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September 28, 2022

Competing Commitments

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Have you ever gotten caught signing yourself up for something or doing something you didn’t actually want to do? You could have been completely aware of it in the moment, causing you to ask questions about why you went forward with it. Or it could have happened so fast that you didn’t realize the extent of what you committed to until after the fact.

What you’ve done is you’ve been affected by something called competing commitments. Essentially, the moment triggered something in you that caused you to do what you really didn’t want to do. Often the cause of this is subconscious. The situation brought up a need, a desire, or a fear that in the moment you felt motivated to address. 

Here are a few examples: Your friend asked you to help coordinate a birthday party, and even though you definitely don’t have the time for it you say “Yes” because you have a deeply rooted need to be accepted and liked by others. Or maybe you had more to drink than you planned to because you felt a social pressure to belong.

To make this more clear, a competing commitment is an inconsistency between what you consciously want to do (what you’d hope you would choose to do) and what you’re subconsciously motivated to do. The reason this inconsistency exists is because we all have experiences, lessons, and traumas that create wounds and needs that are begging to be fulfilled.

It takes incredible self-awareness to know what might be motivating your behavior and how that that is out of alignment with your best-self. The more aware you become of the activities you’re engaging in, and the path of choices and circumstances that led to those activities, the more insight you'll gain into how competing commitments are at play in your life.

Now to wrap this up let’s try to dive in and gain some insight right now - What do you find yourself doing that you’d really prefer not to do, and what caused that thing to enter your life in this way?

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