In the movie Red Sparrow, the headmaster tells the class of spies she is teaching manipulation to:
“Every human being is a puzzle of need. You must become the missing piece and they will tell you anything.”
The context of that quote is dark, and it’s chilling because it is true. Human beings aren’t just puzzles of need, they are webs of need, and if you understand what someone really wants, you can understand why they do exactly what they do – even if on the surface their behaviors seem self-destructive and illogical.
Your subconscious core commitment is basically the one thing you want more than anything else in life, and you often aren’t even aware of it. You can identify your core commitment by looking at the things that you struggle with most, and the things you are most driven by. If you can peel back the layers of your motivations toward each, you’ll find a root cause. When you find the same root cause for everything, you’ve found your core commitment.
People only seem irrational and unpredictable until you understand what they are fundamentally committed to.
For example, if someone’s core commitment is to feel free, they could find themselves sabotaging work opportunities in order to achieve that. If someone’s core commitment is to feel wanted, they could find themselves in a series of relationships in which they have intense connections but refuse to make commitments out of fear that the spark will “fade.” If someone’s core commitment is to be in control of their lives, they might have irrational anxiety about things that represent a loss of control. If someone’s core commitment is to be loved by others, they might pretend to be helpless in certain areas of life because if they don’t need others, they might be left by them.
But the most important thing to understand is that your subconscious core commitment is actually a cover up for a core need. Your core need is the opposite of your core commitment. Your core need is also another way to identify your purpose. For example, if your subconscious core commitment is to be in control, your core need is trust. If your subconscious core commitment is to be needed, your core need is to know you are wanted. If your subconscious core commitment is to be loved by others, your need is self-love.
If you are the person who needs to trust, and is therefore committed to staying in control, the less that you believe you are supported, the more your negative coping mechanisms are going to flare up, perhaps in the form of disruptive eating patterns, isolating yourself, or hyper-fixation on physical appearance. If you are the person who is committed to freedom, and therefore needs a sense of autonomy, the less that you build a life on your own terms, the more you are going to sabotage opportunities and feel drained and exhausted when you “should” feel happy.
The more you lean into fulfilling your core need, the more your commitment symptoms will disappear.
Human behaviors are not random, and they are only confusing until you understand what’s driving them. Once you understand what a person really wants, you will be able to explain the intricacies of their habits and behaviors. You will be able to predict down to the detail what they will do in any given situation. More importantly, once you start asking yourself what it is you really want, you’ll be able to stop battling the symptoms, and start addressing the only issue that has ever really existed in your life, which is living out of alignment with your core need, and therefore, purpose.