Confront Your Commitment Issues to Live Your Best Life.
While the best things in life might well be free, they are certainly not obtained without a great deal of time, energy, and sometimes struggle.
Relationships, for example, bring us to life, make us feel whole, provide us with a great deal of satisfaction and well-being.
Relationships are also time-consuming, difficult at times, hard to manage, stressful, and exhausting in some cases.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to have great relationships. They are, after all, what makes the world go round.
But if you have commitment issues, you may find yourself struggling in many areas of your life, not just your love life.
People with commitment issues often have tell-tale signs that slip through the cracks of their lives in many ways that reveal they are struggling with the notion of connecting to one thing, person or place for a long period of time.
You might have had a string of unsuccessful job runs, failed relationships with loved ones, distanced yourself from family members, and maybe even run dry on friends – all because you are afraid of settling into a routine or letting people into your life in a meaningful way.
The good news is that if you are someone who is struggling with commitment – in any form – there are ways to move past them and get on with living your best life!
Here’s how you can confront commitment issues and get on with it already.
1) Recognize the Value of the Work
Anything of value in your life is going to come at a price. You’ll either have to give up time, money, energy, or effort to get the thing you want.
If improving your commitment in life is on your to-do list, the first thing you need to do is recognize that it is worth the effort you will exert.
Say you want to start a business but worry that you won’t be able to make any money.
You might justify not even trying because you’ll say that it will be a waste of time if you don’t make money.
But how can you know you won’t make money? You can’t until you try. Is it worth trying to find out what might happen if you actually start that business?
It might not be worth it to you, but if it is, then you know you need to get to work.
It helps to consider that anything you do that brings you joy or happiness, even in the pursuit of something that feels out of reach, will never be a waste of time.
There’a reason so many people get into serious relationships. As Brad McMurrey says, author of The Love Ladder, human beings tend to have a natural desire to form committed relationships.
It gives people meaning, purpose and a feeling that life is bigger than themselves.
You’ll take something away from that experience, and you can move forward with what you’ve learned.
I always thought that I was happy just having casual relationships and never really committing, but the best decision I ever made was actually making an effort with a relationship. Life has become more fulfilling and I’ve actually built something special with someone else.
2) Recognize the Power You Have
Sometimes, people don’t put the work in because they feel powerless to control a situation.
While it’s true that there are many factors that you cannot control, especially when talking about other people, it is true that you can control your expectations and assumptions about those people.
If you’ve been hurt by a lover in the past, you may be lumping your new partner in the same category of cheaters or liars with no real evidence that they will turn out to be like that.
So, what can you do? Spend time with people who are in healthy and positive relationships. Work to change your view of what a healthy relationship entails.
According to Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, it’s important to work out where this fear of commitment truly comes from.
Did your parents have a traumatic divorce when you were a kid? Have you ever had a slow and painful breakup?
Are your friends all in toxic relationships?
Next, you need to write down what you think you risk by committing to someone, as well what you miss out on by never going all in.
This will help you get to the root issues of why you fear commitment and put things in better perspective.
Rather than an approach that situation feeling helpless, it’s helpful to approach new relationships by curbing your enthusiasm to pick apart a person before you even get to know them.
It’s also very helpful to not make assumptions about someone. It’s easier to just always ask questions and decide what to do with that information once you’ve had time to process.
3) Recognize the Resistance
You might find yourself at a crossroads at certain points in your life where things will feel very uncomfortable.
This may come in the form of a fight with a family member, an argument with your partner, or profit-loss in your business.
All of these are trying situations, but they are just neutral circumstances that your brain is trying to apply meaning to.
A relationship may seem daunting because the fear of being responsible for another person is overwhelming.
But as Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. points out, just like goldfish, people grow according to the size of their bowl.
If you keep your life in a small box and don’t make room for others, you could be missing out on what might make life infinitely better: love.
Rather than let your brain win the game, it’s better to take a step back, name what is happening to you, and try to stay with the discomfort as a means to find out what might happen if you just keep going.
Human beings are experts at walking away from pain and discomfort. We have, in many ways, developed a sense of entitlement where we think we shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes while your boss walked away and thought “I shouldn’t have to put up with this”, you’ve got some entitlement issues – they may be causing commitment issues.
According to Noam Shpancer Ph.D. in Psychology Today, avoiding a negative emotion buys you short term gain at the price of long term pain.
“When you avoid the short term discomfort of a negative emotion, you resemble the person who under stress decides to drink. It “works,” and the next day, when bad feelings come, he drinks again. So far so good, in the short term. In the long run, however, that person will develop a bigger problem (addiction), in addition to the unresolved issues he had avoided by drinking.”
By not accepting a little bit of discomfort, you may be sacrificing the delight of true love and a satisfying relationship in the future.
Confront those feelings by asking yourself, “why not?” What’s wrong with a little discomfort?
Commitment issues can keep you from enjoying every facet of your life – and you might not even know it.
You might be too busy blaming other people, things, money, time, circumstances, location, your car!
It’s time to bring it in and look at how you are perpetuating these issues in your life and start facing the solutions to reduce the friction.
If you want to be happy, let yourself be happy. Maybe it’s with a partner, or maybe it’s not.
But if you want to be someone who can commit, start by committing to yourself to do the work needed to overcome these issues.