Excitement, Commitment or Voodoo Mind Tricks?

It started well….

Have you ever realised, after leaping into a new project or venture with great excitement – maybe even enrolling a few friends – that you had overlooked or underestimated the commitment required to get the results that you wanted? Worse still, perhaps you don’t even want it any more!

How much time, money and social capital did you burn up in the process? Ouch!

This is not the time to beat yourself up, though. It’s time to wise up.

What really happened…

The purpose of the ‘pitch’ is to generate excitement and get you focused on the potential benefits of what’s on offer, so that you commit to an investment. Excitement and commitment are fused together in the audience’s experience and this is deliberate, involving specific use of language, imagery, emotion and other techniques, which a wise colleague of mine calls “voodoo mind tricks”.

The perception of excitement and commitment co-existing like this is a socially reinforced habit that is widespread. Listen to the voiceover during the next ad-break on your radio. It’s crazy-excited!

When you have just signed off, committing your funds to something, it feels subjectively as though you’re fully engaged. You want to justify this to yourself before “buyer’s remorse” sets in, so it’s easier to believe that you are committed to the project, which may or may not be true. You will soon find out, of course!

Truth can liberate you!

Committing to an investment of funds or time, does not equal committing to a project, process, or the implementation of what you have just invested in. Real commitment is of a deeper kind, where your whole internal and external context must be considered.

Here is a simple reality-check that you can use, next time you are faced with a loss of enthusiasm, a disappointing early start to a project or any other road-bumps that you may encounter. See where your energy is leaning and make sure that you haven’t let the habit of confusing excitement and commitment send you off track.

Looking at the table below, circle the words that apply to you in this moment.

Are you more Excited?Are you more Committed?




Big Picture

Bubbling up

Belief in idea

Engaging & Inspiring









Belief in Result

Planning & Follow Through

Long-term rewards

Cool – Warm

  • Have you circled more excited or more committed words?
  • What does your project need right now?
  • What do you need to change in your energy and behaviour, to help the project get what it needs?

Learning and moving forward

In practical terms, every project has its lifecycle with different needs at each stage. We may need to research alternatives, have a decision process, engage stakeholders, acquire funding, undergo testing, execute and monitor, measure, modify, try again, etc.

We may need courage, belief, patience, resilience, and other factors that grow us towards commitment. Once committed, we may also need to revisit our original vision, in order to keep the flame burning over the long haul. Excitement must continue to visit and shine its light, while commitment helps us stay the course to receive the full benefits we deserve.

To be able to weather the ups and downs of a REAL project, across a longer cycle, we need more than excitement. Often a project leader will try to ‘sell’ people on the proposed change, and this will be unsuccessful until they can truly answer the ”what’s in it for me?” question for their stakeholders. Since there are no personal funds involved it’s harder to have people make that emotional jump.

There are universal cycles in nature that support and inform all of our creative processes. We will dive deeply into this at my next weekend workshop, ‘Courageously Creating; Claim the pathway to Your Brilliant Life’.

February 4th and 5th – details here.

Sue Tsigaros Workshop header

Sue Tsigaros works with leaders who are on a mission. She has a unique ability to create a safe space for people to see themselves clearly, own what they are creating and determine how to manifest the mission they are truly aligned with.

Lets start a conversation. Simply hit reply and email me!

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High impact conversations that transform people and companies. Sue loves working with leaders on a mission, to untap their full potential. Her specialties include entrepreneurship, leadership, integration, transformation, and growth.


Phone: (02) 8860 6540
Level 5, 4 Columbia Court,
Baulkham Hills 2153 Sydney, Australia