Commitment Not Always Healthy
A few years ago I read a fascinating book called "The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini, PHD. I highly recommend this book for personal or business growth.
The book has tons of valuable insights into what makes us believe what we believe, and act like we act. One of the many fascinating insights revealed in the book was about commitment. We think of commitment as a positive attribute, and it may be; but it can also block us from making a positive, healthy change.
For example, one of the studies the book cites was on people who gamble on horse racing. The subjects were much less sure of their bets 30 seconds before they actually placed the bet. However, as soon as they placed a bet, the subjects became more certain their horse would win.
Keep in mind that the odds of their horse to win had not changed, but these people changed what they believed. Why?
Because the gamblers displayed that human common characteristic to be, or to appear to be, consistent with what we have already done. We tend to act in ways that justify our earlier decision, even if we know deep down the decision was wrong.
In other words, some of us learn from our mistakes, yet many of us do not.
Think about people who get into bad relationships who can't escape the relationship in the face of overwhelming evidence that the relationship is harmful. We all have, at one time or another, fooled ourselves to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided.
So think about this. Is there any decision you made that you secretly admit to yourself is holding you back or making your life more difficult or harming others or is not positive? And if you changed that decision, what might be change in your life?