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Episode 146 Transcript: Prioritizing Your Commitments

Nancy: For anybody here, who thinks I can’t get what I want because I don’t have enough willpower or I don’t have enough discipline, I have excellent news for you. It has nothing to do with those two things.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in. 

Nancy: I’m Nancy Levin, and welcome back to another episode of The Nancy Levin Show. I love being your guide on all things self-discovery and transformation. And today we are diving deep into a topic that is close to my heart, and I imagine it resonates with you too. How to stay committed to what is most important in your own life. And we are going to look at this through the lens of shadow work. Shadow work has the power to align us with our true values and desires. So here we go.

First, so we’re all on the same page about what the shadow is, the shadow is simply the parts of ourselves that we have denied, repressed, disowned, and pushed away. The shadow consists of parts of us that we don’t wanna be and don’t think we are as well as parts of us that we would like to be, but think we are not. So there is a light and dark aspect to the shadow, if you will. And understanding and integrating your shadow will lead to profound personal growth. It is literally like shining a light on the hidden parts of ourselves in order to make us more whole, make so that we can be aligned with our true nature and our true essence. 

So listen, staying committed to what you want can be challenging, but it will be especially challenging if unexamined shadows are driving your behavior in the other direction.

So there are two elements I wanna talk about here. One is our shadow beliefs. So these beliefs that were formed in childhood as a result of significant events occurring and the conclusions we drew about ourselves because of them. We were not able to process or digest what was happening. We were too young, so we just made everything mean something about us. So these shadow beliefs are the conclusions we drew.

They sound like, I’m not good enough, I’m not enough, I’m unlovable, I’m unworthy. So there are so many different shadow beliefs out there that hold us back from what we say we want most. 

The other element of the shadow that’s at play here is our shadow commitments. So here’s the deal, if we say we want something, whatever our goal is, and yet we’re not experiencing it, it’s simply because there is an old outdated shadow commitment in the way that we are unconsciously still serving. So for anybody here who thinks I can’t get what I want because I don’t have enough willpower, or I don’t have enough discipline, I have excellent news for you, it has nothing to do with those two things. And it has everything to do with realigning your new empowering conscious commitment with what it is you desire.

So we wanna begin to explore what is lurking in our shadow that is holding us back from achieving or realizing the desire that is in our value of what is most important to us. And I wanna just add a little piece in here right now about priority. So when we’re looking at how we can stay committed to achieving what matters most, we’re really talking about what is our priority. And I wanna be clear about this word because it was originally meant to be singular, priority, and yet we have society has turned it into a plural, priorities. And here’s the deal, if we have all of these priorities, none of them is our single priority. So what’s really important here is to know what your priority is so you can align your commitment with it and you can shift your belief around it. You might have a different priority at different times. In fact, you might have a day where in the morning you have one priority in the afternoon you have a different one. You might have a week where you have something that is singularly your priority. What’s important is that you know where you want to put your attention, where you wanna put your focus at every moment. 

And I would be remiss if I wasn’t bringing in another favorite topic of mine boundaries. So in order to stay in alignment with what you’re most committed to, it’s very important to say no to everything else. Say no to everything that does not fall into the realm of what is your priority.

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show. 

So I wanna just take a moment here and I invite you to let something arise. A part of your life where you’re struggling with commitment, a place where you know you’re out of alignment, and just let that arise. Let that come to mind. 

And then just notice what is your first belief that you’re holding, that you know is keeping you from what you want? What is the first shadow belief that arises? You’re not good enough, nobody loves you, nobody will buy it, whatever it might be. What is the first belief that pops into your mind? 

Okay, so this work requires honesty and compassion with yourself. So now that you see that there is a belief lurking inside, holding you back from what you want, we’re going to move a little bit deeper into the shadow here. 

So I invite you to close your eyes and visualize a situation where your commitment to what you want most, to what you desire, what is in alignment with your value and your high priority, identify a time when your commitment has wavered. And as you hold this image in your mind, pay attention to the emotions and thoughts that arise. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t push anything away. Let everything be here. And simply ask the question, what is the lesson here for me to learn what hidden part of myself is trying to come to light?

So for example, it might be that the lesson is, I need to say no to more things. The hidden part of you that’s coming to light might be confidence. That confidence has been hiding out in your shadow and you’ve been overcompensating for confidence, by getting your needs met to feel valued by others. So we have to look within to see what parts of ourselves are in the shadow. I like to think of the shadow as this inner cave where we have relegated all these parts of ourselves that we don’t wanna be and that we don’t think we are. And yet, not only is it a cave, but it is a truly bountiful treasure chest. And once you’re willing to put that headlamp on and go into the cave and see everything that’s there, there are all these lost parts of yourself that you can reclaim to support you in being able to move forward on what is most important to you.

 And integration is the key. So once you’ve identified a disowned part of yourself, it’s essential to then be able to bring it into the light to integrate this part of yourself so that you’re no longer expending energy hiding it, and in fact, you can let this part of you support you. So it involves acknowledging all parts of ourselves without guilt or shame, but instead with curiosity, understanding their origins and finding ways to use the newfound awareness to reinforce our commitments. 

So shadow work is not a one-time thing. It is a continuous process of self-discovery and growth. And as you evolve, so will your shadows. And regularly engaging in a practice of shadow work strengthens your commitment to your goals, your relationships, and most importantly, your own evolution. So I invite you to look at, you know, this area of your life where you have struggled to reach your goals, recognize that you have been serving an old commitment from childhood that no longer makes sense to serve now. Because really these old commitments from childhood that can sound like I’m committed to being invisible, I’m committed to staying safe, I’m committed to being silent, I’m committed to not shining my light so bright. Those commitments that we made in childhood, that kept us safe, that protected us when we were children, become the seed of our self-sabotage when we are adults. So we have to unhook from that old hidden shadow commitment and realign ourselves with a new commitment toward what it is that matters most.

So the work here for you to do is clarify what your priority is. And again, you can have a different priority at different times, different times of day, different days of the week, different weeks of the month, but focusing in on the single priority helps you align a new belief and a new commitment that serves the priority. And then from there, all you need to do is create one micro-action for yourself to get you going. 

So as we wrap up, I wanna remind you that shadow work is a powerful tool. And it will move you into personal transformation. What I can share with you is that in my 12 years of being the event director at Hay House, having a front row seat and a backstage pass to every single author, speaker, teacher in the field of self-empowerment and self-help and personal growth, shadow work is what supported me most in moving the needle in my own life. To move from where I was to where I am now. So I know this works and I know it’s power to support you in getting where you want to go. 

I’m so glad you joined me today. I really invite you to embrace this shadow work journey with curiosity and kindness and patience toward yourself. So again, thanks for joining me, and until next time, keep exploring your own inner world. 

Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.