How To Make A Commitment With More Consistency

Dear Fellow Massage Therapist,

How are you doing?

Today, I’d like to talk to you about the concept of Commitment.

When I say Commitment, I’m not talking about romantic relationships. Granted, the word commitment is often used in that part of our lives. No, this is a massage business building site, so I’m talking about being more commitment to growing your own massage business.

As many of you may know, I read on the average 2-3 books per month.  This month, I wanted to share with some of the insights I’ve gained from a book that I’ve read and how it could be applied to your own massage business.  The book is called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini and I would definitely recommend it.

Let me tell you what this book is NOT.  Despite the title of the book, it’s not a book about mind control or suckering people into buying stuff from you. Instead, it’s a fascinating look inside human psychology and why people do the things that they do.

In fact, Dr. Cialdini has done extensive research on human behavior and the factors that affect behavior in both social and personal life settings.  This research was done and verified over a 3 year period of observation.  In addition, Dr. Cialdini has gathered other outside research and discusses how it is relevant to his findings.

Let me share some of those findings with you.  Then I will explain how to apply them to your own massage business.

For this article, I’ll apply them to one method of generating additional massage business: business networking.

Take the concept of commitment.  Once you have made a choice or taken a stand on an isssue, you will likely encounter personal and social pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.  Those pressures can even cause you to respond in ways that justify your earlier decision.

Have you ever had a discussion with someone and heard yourself saying, “I don’t know why I feel that way but I just do”?  Well, that’s an example of self-applied pressure to stick to your previous decision.

Socially, there is a high value associated with being consistent.  In many cultures, having a high degree of consistency is normally considered to be a sign of high personal strength and intelligence.

Now, here’s another key to being consistent.  If you make a personal commitment to yourself to do something, then you will have set the stage for you to stick to that commitment automatically.

How do you get started? By setting small commitments initially, so your natural instinct is for being consistent causes you to stick to it. Anything that is associated with that big commitment will increase automatically in importance.

If you put those commitments in writing, it reinforces your commitment even more.  First, it provides physical evidence that you made a commitment or goal.  Once you have written out a commitment, it becomes much more difficult to believe you had done so.  The written commitment is right there where you can read it everyday and be reminded that you made a commitment to yourself.

Once it is in writing, you can show it to other people.  While it can persuade other people to make the same commitment, it actually helps reinforce the importance of the commitment to yourself.

By making an active commitment, your self-image is squeezed by consistency pressure. There is pressure from the inside to bring your self-image into line with the needed action.  From the outside, there is pressure to adjust your self-image based on the way others perceive us.  Since others see us as believing what we have written, we will experience another type of pull to bring our self-image into line with the written statement.

Third, making a written commitment requires more work than verbal ones.  It’s very easy to say that we should be doing more business networking.  It’s a lot harder to put it into writing, show it to others, and then work on doing that commitment.

Okay, so how do you apply this to your goal of doing more business networking?

  • Let’s say your commitment is to do business networking to grow your massage business.
  • For your business networking goal, you would schedule a series of smaller activities that are networking-related or are actual networking events.
  • You take the time to write out your own written commmitment to do more business networking.
  • Show your written commitment to a trusted friend or family member.

Give this exercise a try and stick to it for the next 30 days.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much progress you will have made on achieving your goal!

Until next time,

Michael Humphreys

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