Look around you…
Everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with perfectly curated success stories that seemingly appear overnight. And thanks to social media, we don’t often get to see the sweat, tears and perseverance that goes in behind the scenes.
All we see is the finished product.
Entrepreneurs ‘suddenly’ raising millions in funding, coaches generating six-figure incomes in their first year and couples portraying their relationship as perfect while travelling the world together.
As a result of this constant — often magnified — influx of success, the bar has been set at an all-time high, creating the illusion that extraordinary success and impeccable lifestyles are within easy reach.
So for people first setting out with their goals and ambitions — or for those who have failed and are mustering the courage to soar once again — they’re faced with an almost impossibly high mountain to climb.
A mountain so big, that some never even bother committing to it at all.
Others may half-heartedly start their ascent, but will soon lose focus as the next “shiny thing” or lesser distraction calls for their attention.
And I’m not just talking about the modern vices of Instagram, Netflix, porn, weed or drinking… Jumping onto a new project, career or even relationship can be just as much, if not more, of a distraction from the initial commitment.
So it’s no wonder why so many people — men in particular — are left without a clear sense of direction and purpose to commit to.
And let’s get this clear, when I speak about purpose, I don’t refer to the ‘do what you love’ kind of concept, I mean the commitment to a cause, a worthwhile goal or someone you love that will force you to explore and express your potential, strengths, truth, leadership, gifts, and compassion.
But, what is commitment, really?
It goes beyond saying “yes” or “I do”, and even further than just sticking around. Commitment, or at least to me, is the unwavering resolve to weather the storms, endure the hardships, delay gratification and remain faithful to my chosen path — regardless of the trials that lie ahead.
As we explored in the previous newsletter, it involves finding your hill and firmly planting your flag, being fully aware of what you’re willing to endure, sacrifice and fight for.
But some people — through either their upbringing, cultural conditioning or life experiences — hold innate ideals about themselves and the world around them which stop them from fully committing to their hill.
Men of which are a prime example.
Because for many men (and masculine dominant women!), their worthiness is measured by their doing. They believe that to be worthy of love, respect and admiration, they must achieve, accomplish, and constantly prove themselves.
And this deeply ingrained belief system sets the stage for a never-ending cycle of striving for external validation. Or prevent being seen at all.
The fear of falling short, of not being able to live up to the expectations, of not being “enough,” becomes a paralysing force.
And so, they hold back.
They second-guess their career choices, always on the lookout for the next opportunity that might finally provide enough certainty to give themselves to fully.
They hesitate to fully commit to a relationship, chasing women, playing hide and seek, or not dating at all — fearing that they’ll eventually be exposed as inadequate and unworthy.
At its core, this all ultimately boils down to the same point — that they’re either avoiding, hiding from or are blind to the fact that their lack of commitment is, in fact, a primal, fear-based response that is trying to keep them ‘safe’.
That they aren’t just ‘working hard at the wrong thing’ — they’re working hard at anything just to avoid the public humiliation of looking like a failure.
That they aren’t just ‘chasing their passion’ — they’re stuck committing to projects, careers or even relationships that keep them busy and distracted.
To break through this barrier it’s important to recognise that these protective parts are not your enemy, they are unconscious parts of you (friends) that are convinced that what they are doing is helping you in some way, even if what they are doing is holding you back from awakening your power, potential and purpose in life.
Step one is to stop judging and fighting these parts.
They don’t need to be defeated. They need to be seen, understood and supported.
To support you in this, try reflecting on these questions:
- How is playing safe serving me? What does it protect me from?
- What story do I tell myself to bypass or postpone committing to something?
- If I continue my current pathway, if I continue to run, hide or avoid, what will happen? Am I okay with that?
- What do I believe will happen if I move away from ‘playing safe’ and give myself fully to a goal or person I love? What do I fear will happen?
- If I knew that I was completely safe from both life & ego threats at this moment, what would it look like to commit to this?
Without addressing and integrating these parts of ourselves, we’ll never be able to fully give ourselves to a worthwhile goal, or someone we love.
We all have a choice in the matter — to take the leap, get uncomfortable and commit to the things that will guide us closer to who we are capable of being.
Or, stay hidden — and never experience the freedom, meaning and joy of living a fully-lived life.
What will you choose?