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Problems with Commitment

Hi everybody, I’m Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions that people send to me. This is a fascinating question.

I made promises to my significant other about changing a specific behaviour about me that needs to be changed. And in fact, I agree that the behaviour should be changed.But then I don’t change it. My intentions are good, I believe my commitment when I make it, but I never follow through with the promise. It’s very important that I do what I say I will do, but man, it’s like an internal force is bigger than my commitment. What should I do?

Is this a trick question? Here’s the thing. It’s not that important. Whatever it is that’s more important than that is what you’re paying attention to.

So the reason you’re not following through on that commitment is really simple. And I don’t even need to know what the commitment is. It’s because you perceive that following through on it is going to create more pain, distraction, or frustration than not following through on it.

If it was really painful, if your significant other said “If you don’t change I’m going to leave you” you’d either change, or be alone. And if you were alone, then you would rather be alone than change. That’s the first thing.

The second thing. It may very well be that your intentions are good, but I would say that there is some fear in it, and you need to have an honest conversation with yourself about what you’re afraid of. People move from what they perceive to be painful to what they perceive to be more pleasurable. So there is something in what you’re doing that you’re holding on to, because you’re afraid that changing it is going to create something bad for you.

Now I know you’re going “no I don’t, no I don’t”, but you do, trust me when I tell you, you do. So pay attention to that and identify what that is. And as soon as that thing you’re holding on to is more painful than the thing you need to move to, you’ll move immediately.

I’m Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike, take care.

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