Dig deeper than surface-level.
We all have experienced fear, and sometimes, it saves our lives. We have inherited the “fight or flight” response that allowed cave men and women to escape with their lives or fight to survive another day.
In modern times, many of us suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and we may live in fight or flight when the danger is more imaginary than real. Is commitment really that scary and dangerous?
I’ve taught so many people how to create deep levels of intimacy and joy in relationships they had told me were hopeless because they thought many things were hopeless based on old habits of negativity and worry.
Many times, we may fight or flee when someone standing next to us wouldn’t perceive any danger at all. Does this happen to you; and after you’ve run away or fought with someone have you realized that you over-reacted and that you were actually safe?
And if you’ve noticed this in a long-term relationship, are you regretting the drama and all the energy wasted on arguments and break-ups? Or perhaps you’ve missed so many opportunities and you find that your life has become very limited to the few people and environments that you believe are safe?
Here are the 5 secrets to transforming your fear of commitment that you need to know:
1. Pinpoint where you fear came from.
Understand that this fear comes from an old habit that leads you to tell yourself stories that probably aren’t true.
Have you investigated your beliefs and found that you have real proof that you should break up? What may be the underlying issue is not your partner’s behavior as much as your personal history and your habit of fear.
Secret: To be successful in all relationships your life, you can’t predict the future based on the past if you learn new skills in the present. When you learn how to examine the facts of any situation, you can make an informed, practical, non-emotional choice which frees you from the exhaustion of fight or flight.
2. Examine your needs and your partner’s needs.
Are you similar enough to create a life together? Are you both monogamous? Are you both financially stable? Are you both passionate and adventurous?
Are there areas where you are fundamentally different and unwilling to compromise and how important are these areas to each of you?
If one of you isn’t monogamous this could be fatal; if money is a problem or if you live far away and neither of you is willing to move then you may not have a future.
3. Understand that most commitments are really just temporary.
Temporary can even just be 20 years. When you realize this you can dilute your fear of the idea of commitment right away and focus on what you want.
Making clear and doable commitments for months rather than years is a great way to begin a new relationship.
Thus, sexual monogamy with a new partner for one month and then another month and then six months and then a year and then ultimately if you both agree for a lifetime is a great way to avoid your fear that may have nothing to do with your choice of partner.
4. Master peaceful communication and learn how to calm yourself before speaking.
Have some self-empathy and offer empathy, calming your partner when he or she is triggered and upset. When we are calm and we facilitate our partner becoming calm then it is possible to discuss and resolve anything.
The heart space conversation allows you to eliminate all the “personality” problems that cause most relationships to die a hideous death. Instead, you can motivate and inspire peace, joy, intimacy, affection and all that makes a relationship wonderful.
5. Practice commitment — and not just commitment to commitment.
As The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and every other enlightened book has taught us; once we give our word we must keep our word because that is how we transform our situations and our life.
When you commit yourself to being a boyfriend or a girlfriend, an employee, a friend, even a neighbor; it is your commitment that will shift everything. YOU make the difference, not THEM; not HIM, not HER.
Once you are committed everything shifts and this was the theme adopted by The Scottish Himalayan Expedition long ago:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” — William Hutchison Murray
Please remember that your fear is about you, about your perspective and your biochemistry. Sometimes fear begins with brain chemistry that inexplicably shifts; sometimes it is situational fear, fear based on your story about the past and the future.
When you learn more skills, and master more tools your increased abilities generate different results.