EPISODE 16: “Why do I keep struggling with commitment and quitting on myself?”
Q&A: Why do I keep struggling with commitment and quitting on myself?
If you have a pulse, I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve asked yourself this very same question, right?
“Why do I stop working out?” “How come I can never stick to my new diet? “Why do I start new things and quit?” Why am I always broke?” And, the list goes on.
What commitments do you have a hard time keeping? Answer that now then listen to this week’s episode. And it will be obvious why you don’t keep your commitments.
In this episode I discuss:
And much, much more…
Everything in your life is a habit.
You're listening to Episode number 16 of the Transform your Life from the Inside Out, podcast. And in this episode, I'm going to talk about something that I'm sure almost everyone of you can relate to. And that is the big question of "Why can I not stay committed to things?". If you've ever wondered why it's so hard for you to stay committed to diets and exercise routines, and you know, work activities or whatever, you're going to love this episode. Because I'm going to answer the question that I got from Angie. And that question is "Why do I keep struggling with commitments and quitting on myself.? Stay tuned. Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation. And I've coached superachievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rara motivation and no hype, because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom, all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
When You Start Something New It's Not a Habit Yet
So the question that I'm going to answer this week is from Angie. And her question is, "Why do I keep quitting on me, and struggling with commitment?" Her email is really, very short. It is "I am 56. I am an ER, RN. I've been that for 28 years. I'm divorced from a poor family. I keep sabotaging myself. Make money, then lose it. Make friends, then drive them away." And by the way, if I'm a little sketchy in my in my pattern, it's because I'm just reading her email verbatim. Many times people just actually send very choppy emails. "...have started numerous growth and development books and courses, but usually only make it three days." All right, so some questions here about you know, this very short email. You started with your age, Angie. And I'm curious why you started with your age. Coaching at the level that I do and being the kind of coach that you know, and the way that I coach is, when I watch people when I'm coaching, everything they say or don't say, or even how they structure their communication tells me something about them. And what I'm curious about is why didn't you just ask well, why do I keep quitting on myself? So you gave me a very choppy background. But what I'm curious about is, there's some part of you judging yourself based upon your age and do you have some belief that based upon your age you should have already mastered this, or be at a different place in your life when it comes to keeping your commitments. So I was curious about that.
Next, you mentioned that you were divorced. So what I'm curious about is how does that play into your question? I don't have any background here. I mean, do you like keeping commitments in your relationship? Were you not? Do you feel like you're not the kind of person who can be committed? So I'm not quite sure why you're asking that. And then you mentioned that you're from a poor family. Another question I have is, how is that related in your mind to being committed? So I don't have enough back information from you to be able to answer more extensively. But I'm just curious as to how come you're adding, or what about these stories was important for you to add into your original question. Okay, you also mentioned that you've, you know, you've started numerous personal development personal growth books, and you quit after three days. This is a really, really simple answer. And this is probably going to apply in one way to another to pretty much everyone listening to this episode. I once had a question in TCP, which is called Transformational Coaching Program, which is my signature program. And it was literally a couple of months ago when she said, "Jim..." Her question was simple. "Why do I keep falling off track in life?" And you probably have asked yourself that same question. Why do I keep falling off track with my diet, or my lead generation, or my copywriting, and my business building, or my side business that I want to start, or whatever it might be. But you probably have also asked yourself. Why do I not follow through? And why do I keep falling off track? Well, we're going to dig into that a little bit in this episode. And the reason I say a little bit is because I'm going to I'm going to direct you somewhere from this episode where I will direct you to an additional training of mine that will help you with this.
Okay. Are you ready for my answer as to why my student, the person who wrote in, and you keep falling off track? It's really easy. You fall off track because you're not in the habit of doing what it is that you start that's new. This is so simple that most people miss it. I know earlier in the podcast, I don't know, maybe episode 3 or 4, you know, you'd have to go back and look, I did an entire episode on habits. And I said that everything that we have, everything that you have, everything that you don't have, you have or you don't have, because you're in that habit of having it, or you're in the habit of not having it. This is so profoundly simple that we miss it. And speaking of missing, I know that when I said that in the episode, a lot of people are like "yeah, you know what, that makes a lot of sense. I get that." Because research has demonstrated, which I'll talk about in just a moment at the 95% of all behavior is brain-based. It's habit. And we understand that, and people are like, "yeah, you know what that makes a lot of sense as I'm listening to this... and oh, yeah. Yeah, I get it." And then what do they do? Two minutes later, they forget it and they go right back in their old behaviors again, and then they wonder why they're stuck in the ruts. You know, of course listening to a podcast, we assimilate that in a different way than reading a book. But I see this, and I've seen it for so many years. What people do is, they'll read a book. I remember a friend of mine many, many, years ago. She read the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. And she's like, "Oh my gosh, this is an amazing book, it's an amazing book!" And the irony is, just because you like a book, or you like some content in a podcast, doesn't mean that you can demonstrate it. And just because you understand, that also doesn't mean that you know it. Very, very, separate concepts. So when I say that everything, 95% of what you do is a habit. And look at your days, you go through your days on habit. Like I mentioned in the habit episode, you drive all the way across town, you drive on a familiar road, you get there and you're like, how did I get here? Well easily, you know easily it wasn't your conscious attention that got you there. It was your brain based habits, you know muscle memory and also your unconscious mind driving you there.
So I'm going to say it again, and listen very carefully. Everything you have is because of your habits. Everything that you don't have is also because of your habits. And if you look at your life, you look at your entire life. Your days are one habit to another. You know day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out, year in, year out. That's why many people will say things like, you know, what I've been trying to do something to start a business or whatever and I've done it for years, and I'm not getting the results that I want. Well that's plain and simple, it's because you haven't changed the habits. You change the habits, the outcomes automatically change. Look at simple examples in your own life. If you're very very trim and fit, look at your habits. Because your habits create the outcome. If you're always broke, and you never have any money, that's nothing more than a habit of thinking and behavior. That's all that it is. You were simply in the habit of being broke. If you're active, you know, listening right now, if you're active, look at how active you are. I mean, if you're one of those people that you go biking everyday, or running, or cardio, or pilates, or whatever you do, notice that if you're in the habit of doing it, you're in the habit of doing it. And if you're sedentary, then guess what, you are also in the habit of that. You literally do the same habits every single day. Look at your relationships. They follow habit patterns. You know, if you're a couch potato, well, I guess that's sedentary also, but that's a habit. Please, whatever you're doing just stop for a second, unless you hear me say all the time, unless you're driving or in traffic, HABIT, HABIT, HABIT. Everything in your life is driven by your habits.
Now, I did mention in the earlier habit episode that there was research done in 2008 at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig Germany, one of the foremost research institutes in the world. And what they discovered, I'll keep this really simple, is they put people in an FMRI machine, a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. And they had to make a decision by you know, pushing a button on a clicker, pick A or B. Watching blood flow in the brain, what they discovered is that the brain made the decision of the participant before the participant was even consciously aware that his decision was being made. So what this indicated, what it showed very clearly is that your brain makes your decisions for you, even if you think you are in the conscious process of making a decision. All of us for the most part operate on autopilot. I also want to add there, it doesn't mean that we don't have free will. It doesn't mean that we are robots. What they also discovered is in a nanosecond before the habit was executed, we had a conscious opportunity to read aside on whether or not we wanted to actually execute that behavior / habit, so we're not robots. We do have free will, but this is vital you get, hopefully if you didn't get it, you know in the first half of the first habit episode, you're getting it now, is that we work on brain-based auto pilot. Something else I want to add here very very quickly because there's no need for me to rehash it, it's all in the episode on habits. Habits are actually reptilian brain, which is the oldest part of the brain. You've heard me mention, the reptilian brain the mammalian brain, which is the limbic system, and the prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking part of the brain. Many people actually try to "think" about their habits, and habits are simply just wrote, you know, neurological functions. This being said, I want you to clearly understand this, you are not your habits. What I mean by that is most people personalize their habits. For example, a person could say I am a smoker. No, you're not a smoker. You are a human being who is in the habit of smoking.
Many people personalize their habits and then they give a negative description to their habit. For example, a person that, you know, is in the habit of smoking. They could actually personalize that and say, well I am in that, which they don't say I'm in the habit of smoking, they just say they're a smoker as if it's part of their identity, which it is, but it's also driven by the brain. So then they could say, well I can't quit and therefore that means, because I'm going to personalize the habit, therefore, you know, that means I am a weak person, or another misnomer, is I have no willpower. So to recapitulate that, you, you're not your habits. You are a conscious being and your habits come from the reptilian part of your brain. Now, of course your brain is part of you, but you are not your habits. They're simply brain-based. An example that I used in the habit episode, I do believe because I use it a lot is, for many years, I was, I would use again, and I'd use the word "addicted" to diet coke. I drank that garbage for a lot of years. And it is garbage, no question about it. And I would even tell people I'd be like, "you know, I swear I don't know what's in this Diet Coke, but there's something addictive about it." More than anything, I was in the habit of drinking Diet Coke, because when I actually learned, what I talked about in the other episode on habits, which I'm not going to go into here, I literally kicked a fifteen-year-old-2-Diet-Coke-a-day habit literally in a matter of seconds. Why? Because I recognized that it wasn't me, my thinking part of the brain drinking the Diet Coke, it was my habit brain. And when I recognized that it was the habit part of my brain, the reptilian part of my brain, it was very easy to actually communicate with that part of the brain through conscious dialogue and break the habit literally in a matter of seconds.
Something else is that many people think they need to change their mindset. You see it all the time on, you know, Instagram and Facebook. You got to change your mindset, change your mindset. I've said this before as well, that anytime anyone says they want to change their mindset, what they're really saying is they want to change something about themself. And the way to change your mindset is to change your habits, which come from the root reptilian part of the brain. So I tell people you know, what forget about changing your mindset, change your brain set. Then what a lot of people do is they get into what I call habit battle. The prefrontal cortex, thinking part of the brain, battles the reptilian part of the brain, which I've said before also is more powerful than the thinking part of the brain. And to prove that, is urges come from the reptilian part of the brain. And notice when you have an urge to have a cookie, which let's say you're in the habit of having cookies. Let's say you have an urge to have a cookie. Well, then the thinking part of the brain, prefrontal cortex could say, no we're trying to fit into that summer bikini. You know, summer's rolling around, you cannot have that cookie because it's going to go right to your waist or your thighs. Then what happens is you think about the cookie even more and that's called compounding, it's the more you think about something, the more you want it, or the more you think about it, let's just say that compounds and expands and grows in the brain. Then what happens is an urge kicks in, and have you noticed when the urge kicks in, what happens is that it overrides the analytical thinking, and you actually follow the urge. This is all brain-based, and again notice it's not you and your thinking brain, it is your reptilian brain.
You're listening to this podcast for one reason, and one reason only. Eventhough it's called Transform your Life from the Inside Out, which is what we do. I mean, obviously the brain is inside your head, but you're listening to this podcast because you're wanting to change something in your life. You're wanting to go to a higher emotional, a higher emotional state. And the way to do that is not thinking your way there. The way to do it is to habituate yourself there. And let's go back again. I said everything is a habit earlier, just a few minutes ago. Do you know sometimes, and I mean this kindly, you know, I want to just grab people by the shirt collar and say do you get that? EVERYTHING IS A HABIT. So instead of complaining about what you don't have in life or anything, you know, you're wanting to create more, forget about all the prefrontal cortex thinking because that's all blah blah blah, and focus on, what habits, what I need to create to get the outcome that I want? And then we go back to the person, that you know, sent the email this week, Angie. And she said she is 56. Literally her life is 56 years worth of habits. Just like your life whatever age you are is that many years of habits. So this is an Angie or any of you it's not about beating yourself up, which I think you might be doing a little bit. It's not about saying why am a failure? Why am I not getting what I want? How come my life is you know, so terrible? It's about none of that. That's all analytical chatter. Which as you guys know, we can also get in chatter cycles and that stuff runs for a lot of years for a lot of people. All that we need to do is look at our habits.
Alright, so a couple of places to direct you here is, I did say, and I don't remember the episode, the episode on habits. It was a longer one here, you know on my podcast, here in iTunes, or wherever you're listening. There's an episode on habits. Listen to that episode again, and you might hear it with new ears this time because you've heard it maybe a little differently in this episode where I say, everything is a habit. Look at your own life again, to prove that this is not an opinion. Look at your own life, you do the same things over and over and over again, which is all habit. So, listen to that episode. And if you go to JimFortin.com, and you actually find the episode there, in the show notes, there should be a link to a 20-minute video training where I'm going to show you if I remember correctly, we have not watched that video in a year-and-a-half. Well, I created it a year and a half ago, but I do believe in that 20-minute video, I teach you how I broke the 15-year, and again, I say 15, I think is about 15-year-diet-coke habit, how I broke that in a matter of seconds with the process I'm going to teach you. Also, I do not want to pitch on this podcast, but my job is to actually help you and serve you more than anything else. On my membership site, to sell psychology academy, I have an entire comprehensive habit program there. And it doesn't matter to me whether you learn from me, you learn from someone else, I've never read his book. I just saw the book cover. So I'm not going to endorse it. But somebody had mentioned to me a passage in the book, and asked me if it was true or not. And I do find it to be accurate. There's a book. I believe called "Atomic Habits" by I think a guy named, James Clear.
So if you don't want to join my membership site, and learn from my video program, or watch the other video that I told you about over JimFortin.com and the show notes, then, you know, spend a few bucks and get James Clear's book, Atomic Habits. Again, just a disclaimer. I have not read it. But from what I understand it is more of a brain based approach, which is the approach that I take, to breaking undesirable habits. I also want you to know that it's really easy to change. People make it so hard, and it really is easy to change your life. Because what you simply do is start with new repetition, we learn. We as human beings, we master. We master everything through repetition, and repetition actually turns into what are called neural pathways in the brain which become habits. See, it's really easy to recondition your brain, recondition the neural pathways. Because when you really look at it, the habits, whatever habit you might be is created in the brain. And no habit is as strong as the brain that created to habit in the first place. Okay, so regarding habits, you know search iTunes or wherever you're listening or JimFortin.com, from one of the first, you know, I think it's number three or number four the episode on habits, and listen to that episode again. As a matter of fact, I definitely recommend you listen more than once. I recommend you listen several times until it finally sinks in. And that's not because you're a slow learner, part of that is because of habits. The reptilian part of the brain does not like to change. The reptilian part of the brain creates habits for a reason. The reason that it creates habits is to conserve energy. Because imagine, if you had to learn to ride a bike every time you got on the bike again, this is one of the reasons we create habits. So go back and listen to that episode over at you know, at iTunes or JimFortin.com.
All right, next Angie, you mentioned commitments. I'm going to keep this really short, is that commitments are nothing more than reflections of habits. Something else that I want you to know is that, you're always committed to something. You are always committed to something. If you're a hundred pounds overweight, unless it's a thyroid issue or you know, some kind of physiological issue. Let's just say that it's because of you know, you're couch potato or you're drinking, you know, which I had one time. I had a client drinking a case of Coke a day. Literally one case of Coca-Cola per day. It's all habit. If you're lean and fit, that is a habit. And here's the thing. We then actually think about it, and we stay committed to our habits whatever they are. And there's a much bigger reason here. I do believe I talked about it in the other podcast episode, but I want you to understand is that you're committed to your habits because we're all committed to something. And whatever it is you keep doing, you keep doing, and you're actually committed to that without even recognizing that you're being committed to that. Like the person I mention drinking a case a Coke a day, she's in the habit of that. Also, it's not just the psychological part of that, there is a physiological response in the body that all of that sugar, and by the way, sugar is poison, but there's some physiology involved there as well. But I know that through personal experience being a hypnotist many years ago, if I can bust somebody's smoking habit, I once had a client smoking three packs a day. One session, boom! Off to cigarettes, no cravings, nothing. No longer wanted cigarettes. Talked to him 10 years later, and is like, nope. I gave it up the day I saw you. If I can bust my diet coke habit and I can watch this person bust his cigarette habit, which I helped many. I don't even know how many people I had a smoking cessation clients. If we can break our habits, you can break your habits very, very easily.
I don't want to go off on a tangent here, but I also mentioned self-hypnosis, subconscious reprogramming. I do have an episode on that. I believe it's number episode five or six. Go look it up, go back. I do recommend also on that note, I know human behavior. And people tend, you know, if you find me, let's say today. When you're going to listen to the episode today, and people generally skip a lot of the earlier episodes. I promise you, whatever I said in episode 1, two months ago, or even if it's three years from now and you're listening to this, whatever I said in episode one is as relevant today as it was the very same day that I created that episode. So you want to keep your commitments? That's easy, work on your identity. There's also an episode only identity, a little earlier. And your identity comes from your habits. Because whatever your habits are is what you start talking yourself about and that's who you believe that you are. So work on the habits, when you actually start there and you create new habits, the commitments will actually stick automatically. So, your transformational take away this week, it's pretty simple. And it's this, I want you, once you're done with this podcast, I don't know what you're going to do next. I don't know if you want to pick up your kids from soccer, you're walking in the street, you live in New York City, you're in Bangladesh, I don't know where you are and what you're doing, but I want you to take some time to really ponder the transformational take away. Which I said earlier, everything in your life is a habit. Everything. Everything you have is through habit of thought and behavior. Everything you don't have is through habit of thought and behavior. Ponder that.
Okay, the next episode, going to be a doozy. The next episode is about using dreamtime. Everyone has dreams. The only people that are believed not to have dreams are people that might have had some kind of brain injury. But if you've never had a brain injury, even if you don't remember your dreams, you do dream. People don't understand dreamtime. You are more powerful in dreamtime when you are asleep than when you are awake. Right now, obviously you're awake because you're listening to this consciously. But you have more power in dreamtime than you can even fathom. You can create anything you want in dreamtime to manifest in your external world. Paul McCartney got all the lyrics for the song "Yesterday", actually not the lyrics, the melody for the song Yesterday in dreamtime. Many of the great achievers used dreamtime for their discoveries. I personally trust my messages in dreamtime more than I do any analytical thought. Why? Because in dreamtime, I am pure unfettered consciousness, and I connect with the universe. I can do it when I'm wide awake. But when I'm wide awake, I'm fettered by my analytical mind, my prefrontal cortex. In dreamtime, I'm pure consciousness. And I use it to heal. I use it to create. I use it to solve problems. And I use it for inner guidance. If you want to learn to use dreamtime, then whatever you do or whether it's just should say start learning, whatever you do, make sure you listen to the next episode. Okay. Thanks for listening to this episode, and I will catch you on the next episode. Take care. Bye. Bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too. So, please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to support@Jim Fortin.com, and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is @IamJimFortin. Finally, I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would please, leave a review on iTunes. And a good one, by the way. I'd be grateful. And through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.