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The Power of Commitment (and how yours might be working against you)

December 04, 20225 min read

Commitment is something I’ve been working with in my own life this season.

You know you’re committed to something when you’re consistently giving it your time, energy, and attention.

Commitment can be a powerful tool to help us make important positive changes in our lives.

Or, when we commit to the wrong things (often without even realizing it), commitment can work against us by keeping us stuck.

What are you committed to?

Most of us are conscious of our important and positive commitments, like being committed to our health, our loved ones, our spiritual practice, or our work.

We may even be aware of some of the things we’re committed to that might not be in our best interest (like the commitment I make every Fall to Pumpkin Cream Cold Brews from Starbucks). 

But, did you know there are small, unconscious commitments we make everyday that can have a powerful impact on our lives, either for the better or the worse?

We can choose to commit to things that help us make powerful changes in our lives, or we can choose to commit to things that keep us stuck and out of alignment with our true Self. 

Commitments that work against you

Here are some large-scale (macro-level) examples of things we commit to that don't serve us . . .

  • habits that don’t add value to your life

  • beliefs about yourself that are holding you back

  • relationships that are weighing you down instead of lifting you up

Limiting beliefs are the sneakiest of these three.

These are the stories we’ve internalized about ourselves and that we believe deep down.

Stories like . . .

  • I'm not good with money.

  • I'm just unlucky in love.

  • I could never do that (fill in the blank with that thing you REALLY want to do).

Without realizing it, we get VERY COMMITTED to these beliefs or stories.

The more you believe it, think it, focus on it, put your attention on it, and tell it to other people, the stronger your commitment to it.

The stronger your commitment to these limiting beliefs, the less likely you are to overcome the situations you create (in the examples above, the less likely you are to have financial security and wealth, find your ideal mate, or do that thing that you really want to do).

These limiting beliefs, or stories, actually become your identity.

Unconscious commitments

There are also small, micro-level commitments we make everyday, usually unconsciously, that don't serve us.

Here's an example . . .

Let’s say you go to a coffee shop and the person who waits on you is really rude.

One choice you have is to let yourself feel angry about it in the moment, take action if you think it’s needed ( like complaining to the manager or not tipping), and then process the emotion and let it go. Or, bypass all of that by choosing not to get angry in the first place and send him a blessing in hopes that he has a better day.

Or, the shadow side of this scenario is to choose to leave the coffee shop angry, call your mom and tell her all about this horribly rude barista and how you can’t believe how he treated you.

Then go into the office and tell everyone who will listen about it. “You won’t believe what the barista said to me this morning . . . ."

You replay it in your head throughout your day, coming up with some awesome comebacks you wish you’d thought of while you were still in the coffee shop (does anyone else always think of the perfect thing to say when it's too late?!).

And then plot your revenge . . . tomorrow when I get my coffee I’m gonna give him a really mean look and not say please OR thank you – that’ll show him! 😄

The second scenario is an example of committing to the feeling state of anger and to being a victim.

It serves no good purpose and colors your whole day with negativity.

Plus, think of how much of your power you’ve given away to the rude barista – you’ve basically put him in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions for the entire day.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a rude barista running my day for me.

I don't say this with any judgment, because we’ve all done this, right? I know I have (ask my mom, and I'm sure she can recount a variety of calls I've made like the one in the above scenario).  

It’s so sneaky  . . . in the blink of an eye, without even realizing it, you’ve committed your time, energy, and attention to being angry and the victim of an unpleasant barista (who perhaps acted that way because someone was rude to him earlier or his day otherwise got off to a bad start, and he unconsciously committed to the feeling state that it created and then acted rude as a result).

Being intentional with your commitment

We all have limited amounts of time, energy, and attention, so we have to be so careful how we use them.

To live our best life, we want to intentionally commit our time, energy, and attention to things that are in alignment with our higher Self –- things that will lift us up and help us move forward on our sacred path.

Here’s a journal question you can use if you’d like to reflect on commitments that aren’t serving you . . .

What am I committing my time, energy, and attention to that isn’t serving my highest good?

I'm curious to hear how this shows up in your life . . . comment below to share!

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