The other day, I met with one of my private clients and the first thing she said to me was, “I haven’t done any of the exercises that you suggested because I had other things to do.”
As a result, we started our coaching session exploring the vocabulary of “have to,” “should,” and “need.” These words, though small, tend to result in immediately resistance within us because they strip away our need for freedom and choice. (And, when we use them with others, we are also stripping away their need for freedom and choice…)
We also explored the concept of hidden commitments, and it is this concept that I want to share with you today.
Have you ever set a goal or made a commitment to yourself, and then didn’t follow through on it?
I know that I do it quite often.
The reason for the lack of follow through is that I have a hidden commitment lurking in the background, despite my openly declared commitment.
Here are some examples:
>> I am openly committed to growing my business, and at the same time I am committed to NOT FAILING, so I often don’t act for fear that it won’t turn out the way I want it to, and I will have “failed.”
>> I am openly committed to helping and supporting others, and at the same time I have a hidden commitment to feel worthy, so I often insert myself into situations in a false attempt to help, when it isn’t about them at all, and is all about ME and my EGO.
>> I am committed to growing and learning, and at the same time I am committed to being strong and independent, so I often remain silent instead of asking for help, which could be perceived as weak or needy.
As I introduced this concept to my client, I asked her to reflect on what hidden commitments are lurking in the background that are preventing her from following through on her declared commitment to work through her conflict. (I believe that she has a hidden commitment to keep the external peace, even though internally she is anything but peaceful.)
What about you? Do you have any competing commitments that are keeping you stuck?
>> Maybe you have a hidden commitment to be safe and comfortable, so you don’t take risks that might truly engage you, or push you to grow in new ways.
>> Maybe you have a hidden commitment to being significant and important in your boss’s or colleague’s eyes, so you work way harder than anyone else at the office, only it is putting your needs, and possibly your family’s needs, second.
>> Maybe you have a hidden commitment to keep the peace (like my client), so you never speak your mind or disagree with those around you, allowing others to decide for you.
>> Maybe you have a hidden commitment to prove yourself and your worth as a financial earner or contributor, so you are staying in a job that is both unfulfilling and stressful.
This leads to my second question.
How can you honor both commitments, so that you can continue to reach your objectives and grow?