Commitment phobia: How it keeps you from reaching your goals


As an entrepreneur, I bet you value freedom. You want to do what you want, when you want and not have to answer to anyone. That may be why you were drawn to being an entrepreneur or having your own business in the first place.

But it’s also very likely that you’re not really experiencing the freedom in your business that you first thought you would have. Freedom comes from going all in and committing 100% to whatever it is you’re saying you’re going to do. Without commitment your business is nothing more than ideas and dreams in your mind.

In order to make a commitment you need to make a decision. The word decision means to cut away from all other options. Whenever you make a decision to commit to something, you’re essentially cutting away something else. You’re limiting your choices.

And there are lots of choices for entrepreneurs to make every day. The most effective and successful entrepreneurs are experts at making quick decisions and changing them slowly.

Read that again. Make decisions quickly and changing them slowly.

How good are you at making decisions and following through on your commitments?

There are people who get severe anxiety when they have to make a decision and I’ve known several throughout my life. Just like a person would get claustrophobia in a small space, a commitment phobic person will get the same kind of bodily responses of fight or flight when trying to make decisions. They have REAL anxiety and panic, sometimes over just making small what others might think are insignificant decisions. But because of the extreme anxiety involved with making decisions, they essentially don’t commit to anything at all. They may think they are committing, they may say they are committing, but they are not really committing because committing would mean feeling the anxiety and fear that they want to avoid feeling.

Essentially, it’s the fear of making the wrong decision that keeps them trapped. But it’s also a lack of trust. They are not trusting themselves enough to make the right decision, or even lack trusting other people who may be involved in the decision.

I was spending time with a lady a few years ago while on a cruise. I didn’t know it at the time but she seemed to have some commitment-phobic tendencies. She would process out loud the thoughts around the smallest decisions she had to make. Buying a $10 souvenir to her niece seemed like the most important decision in the world and she had major anxiety around it. Should I buy it, should I not, should I get this, or should I get that. She literally spent days mulling this over.

At that time, I didn’t know about commitment phobia as I had never heard the word and didn’t quite understand the concept the way I do now.

While most people may not have as dramatic of a commitment phobia as this, you may be experiencing some level of difficulty making decisions or keeping commitments.  

I can tell you from my own experience, deciding to leave my marriage I must have been stuck in major commitment phobia. I said I was going to leave, but I didn’t follow through for a long time. The reason was underlying fear of what would happen as a result of making that decision. That was a life altering decision, but imagine if I had these kinds of issues just deciding on small everyday things. I would expend so much unnecessary energy and waste so much precious time.

Not only that, but if you’re running your business from that place, you’re likely running into clients with the same issue. They cannot make up their mind as to work with you or not. That’s how the law of attraction works. Whatever energies are within you, you will attract more of; so it’s easy to see how this can totally sabotage your progress in business from several different angles.

If you keep getting the objection in your sales conversations that “they are not sure”, they want to “weigh their options”, they are “not ready yet,” take a look at what is going on within yourself. If this happens a lot, it’s a pattern that you’re attracting because you may operate under the same “not quite ready, need to weigh my options, not quite sure” mentality.

If you keep getting the objection in your sales conversations that “they are not sure”, they want to “weigh their options”, they are “not ready yet,” take a look at what is going on within yourself. Click To Tweet

One of the most powerful things about how the Universe works is that when you decide what you want, the Universe will bring you the people, circumstances and resources to make it happen. But if you don’t make a decision, you’re confusing the Universe. It starts working on getting you what you want, but then you change your mind, so the Universe says “OK, she didn’t want that, so I’m not going to give it to her.” And the cycle like this continues…

You’re afraid of making the wrong decision and of losing out. The moment you decide, the other options are no longer on the table. But without making the decision about what to eat you don’t get to eat at all, lol.

If you decide to marry one person, you’re simultaneously making the decision not to marry someone else (unless you practice polygamy but I think you get the point here.) You cannot be single and married at the same time. The two are opposites.

And you would think that freedom and commitment are two opposites as well, because it certainly can seem that way, but without commitment you don’t get to experience that freedom in the first place.

And as contradictory as it may sound, you cannot get the freedom you want in your business without also committing to giving something else up. It could be time, money, resources, relationships or something else.

While you may think that keeping ALL your options open gives you freedom, it practically does the opposite.

Not making a decision is basically confusing yourself and the universe, giving you a confused result. The Universe likes order and clarity, not confusion.

Not making a decision is basically confusing yourself and the Universe, giving you a confused result. The Universe likes order and clarity, not confusion. Click To Tweet

By not making a decision you’re giving away your power to choose, and the ability to make choices is one of the most powerful traits of being a human being and the reason we’re the most powerful species on the planet! We are so powerful because we do get to make these choices.

  • You get to choose as to whether or not you want to live your purpose.
  • You get to choose if you want to be a business owner.
  • You get to choose if you are going to make sure that you reach your goals.

You are either in or out. But which one is it? Are you all in or are you keeping one foot out the door, just in case?

You might say you’re all in all day long, but only your actions will show you if you really are. What decisions need to be made that you put off? Did you say you were going to do something but didn’t follow through on your commitment or are you putting it off? If you did, then you’re not ALL in. You’re not fully committed but you stop when it gets boring, you get challenged or when you don’t feel like doing it. Simple as that. If you’re not honoring your commitments you’re not all in, and you’re likely not going to be able to get what you say you want.

Maybe once it gets hard you convince yourself there has to be another way.  I see this with clients all the time. They commit to doing something, and when the going gets tough, they are looking for other ways. They don’t want to face their fear and they get into resistance mode. But the only way to get out of that resistance is to actually face that fear. Feel the anxiety and do it anyways. That is what will set you free and actually give you the freedom you seek, not to mention, start breaking the pattern.

But your subconscious mind will usually try to convince you that you actually need to change your plans and get you to believe that you should. This is the power of the subconscious mind and how you may be self-sabotaging yourself if you listen to that voice of fear. It can be extremely convincing and because your subconscious mind knows you SO well, it knows exactly which strategy to use and what will work to stop you from moving forward.

And what you experience can be very REAL. But it is likely your subconscious mind playing games with you. I’ve had this happen many times.

I remember when I signed on to work with a coach many years ago. Her fees were larger than I had ever paid for coaching. I knew she could help me, I wanted to work with her but I was also terrified. After a long conversation and after she had talked me off the cliff, I was finally ready to give her my credit card information. Then, something interesting happened! Something that had never ever happened before…my cell phone said: “too hot”, and disconnected the conversation. I got cut off the phone with her and couldn’t call her back.

I was going to drive home to call her back from my landline, but when I tried to start my car, it didn’t start! That also, had never happened before! So instead of being able to call her back right away and make my commitment in terms of giving her a deposit, I had to figure out if someone could help jumpstart my car, as the battery had died…This is how the subconcious mind will try to distract you from moving forward! (If you are wondering, yes, I did end up calling her back when I finally got home, and I did keep my commitment to working with her and in fact it’s probably the person who has single handedly been the most instrumental in my growth ever since!) Working with her was the best decision I ever made. But also the scariest!

This has happened in several sales conversations I’ve had with people too. Somehow something happens right at the moment people are ready to commit and they either are cut off or have to hang up because of some sort of emergency. Their subconscious mind knows I can help them and freaks out!

This is how the subconscious mind will play tricks with you. The more you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, the more these types of things start to happen. If you don’t know better you might mistake these kinds of experiences as “it’s probably not meant to be, or this wouldn’t have happened,” but that’s EXACTLY what your subconscious mind is trying to convince you to believe, because your subconscious mind doesn’t want you to change, and is doing everything it can to stop you. Including, yes, making REAL stuff happen, like accidents, technical breakdowns, illness etc. If you let your subconscious mind stop you, then you basically stay right where you are and continue in old patterns.

Read more here about how the subconscious mind will keep you stuck and what to do about it.

 

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Are you attracted by the shiny object syndrome? Maybe even addicted to changing your mind?

If you’re not meeting your goals, can you honestly say that you’ve committed 100% in both your mind and in action or is your thinking going more like this?

I just read another email from another marketer telling me about another strategy.  I wonder if this is what I should do instead? Or maybe this? I know I decided to do it this other way, but it seems a bit hard right now so maybe I should try something else? Maybe I should do it this way instead? Or what about this way? This person was very successful with this strategy, maybe I’ll try that this week and see if it works. No, actually, I’ll try this instead because that feels easier right now….and I really don’t feel like doing what I said I would do. I know I said I would do it, but right now I’m considering other options…Maybe it was wrong even considering doing this in the first place... ”

Do you see how crazy this kind of thinking is? It’s like you’re running around chasing your own tail.

So you tell yourself you’re going to do something, but when it gets to where the rubber meets the road, when you get challenged, when you have to face your fears, you’re not showing up and you’re getting ready to run out the back door. You’re not showing up because you’re not committed. And because you’re not committed, you’re not getting what you want. Plain and simple. You’re letting fear control your actions.

This is just another way your subconscious mind keeps you stuck.

And essentially, because you’re your own boss, you don’t have to answer to anyone. If you did this in your corporate job, it probably wouldn’t take very long until you got a warning from your boss that you need to stop messing around and just get sh*t done!

Your business isn’t going to build itself! It takes 100% commitment to run your business if you want to achieve your goals and dreams shifting your direction constantly is not going to give you results. You WILL get stretched. You will get scared. You will get challenged. It’s the nature of the game.

Running your own business is not for the faint of hearts. But if what you are doing in your business is part of your life purpose, all the challenges you go through in building your business is part of living that purpose. And the things you’re overcoming in the meantime will likely be part of your major life lessons.

It’s your commitment and the repetition of certain thinking and action that will compound over time and create results. It takes discipline. If you keep shifting directions constantly it’s like you’re on a scavenger hunt without a real goal of where you’re going. You’re going yes. You may even be busy going. But you’re essentially going in circles and not towards your goal. You’re busy, but not productive. There is a huge difference.

Commitment-phobia is actually a real thing, as you may have noticed, and if you have it, the first step to overcoming it is to admit it. One of my girlfriends was recently dating a man with commitment phobia and it wasn’t until she realized that and read a book about it that she understood that she had to end the relationship because the likelihood that something would change in the relationship was very small (as he wasn’t willing to work on this). He was too scared to end it and too scared to stay. Making it hard to get close and hard to get away too.  It was as if the relationship kept going one step forward and one step back because every time they got closer, he would pull away scared.

Are you creating the same kind of nightmare in your business by not being committed to your decisions and goals?

I remember when I was a little girl, I kept having dreams where I couldn’t walk. My legs were stuck in the ground. Often, there were dangers like a wild animal chasing me and I couldn’t move. It was the most horrible dream. I can imagine this is somehow similar to the feelings a person must have as he or she is dealing with this kind of phobia. They want to do something, but they just can’t get their body to move or their mind to make the decision. In the meantime they are terrified.

If you have problems committing in one area of your life, you likely have problems committing in another area as well, because how you do one thing is usually how you do everything.

If you have problems committing in one area of your life, you likely have problems committing in another area as well, because how you do one thing is usually how you do everything. Click To Tweet

If you believe that in order to have freedom in your business you need to leave all options open all the time, you’re likely not experiencing any freedom at all. Freedom comes from commitment towards your goals and from doing what you say you’re going to do. Think about it like compounding interest from your investments. As you commit to your goal, the Universe tags along and works on your behalf behind the scenes.  

You can’t create momentum without commitment. It takes a lot of power to get the plane, aka your business, in the air, but once you hit the right altitude, you can be fine just cruising along for a while. But you could never cruise along before you got up there. It took a lot of power and momentum to get up in the first place.

If you want to experience that cruising in your plane as the symbol of freedom in your business you need to get committed and not give up when it gets hard. The moment it gets hard is exactly right before the plane is about to take off. Even when your subconscious mind screams for you to stop and even when you’re terrified, and have all sort of things go wrong in your life, (created by your subconscious mind) that’s exactly the time to keep going because it’s right before things are going to take off and right before you will have a breakthrough. But that’s also where many people stop and why most people are NOT living the life they truly want.

Without facing that fear, you don’t learn your lessons and you don’t get to the other side, the side you want.

If you feel like you’re having trouble making commitments you may wonder how to change it.Here are some things that may be helpful to start changing this self-sabotaging pattern:

  1. Admit that you may have a problem making decisions and keeping commitments you have made to yourself or others. Write down which commitments you have broken in the past and ask yourself why you broke them and what circumstances made you make that decision.
  2. Decide that you’re going to change this. Remember, when you decide, the Universe will support you in this decision!
  3. Raise your vibration! It’s hard to get out of self sabotage if you’re in a low vibration. Fear and anxiety are low vibrations and if you’re in that state, it’s difficult to think from a place of truth. Read this article to learn how to raise your vibration. 
  4. Be clear before you begin working on a new goal or committment. Why are you doing this? What will doing this give you? What will stop you when times get tough? How can you remind yourself of why you started in the first place when times get tough? You will likely get scared at some point. Are you committed to facing and overcoming that fear? If you’re not, know that you’re not fully committing yourself. You’re essentially putting limits on your commitment and keeping the back door open in case you have to run!
  5. Don’t confuse intuition with fear. Intuition feels light, joyful and expansive, fear is heavy and limiting. Whenever you make a choice from fear, it’s not a choice that will propel you forward in your growth, but a choice that will limit your growth. Don’t stop doing something because it makes you scared if you were clear when you started that you were going to do this. Remember, before you started, you came from a place of clarity and inspiration, not fear. That’s truth. Fear is not truth.
  6. Work with a business coach who can call you out when you get into a place of resistance, and who can help you through it. Without being supported by someone who understands how this works and who can point out what’s happening and guide you through it, you’re likely going to convince yourself to change your mind when it gets hard or you get scared. 
  7. Make sure your goals are written down. In addition, write down a statement of commitment to yourself that says something along the lines of: “I will keep going even when it gets tough. I know this is the right thing to do. I will not let fear stop me this time, I am willing to do whatever it takes and face my fears so that I can have what I really want.” Put this in a place you can see it often to remind yourself daily.
  8. Know that changing your mind is the subconscious way of convincing you to stop. It’s self sabotage and not something that will propel you towards your dreams. Remember that before you begin so you can remind yourself when times get challenging.
  9. Are there real reasons for why you should change your mind when it gets tough? If you are clear about what you want and why you want it and if the plan felt good and inspiring as you started out, then there should be no good reason to let go of the commitment later if you want to break this pattern. If, you made your goal out of fear or ego, and you didn’t  really want what you said you wanted when you started, that’s a whole different story. Then you need to ask yourself why you made a goal and plan based on something you didn’t really want in the first place and address that issue, or it will get you stuck doing the same again and again. You’re likely not going to want to commit to something you don’t really want. Make sure you really want something before you make yourself a commitment. Listen to the guidance of your heart. It will not lead you astray.
  10. If making commitments are really hard for you, start by making super small commitments you can keep, in order to grow your commitment-muscle. Once you can keep the small commitments, then you can start committing to bigger things. This will grow your confidence and trust in yourself so you can carry through with bigger commitments.  

I’d love to hear from you how you feel about making commitments. Are you staying true to what you say you’re going to do, or are you wavering? Feel free to comment below.

Need some help with this? I invite you to click here to request a complimentary call with me. We will get to the root of the issue you’re dealing with so you can change the underlying subconscious patterns that are causing this. Just click here. 

About Vibeke

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I believe that the foundation for wealth is inner peace and that success should never sacrifice your health and well being.

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Vibeke's Bio

Vibeke's Bio

I’m Vibeke Schurch, the founder of Success-soul Living® and The 5D Business Model®.

I work with coaches, healers and change-makers to help them grow their business and live life on purpose so they can use their unique gifts to make a difference in the world while creating a lifestyle aligned with their soul blueprint.

Ever since my spiritual awakening many years ago when I healed myself from “chronic” illness in just two weeks, it’s my mission to help you wake up to your inner power and potential. I want to show you how to use your mind to manifest your wildest dreams and create your own heaven on earth while living life on purpose, and serving the people you are here to serve.

In my 20 years as a small business owner, one thing is crystal clear to me: What helps you thrive is not your not your intelligence, level of experience or skill-set, but the programming in your subconscious mind. You can be programmed for struggle and lack, or flow and abundance. In my work, I help you reprogram your mind for success and abundance so you can create a prosperous and fulfilling life living your life’s calling and doing the work you came here to do.