Let's be real: we ENFPs aren't known for our follow-through on commitments of any kind (big or small). It's not impossible, but sometimes it's tough. It seems like every time we commit to something, the grass becomes greener -- and sometimes it turns blue -- which means we DEFINITELY have to check it out!
But as much as I hate the feeling of being "trapped," I hate being seen as unreliable. I also really dislike constantly changing my mind all the time! I want to stick to things -- it's just hard to see how when my Extraverted Intuition kicks in with some new possibilities.
Tired of being afraid to commit, I came up with this list this morning. These are questions to ask myself: (1) before making a commitment, (2) while contemplating "uncommitting" from something, and (3) after "uncommitting." I know how difficult it is to understand a commitment once you're in it as an ENFP, so I hope this proves helpful! Please feel free to contribute!! :)
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE COMMITTING TO SOMETHING NEW
- Is this something I really want to do? Why? Why wouldn't I want to do this?
- What are some potential obstacles or red flags? How will I deal with them?
- What are the long-term and short-term consequences of making this commitment? What are the short-term and long-term consequences if I don't make it?
- Is there an out? Under which circumstances would I take it? What are the details and consequences of the out?
- Which possibilities open as a result of making this commitment? Which ones close?
- Is this commitment aligned with who I am? With my values?
- Am I making this commitment for myself or for others? Or both? Who does it affect?
- Is making this commitment in conflict with other commitments I've made? If yes, which ones? And how does it conflict?
- What does my life look like with this commitment? What resources are needed to sustain this commitment? (Get specific.)
- How long do I have to make my decision? Can it wait an hour? A day? - A week? (Conversely: am I procrastinating my choice? If so, why do I think I am?)
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE UNCOMMITTING
- What new information has been made available that I didn't know before?
- What's making me doubt my decision?
- Imagine I stick with it. What does that look like? Imagine I don't -- what does that look like?
- What are the short-term and long-term consequences of uncommitting?
- Is there a way of leaving that doesn't burn bridges? Can I prepare for an exit in a dignified manner?
- What have I tried to make it work? Are there things I could tweak to make it more bearable? Are there things others could do to make it more bearable? (Think really hard about this one.)
- Have I used the resources available to me? Have I consulted others for guidance, support, or help?
- How will continuing to commit help my bigger goals? How will uncommitting support my bigger goals?
- What would I miss or potentially give up by uncommitting? Is it worth it?
Does uncommitting affect any of my other commitments? How?
- Have I been committing fully up until this point or half-heartedly? Before uncommitting, is there a way I could give more (even if I don't want to or don't feel like it)? Am I trying my best or am I set on a "grass is greener" outcome?
- Can I think about and/or delay my decision for a day? A week? A month? Do I have to make the decision to uncommit RIGHT now? If so, why? (If I think my commitment is killing my spirit, ask why -- get specific. Then think if there are any things I can change without changing EVERYTHING. Remember the easiest solution isn't the only one -- nor the best, necessarily. Get creative.)
- Would a temporary change of scenery or break help? (Could be 15 minutes, an hour, a week, a month -- some period of time where I am not thinking about the commitment AT ALL.) Have I tried? Try it (really!) and then ask these questions again.
- Who does this commitment affect? Am I prepared to deal with the consequences of this on my relationships? Have I involved affected parties into my questioning process? Why or why not? Would their opinion or input sway my decision?
QUESTIONS TO ASK AFTER UNCOMMITTING
- Have I uncommitted gracefully? Have I explained my reasons to myself and others? Do I personally accept these reasons? Do I forgive myself for not following through?
- Have I tied up all necessary loose ends? Or am I leaving others to handle my mess?
- After some time has passed, have I checked back in at all? Or am I hiding in disappointment/shame -- pretending it all never happened? Why or why not?
- Now that I've uncommitted, would I go back? Could I go back? Why would I want to?
- What have I learned? What would I do the same? What would I do differently?