What if I told you that you have a built-in, natural defense mechanism that is designed to keep you from making changes in your life?
That each time you set an intention to make meaningful changes in your love life there’s a part of you designed by nature to keep you from achieving what you want.
Let’s say you decide to create a healthy, happy, loving relationship with your romantic partner or Soulmate.
At first, you feel excited and motivated. So you start taking all the actions that you know will eventually bring you the relationship of your dreams…
You spend time each day visualizing this ideal, loving, relationship in your mind or do other forms of inner work, de-cluttering your house, making room in your life, ending casual sex and one-night stands, and you start getting ready for love.
THEN, despite your best intention, you gradually stop doing all those things you said and committed to doing after just a weeks or days. And as a result, you’re back to where you started feeling like a failure, frustrated and angry at yourself.
Has this ever happened to you?
It’s like having a foot on the gas pedal and another on the break! Isn’t it?
If you’ve ever experienced this, what you’ve experienced is the effect of what Professor Robert Kegan of Harvard University refers to as a “competing commitment.”
What is a Competing Commitment?
A competing commitment is an internal agreement you have made with yourself at a very deep, unconscious level. Its sole purpose is to keep you from experiencing what you fear is the worst thing that could happen, if you got EXACTLY what you really, really want.
And every time there’s a conflict between two internal commitments, the BIGGER and STRONGER commitment will ALWAYS win! As a result, you’ll experience what is traditionally known as self-sabotage, and end up feeling frustrated, unmotivated, and stuck.
Working with hundreds of singles who want to attract love, I’ve found that most people have a stronger commitment to remaining single, because deep down in their unconscious mind they’d rather:
- Remain independent and free
- Appear strong, powerful, and not need anyone
- Avoid being vulnerable, feeling exposed or getting hurt
- Have full control of their home, money and possessions
- Preserve relationships with family and close friends
The part of you that has made this agreement, LOVES YOU SO MUCH, that it would rather keep you from having exactly what you want, so that you don’t lose what you have already worked so hard to achieve!
Uncovering your Competing Commitment
To uncover your competing commitment, Kegan recommends a series of powerful questions to help make the unconscious conscious. The key is finding out what is the outcome you fear, or are committed to avoiding should you get exactly what you want.
This outcome that you’re committed to avoiding will always point you towards an assumption or limited belief that you’re holding in your mind. This is what fuels or gives power to your competing commitment.
So, if you’re committed to manifesting soulmate love, but you find yourself staying at home all the time, and rejecting invitations to go out and connect with new people; if you were to ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen if you met someone and fell in love, you might discover that perhaps you’re afraid of opening your heart again, risking being vulnerable and possibly getting hurt.
And this is because at some level, you’ve made the assumption that relationships are painful and not safe. Which is partly true, because most of our emotional wounds came about while being in relationship with someone else.
Challenging the Assumption
A simple yet profoundly effective way to test the validity of any assumptions or beliefs you may have is Byron Katie‘s self-enquiry questions described in her book The Work.
Here’s an example of the questions you would ask yourself if you discover that you’re more committed to avoiding being vulnerable than opening your heart to new love because deep down you believe that relationships are not safe:
- Is it really true that relationships are not safe?
- Can you absolutely be sure it’s true that relationships are not safe?
- How do you feel when you think the thought, relationships are not safe?
- Who would you be without the thought that relationships are not safe?
- If you turned the thought around that relationships are not safe, can you give three examples of why relationships are or can be safe?
Bringing the Heart In
I find that if you take the time to open your heart and evoke the feelings of love and appreciation BEFORE you answer the questions above, you’ll experience faster, deeper and sustained results. And I believe this is because having an open heart is the key to dissolving past emotional wounds and fears about the future.
Each time you evoke the feelings of love and appreciation, you are raising your electro-magnetic frequency or vibration and this allows you to see the bigger picture of your love life and understand the role that past relationships played in you becoming the person you are today.
As a result, you’ll develop a sense of feeling safe and at home within yourself.
From that space, you’ll awaken to the realization that ultimately, safety is not something that you get from another person or from being in a relationship, but rather, safety is something you bring into each one of your relationships.
Your old way of being in relationships will die, so that you can enter into a whole new way of being where feeling safe doesn’t depend on external circumstances, but it’s a place you come from with every person you’re in relationship with.
And as a result, not just your love life but your whole life will be transformed.
Feel free to leave your comments below.
Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink