What goals and desires do you have for your life? It’s an interesting question. Think about it for a minute. Maybe even make a list. What would be on it? Do you desire peace? Connection? Happiness? Fun? Good relationships? Do you desire to believe in your own self-worth? What about having a life you love?
I know that we are all “different”, but I think we are more the same in a lot of ways. I think I could guess with pretty high accuracy that, as you read the questions above, you thought to yourself, “Yep. Those sound good. I’ll take all of those.” And if you’re a smart cookie, those are the kinds of things you probably want. And I already know you’re a smart cookie :o)
So let’s take a look at how you’re doing. How are your relationships? Are they as strong as you say you want? What about your level of joy– where’s that at? Are you loving your life? Where are you on that self-worth thing? If you are being really honest with yourself, what would the answers be…?
Don’t feel bad if you aren’t super pumped about your answers. I’ll tell you what I said when I asked myself those questions a while ago. I wasn’t super pumped, either…
A little background first. A year ago or so, I came across this cool little book called The Right Questions by Debbie Ford. She talks about why we say we want one thing, but then continue to make choices that don’t support what we say we want. The basic gist of the book in Ms. Ford’s own words:
Our outer world reflects our inner commitments. If we want to know what we are really committed to, all we have to do is look at our lives.
Here’s the thing. We don’t make choices that go against what we want for no reason. We do things that keep us from what we SAY we want because we are committed to something else. Miss Debbie describes it like this. She says that we often have underlying beliefs (she refers to them as commitments) that run so deeply that they direct our choices if we aren’t paying attention. Basically? We are talking about self-sabotage.
Here it is in regular speak. Let’s say you want to create a blog to share your journey in hopes of supporting others (ahem…), but you continually put it off. Instead of writing, you check Facebook a “few” times. You get stuck in indecision and spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide on what color the background of the blog site should be. You read a zillion other blogs for “ideas” even though you have a ton of things you want to say– I mean why else did you want to start a blog? You spend a lot of time staring at your computer and telling yourself it probably won’t be good enough.
So you SAY you want to start a blog, but you don’t. The idea is that “you” (ahem…) may be battling the underlying beliefs that you don’t deserve to succeed, you don’t have anything unique to say, your voice can’t matter that much, who are you to think you can help… This is an example of how your underlying commitment to “you can’t do it” is running the show. You are essentially more committed to “you can’t do it” than you are to “you CAN do it”. If you weren’t, you’d write your blog.
To be clear, this isn’t you-had-a-negative-thought-so-your-life-has-turned-to-shit kind of stuff. Life’s way more complex than that. This is just a way of looking at how our underlying commitments might be mucking stuff up. And figuring out what those hidden commitments are is the key to getting past them and creating new commitments– ones that support instead of sabotage. And fortunately, there is a nice 4 Step process for figuring all this out :o)
- Step 1: write down your goals or desires for your life.
- Step 2: make a list of all of the actions you have taken or have NOT taken that are in conflict with your goals.
- Step 3: think about what your actions say you believe, or are committed to, and list those out.
- Step 4: create the list you really want to be committed to– the one that feels like what you want for your life.
You got to see Steps 1 and 2 in action in my blog example. Here is what I ended up with for Step 3 when I went through the whole process of looking at my list of life goals and desires. Here is what I realized I was committed to in my life– based on what my life actually looked like.
My actions showed that I was very committed to:
- faith in my inability to be happy
- believing I can’t do it
- an unhappy life
- an isolated life
- hating myself and my body
- being unsupported
- missing out on any good in my life
- making my entire life about the size and shape of my body
- not deserving a good life
I know. Bummer. But don’t freak. You get to re-write what you want to commit yourself to. Hallelujah for Step 4!!! Here’s my Step 4.
I am deeply committed to:
- faith in my ability to be happy
- a joyful life
- a connected life
- triumph and success
- confidence and courage
- being supported and appreciated
- enjoying all the good in my life
- loving and appreciating my body for everything it does in whatever shape it is
- knowing I deserve to be happy
Not to rain on the Step 4 parade, but I have to be clear at this point and say Step 4 is useless if you don’t choose over and over again that you actually really want Step 4. So let’s add a Step 5.
- Step 5: consciously choose what you want to be committed to and then do what it takes to have that.
You have to consciously choose what commitments you are going to keep. And you have to choose what commitments it’s time to fucking break.
I made my choice. My life is different because of it. That’s the truth and that’s the bottom line. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. It doesn’t mean I still don’t have to decide what I am committed to with every choice I make. Because every choice I make reflects what I’m committed to.
And when I’m cranky or sad or frustrated or afraid, it can be easy to go back to those first commitments. But I try not to because I want more for myself than that. Because I want what I get when I commit to what really matters. Because my life is different when I do. Because my life is BETTER when I do.
WHAT ARE THE COMMITMENTS IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO START BREAKING…?
PS Interested in sharing your commitments?? Pop them in the comments below! I’d LOVE to hear from you :o)