How Your Subconscious Mind Affects Your Core Commitments And Why This Matters

By Heather Cherry—

Commitment often evokes a sense of dedication and focus. It’s a word most associated with relationships (maybe career goals.) But how committed you are to something ultimately impacts the outcome. “Commitment is a state of dedication—putting yourself into something. The more committed you are to something, the more energy you put into that thing,” says Teal Swan, international speaker, and author.

Core commitments—primary objectives or intentions for your life—are often unspoken but guide most decisions. They become entwined with your core values, affect how you show up in your relationships—both personal and professional—and influence self-sabotage. “A person may not seem committed to working on something because they may be committed to relaxing or escaping. Whether we know it or not, we are always committed to something, even if it doesn’t seem like it,” says Swan.

Here’s how your subconscious mind affects your core commitments and why this matters.

Core Commitments

Your core commitments may be a cover-up for your core needs. “Your core needs are the opposite of your core commitments, and it’s also another way to identify your purpose,” says Brianna Wiest, author of The Mountain Is You. “For example, if your subconscious core commitment is to be in control, your core need is trust. If your subconscious core commitment is to be needed, your core need is to know you are wanted.”

Wiest continues, “If you are a person who needs trust and is therefore committed to staying in control, but the less you believe you are supported, the more your negative coping mechanisms will flare up. This could happen through disruptive eating patterns, isolating yourself , or hyper-fixation of physical appearance. More generally, you may sabotage opportunities and feel drained and exhausted when you “should” feel happy.”

Subconscious Mind

Core commitments and core needs originate in your subconscious mind. “Your subconscious mind contains all of the stored information of everything you have ever experienced. Because of this, it influences how you react to things,” says Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and author.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, suggested the unconscious mind governs behavior, stating your feelings, motives, and decisions are strongly influenced by your past experiences and stored in the unconscious.

And according to Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., stem cell biologist, and author, how your subconscious operates can be attributed to the first seven years of your life. “In the early years, the brain works mostly in theta and alpha wavelengths, the same frequencies as during hypnosis or deep meditation. Theta is the gateway to learning, memory, creativity, and intuition. Children learn how to perceive the external world and respond to different situations through observing and coping with the behaviors of their siblings, caregivers, and community,” Lipton says. “This creates programs in our mind, and 95% of your life is based on those programs.”

Discovering Your Core Commitments

The subconscious mind impacts your core commitments which directly link to self-sabotaging behaviors. So how do you resolve misalignments and overcome self-sabotage?

Step one: Recognize where you struggle and identify what motivates you. Understanding the motivation toward each helps you unveil the root cause so you can eventually adjust or adapt to it. “We don’t often need to be told what to do when it comes to overcoming self-sabotage; we know what we want and what we need—we are simply being held back by our fear of feeling,” Wiest says.

Step two: Dig into the “why” and “what” behind the struggle, which is likely to stir up some emotions. But feeling resistance is normal, and “pushing through” may not be the answer. Experts suggest that doing so may reinforce resistance.

This is because the feelings associated with self-sabotage are not usually random but can provide valuable insights to change your trajectory. For example, think about why you feel this way and what it might be trying to tell you. Are you meant to learn something new?

Step three: Disconnect action from feeling. You are often not held back because you are incapable of making change, but more so because you don’t feel like it’s possible.

This is because self-sabotaging behaviors are often a result of limiting beliefs about self-worth. For example, you may fear success because you don’t think you deserve it (or you don’t believe you’ll ever succeed,) so you act in a way that predetermines failure.

Step four: Take action before you feel like doing it. Taking action builds momentum, creates motivation, and restructures your comfort zone. “We begin to crave what we repeatedly do, but the first few times we do it, we often feel uncomfortable. The trick is to override that initial hesitation, so we are guiding our lives with logic and reason, not emotionality,” Wiest says . “Most importantly, you may feel like you cannot take action when you certainly can. You may not feel willing because you are not used to it.”

Step five: Acknowledge and congratulate yourself for the work you’ve just accomplished! You’re one step closer to overcoming your self-sabotaging behaviors.

Heather Cherry is a versatile writer and editor with 15 years’ experience creating content. She writes on a variety of topics, but specializes in health and wellness content. She is the author of the small business marketing guidebook, Market Your A$$ Off.

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