Unconscious Commitments

Feb 12, 2006 | February 2006, Mind & Body

The saboteurs of the best-laid plans

By Chris Lucerne, PCC

“All of us, at all times and in every way, are getting exactly what we’re committed to getting.”

Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks (Lasting Love)

The journey of life is often riddled with many challenges, not the least of which are the ways in which we self-sabotage.

We have great intentions for our lives. No one wakes up in the morning and decides to have a lousy day. Nor do we intentionally make commitments that promise only misery. So if what we want is a fulfilling and vibrant life, what stops us from getting it? The answer is unconscious commitments.

Most of us make our commitments with the very best of intentions. Yet lurking underneath our conscious commitments are the saboteurs of our best-laid plans, unconscious commitments. What are they? Simply put, you can know your unconscious commitments by the results you are producing.

John has made a new commitment to complete his projects and paperwork in a timely manner, yet he finds himself procrastinating. The result he is producing is “procrastination.” John’s unconscious commitment is to procrastinate.  

Carolyn is a woman who says she is committed to being in a loving relationship. She actively engages in many social settings and attracts many potential partners, yet she remains single. Carolyn’s unconscious commitment is to be single.

Julia has been on the roller coaster of gaining and losing weight all of her life. She is now making a new commitment to lose weight and be fit. Two weeks into her program, she quits exercising and resumes her old eating habits. Julia’s unconscious commitment is to being overweight.

You can see in these three scenarios each person is not getting what he or she wants. They are manifesting their unconscious commitments. You might say, “Well, it is just a matter of self-discipline,” and to a certain extent that is true. However, self-discipline requires great energy and strength of will. And those who tenaciously push through temptation to achieve results are to be applauded. Yet there is an easier, gentler and more sustaining way!  

Creating the life we want requires squarely facing the truth about ourselves. Facing our unconscious commitments can be very liberating. The reality is, they have control over you, and you can take back control of your life by facing and befriending them. Unless the unconscious commitment is dealt with, it will have power over your best intentions, visions and new commitments.

Once we face into, acknowledge and accept our unconscious commitments, we loosen their grip. Then we are free to take action toward our conscious commitments with more ease and flow.
1. Identify a recurring issue you have in your life, something you have tried to change but without success.

2. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to resolve the issue? (If the answer is no, then love yourself for being willing to admit that you are not ready. Return to the issue when you are willing to resolve it.)  

3. In a few words describe the result you are producing.  State it in this way: I am unconsciously committed to __________.
(i.e. I am unconsciously committed to smoking, arguing with my partner, overspending, etc.)

4. Say your unconscious commitment out loud repeatedly, noticing how you feel. Say it in different ways, emphasizing different words — in serious tones, in playful tones, loud, soft, etc. It is important to move your body and breathe while you are doing this. Your goal is to continue saying it until you feel the negative energy shift.

The unconscious commitment simply becomes a fact that does not have an emotional charge attached to it.

5. Now create a new conscious commitment with words that inspire you. Enthusiastically say it out loud repeatedly until you feel motivated by it and experience the truth of it in your body. Write it on small cards to be placed throughout your home and work environment. (i.e. I commit to breathing only clean fresh air, I commit to enjoying a conscious loving relationship with my divine mate, I commit to spending money only on things that are in alignment with my core values.)

6. Design and take action steps in alignment with your new commitment. When you feel yourself wanting to stray, recommit.

7. Love yourself for being willing to take these steps.

For more information on transforming unconscious commitments, please visit www.ChrisLucerne.com (resource page) for a FREE tool. “Unconscious Commitments, the Saboteurs of the Best-Laid Plans” will be the topic of a presentation at the San Antonio Professional Coaches Association meeting Feb. 9. You are welcome to attend. Go to www.ChrisLucerne.com (events page) for details.

Chris Lucerne is a Professional Certified Coach. She specializes in two areas: supporting clients to build relationships that matter, and to go beyond loss and embrace life.  www.chrislucerne.com.

This article is based on the work of Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D.

South Texas Fitness & Health