on my way to Las Vegas for a networking event.  About a month ago I was approached with a mentorship opportunity to start my own business.  Last week, they told me about a big event that will be “really valuable for my future” so, naturally, I committed.

Now that the week has gone by and I’ve learned more, I realize I don’t want to go on this trip and it’s best for me to be home this weekend.  I won’t list all the reasons why but if I were driving myself, I would have turned around before we got on the I-15 (side note: I have a rule never to carpool for this reason alone. No clue why I made an exception this time but it’s great reinforcement to stick with it in the future). I’ve already spent over $200 between the hotel and event so it’s hard to walk away.  Since I decided not to follow my golden rule, I now have the problem of getting home. So I have to contemplate whether to stick it out for the weekend or not.  If I don’t attend this event, I’ll lose:

  1. My opportunity to be mentored (and any potential earnings),
  2. The money I already spent, and
  3. More money on an uber or flight home.

Giving up tangible things for self love and care is really difficult. On top of that, it’s hard to have the confidence to stand up and do what’s best for you (especially if you’re being pressured). I feel like I find myself in this position way more than anyone I know. At the time of committing, I don’t see a chance that I’ll lose interest or change my mind.   Then right before I cross the point of no return, I’ll get a bad gut feeling and every time I don’t listen to my gut, I regret it.

Normally I’m the person that once I’ve made up my mind about something like this, I do anything in my power to make it happen.  Part of this is the OCD and anxiety.   If I stayed in Vegas, it would be extremely difficult to keep myself from thinking about all the things I could be doing if I weren’t there and this would not only ruin my time but those around me’s time as well.

So now I’m sitting in a car with 2 other people, writing a blog post, wanting to go home, and unsure what to do.  I’ve already worked out all the timing and finances in me head, I just need to make a decision on whether to pull the trigger or not.  I hate making decisions.

~~~~~

Update: I took an uber from Las Vegas to Orange County.  It was $240 + $100 tip (I ended up with a really cool driver).

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