Close this search box.

How to End Self-Sabotage

Episode #47

That feeling of emptiness…no matter how hard you try…is always a result of your unconscious commitments.

Unconscious commitments, as defined in this episode, are the things occurring in our lives as repeating patterns that we do not like. If we do not identify these patterns or beliefs that we are unconsciously committed into, it will result in self-sabotage.

A work ethic that is instilled in us is to work hard to be more successful. As a result of an unconscious commitment to this belief, we end up hustling and sacrificing our relationships or personal happiness. We struggle and grind to make more money, believing that this will enable us to prove ourselves to other people that we can also make it. Instead of using or spending money to show off, we should invest it for our personal growth and focus on what will really make us happy.

To end self-sabotage, we should identify the patterns or beliefs that are already programmed into our minds. We should reflect on what we really feel, acknowledge it, and take radical steps to make a change. We get to reprogram these unconscious commitments and change them into more empowering beliefs.

What you will discover in this episode:

  1. What an unconscious commitment is
  2. How unconscious commitments result in self-sabotage
  3. What to do in order to end self-sabotage
  4. How to reprogram your mind from these unconscious commitments


Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

Also listen on:



Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:01  

All you’re doing is burning yourself out. Your bank accounts are not changing, and your ability to support your family isn’t changing. But what does change is you become a shell of a man because you’re empty. You have nothing else to give to your family, your loved ones, except for this false promise that you’re going to make it. Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Tim, what’s going on, brother?

Tim Matthews  0:35  

Yeah, I’m good. I’m good. I’m fantastic. You?

Doug Holt  0:39  

I’m doing great. We’re just laughing because right before I hit record, you’re asking why I’m bouncing back and forth. I have one of those black stretch bands around my ankles, and I’m doing some glute work, gluteus medius. Work while we’re at the computer chatting. So getting it done multitasking of sorts,

Tim Matthews  1:00  

Who said men couldn’t multitask?

Doug Holt  1:05  

Exactly, we got to get it in when he can. I’m 42. I got a young, a young child, a two-year-old, as well as a beautiful active wife. I want to. I’m constantly raising my standards, as we’ve talked about in previous episodes. So there’s just one thing I can do rather than sitting down as we have these conversations.

Tim Matthews  1:27  

Awesome. I love it.

Doug Holt  1:29  

This brings me to, Tim, what I want to throw on the table for today. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last gosh,  going diving into deeply in the last 24 hours, I would say. That’s unconscious commitments. So what I want to talk about our unconscious commitments. Explain to the men first what those are and ways you can identify them. I know we don’t have enough time to go through the exercises we teach per se because those take several hours. But I think it would help the men go through an introduction to our unconscious commitments, and how do you identify him?

Tim Matthews  2:08  

Yeah, great topic.

Doug Holt  2:10  

Oh, thank you. Well, first off, and unconscious commitment, my definition, Tim, of an unconscious commitment is those we’re committed to, but we’re committed to them unconsciously. So said another way, we just don’t realize that we’ve committed to these things. Often, the way we look at these, these are occurring in our lives as repeating patterns. It’s also how you identify them repeating patterns that we do not like. So I’ll give you a few of them. If you’re overweight, you’re unconsciously committed to being fat. If you are broke, you’re unconsciously committed to being broke. If you are in a bad relationship, you’re unconsciously committed to being in that bad relationship, and especially we keep getting into them. So you get the idea. 

These are patterns of things that keep coming up. If you’re tired, you’re unconsciously committed to be tired. Often, when I bring this up to the men, they get pissed. They get upset, like, what do you mean, I’m not unconsciously committed to being broke my boss or my job, you don’t understand my industry Doug or what have you. But the truth is, at some level, we’re committed to the outcomes that you see in your life right now, you for the most part. There are drastic exceptions. But if you’re listening to this, I guess that you’re not one of these exceptions. But for the most part, what you see today when you look in the mirror, look at your bank account, looking at relationships results from those things that you’re committed to your standards, your result of these unconscious commitments. So Tim, let’s go back and forth a little bit on this episode. Because I know that this is something that I’ve spent a lot of time on, and I’m sure you have to, and we certainly talked to the men about this at various levels depending on where they’re at. But how do you identify or define unconscious commitments?

Tim Matthews  4:12 

So this is something that we do in the met, do in the met? Haha, do with the men in The Activation Method right at the beginning when we lead them through the truth there are four stages detach, release, remember reinforce and detach all about detaching from the unconscious commitment now, though, you just bouncing back and forth. Finally

Doug Holt  4:36  

Last time to get some exercise in while you’re on

Tim Matthews  4:39  

If you guys could see, this is on my screen going back and forth from left to right, the smile on his face, hands together, obviously very smug and pleased. He’s multitasking and loves the topic, and I’m trying my best to remain focused. She is it’s something we do with dictator guys too, in the early stages, because until you uncover this, it will plague any of your efforts? And in my opinion, it’s one of the main reasons, if not the main reason why you or anyone doesn’t get the results that you desire. Now, I love what you were saying about if you are not eating healthy, then you have an unconscious commitment to being fat. If you whatever way in which you’re sabotaging yourself, you have an unconscious commitment to that particular outcome, completely agree. Now, how I like to take this a step further is the unconscious commitment that’s going on underneath that because that’s the unconscious commitment to the behavior and the outcome. What I found with what we found with the men is that often they have an unconscious commitment to a particular belief that’s underneath that. There’s usually one or two key beliefs and the unconscious commitment. Well, the belief, rather, might be the I am not good enough. I might be that if my life is easy, then I won’t be loved. For example, the mayor of watches our father pushed and hustled and faster and faster and ground. That was the definition of what it meant to be a man and a successful man. Their fear that if they break the mold, then they’re going to be outcast. It’s always about bringing it back to what is the unconscious commitment around the belief that there are one or two key beliefs that you are ruining your life, because at the end of the day, our need to stay consistent with who we think we are, is the strongest force in anyone’s psychology and personality.

Doug Holt  6:46  

It’s true., and I can share one of mine that I’ve identified throughout the years, as a repeating pattern that keeps coming up, or has kept coming up for me, is Tim, I remember it I was, I was an athlete in school, and in college, playing soccer. I remember distinctly when somebody essentially just told me; you’re just a dumb jock. Right? And ooh, did that burn. I just thought about it. I didn’t play for a year; I took a year off just to focus on academics. I had good grades and did well, relatively well b’s and c’s, and a’s. I was all over the gamut, I guess, but mostly about a b average, for the most part. Then to top it off, I remember distinctly having a conversation with a landlord of all people and renting me the place. He rented it to a girlfriend of mine at the time. We had a good conversation. He was an intellect right, very out of shape, very intellectual. One of the reasons he rented to her we’re in Santa Barbara, California, an extremely competitive rental market, was these conversations that he and I had. It was a conversation over philosophy. He’d said he commented, I bounced back, and we just started talking about philosophy. 

I have was studying philosophy on my own at the time. So long story short, we’re moving in, we’re moving her in, I had a tank top on, and I was this time I’m young worked in the fitness space. So I was in very, very good shape. He looked at me as I was carrying something, stopped, said, oh, I didn’t think you’re a meathead. Then turned around and kept walking away. Tim, that stuck with me. I remember thinking that and always went around like, wow, this guy just totally judge me based on the way I physically looked. For a while there, I was unconsciously committed to hiding, right hiding my athletic physique at the time, and I wouldn’t wear a tank top. I didn’t figure it out until later that I was trying to make sure that nobody ever looked at me that way. Again, nobody ever took my intellect for granted, just because I happen to be athletic. Now I know, someone listening to this probably thinks, well, that’s stupid. But that was my reality at the time. We all have these unconscious commitments that we make, for one reason or the other. But my belief running in the background was to be taken seriously, for my mind the things that I’ve learned and what have you that I couldn’t be both fits, like extremely athletic and fit and smart at the same time. So I had to pick one path. At the time, I decided what, I’m just going to be very athletic playing sports, but not worry about the aesthetics portion of it, and I’m just going to focus on the intellect.

Tim Matthews  9:50  

Wow, what a cool realization.

Doug Holt  9:54  

Yeah, it’s so it’s the crazy part because you and I’ve talked about this because I go going back and forth with my current goals with my fitness several times. We were chatting about it earlier today via voxer. But it’s so clear to me, you have conversations, even if it’s one comment and this was 20 years ago, but it’s so clear as almost as if it happened yesterday,

Doug Holt  10:20  

That’s one way for me when I’m coaching the men that I can easily identify if it’s something that’s running the show in the background. Because if it was that clear as if it was yesterday, then that still is part of your programming. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be. Because there are most things, 99.9% of the things that are said to you or done to you or done with you, you forget. But the ones you remember matter, and when they matter, they’re running the show. So for the guys listening to this and the guys that go through our program, of course, you’re constantly peeling back these layers and reworking it. I always make that analogy of it’s like a Britney spears song that you never liked. But you’re in the shower, and you get out, and you’re like, oh crap, you start singing in your head, or at least, it’s on it. It’s not because you like it; it’s just because it’s in your programming. Now, it’s been repeated so many times in your mind, consciously or subconsciously, that it’s become a program. To get it out, so to speak, obviously, we do exercises and work through The Activation Method. Then also more advanced stuff like we’re going to be doing in morocco for the men in The Brotherhood when we go on the retreat, which will be money mindset. But there are exercises you can do, you need to reprogram that, and you need to play a song to get the Britney spears song, so to speak out of your head. So you got to play a normal, more positive message or affirmation. So again, more often. So it overpowers and then reinforces that new, empowering belief, not the limiting belief.

Tim Matthews  12:02  

Wow, yeah, so true. I mean, for me, the main two for me that I remember my dad telling the story of how when he was 15 or 16, I remember the exact age he left school and deaf leaving school, he was working in Leeds market healing cauliflowers for 50 p a week or 50 p a month, or, I don’t know, some crazy rate, I can’t remember what it was, for the whole philosophy, the story that you want to drum home to me and told me time and time and time again, was the, you’ve got to work hard to be successful, but to work hard for what it is that you want., I love the work ethic that is instilled in me. However, I had an unconscious commitment to life rather than being in a struggle, and life is hard, and I worked hard. So I hustled and pushed, and fast and grounded out. I often listen to certain messages and personal development from certain people telling me that that was the way to do it and persevere and be motivated and all the rest of it. I didn’t need motivation. I mean, I had that in spades. That was like just putting me on steroids, even though I was already absolutely huge in that department. It just did just didn’t, wasn’t needed. All of that led to was a lot of unfulfillment, a lot of burnout. I used to get burnt out regularly. I paid the price and relationships as well—my happiness. Health went out the window. I then struggle with I struggle with money, but for other reasons. I’ll go into that one in a moment. But that was my first unconscious commitment. 

My unconscious commitment was to have success behind and the belief there was it’s got to be a struggle. The second one was that the unconscious commitment was to he showed up in lots of different areas within terms of the actual action, but the belief was that I just wasn’t good enough. The memories that I had around were all around when I was young, and I don’t think it was bullying. Looking back, you may categorize it as bullying, but I don’t think it was bullying, but I remember a particular instance when I was very young. I must have been below the age of I don’t know six, six, or seven. We’re playing football on the neighbor’s drives to playing soccer on the neighbor’s drive, and I was in goal they put me in goal. There were three of them there. There were the two boys who I was friends with; one was an elder brother, and also their dad, which is as storage is a bit weird. Because what they then did has they put me in goal but then just started shooting the ball at me,  hard. How it will cost you now wasn’t going to be cervix was about a sexual kid. The balls were just flying out of me and hitting me. They were laughing and then came up with this name. For me, I think they call me Mothman or something like Timothy Mothman. They kept saying how weak I was and other bits and pieces. Then I looked for ways throughout my life to kind of prove that right. That then showed up in money because I don’t charge for my services. He showed up in relationships because I had put my self-worth and attracted and pulled the women all the guys wanted to show up in business and shop all sorts. Still, the unconscious commitment was the commitment to just not being enough, not being good enough. That wow, that played out for a long, long time in many different areas. That combined with having to work hard, and I’ve been a struggle back to lethal, unconscious of having in place, can you imagine the kind of life I experienced because of those?

Doug Holt  16:07  

Hey, guys, I want to interrupt this episode because I want to talk to you about something important. We put together a case study on how almost 300 men have taken control of their lives and their 4x in their business revenues and have more connected intimate sex, all without sacrificing their relationships or health by using The Activation Method. Now a lot of you have contacted us, and they want to know how they’re doing it. We put together this short 11-minute case study just for you. So you can see how these entrepreneurs are achieving this level of success. To get this case study, all you have to do is go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/bonus, yep, that’s one, one. You can get the case study right now. All right, it’s only 11 minutes, and it’s going to show you exactly how these men have done it. Alright, let’s get back to the episode.

Yeah, we think about that. First of all, I can pick you up and go., it’s this little kid getting shelled by the ball.

Tim Matthews  17:08  

Why are you laughing

Doug Holt  17:11  

There’s a little part of me that wants to do it to you now.

Tim Matthews  17:15  

When I say I can pitch to you, and you smile at someone.

Doug Holt  17:22  

Well, you think about all the things that we do now to people, your comments we make, and how we treat our kids or family. Ironically we talked about The Alpha Reset; a lot of men get clarity about things that they’re doing better, kind of pelting the soccer ball at the people they love and giving them. Still, it’s interesting, Tim; when we look at this dichotomy like you have these belief systems that get us in, it’s almost like an eddy, right? 

So when you go down, if you don’t know what an eddy is, if you ever been go whitewater rafting, you want to make sure what one is. But an eddy is almost like a spiral of water that keeps going round in a circular motion, and things get stuck in the eddy a lot., if you popped out and whitewater rafting, you don’t want to get stuck in an eddy because you’re going to spin around over and over again to eventually it does shoot you out. But, it’s like, almost like groundhog day. Right? Again and again and again, you’re going through the same same thing. We have competing unconscious beliefs or unconscious commitments; it’s even worse. So I’ve got to work hard to make money. Commitment one so grinding it out, which is like, which was being sold, I love that it’s changing now and some of the Douglas out there that you hear from the talking heads so to speak., work hard, grind it out, get home and work from, midnight to four in the morning on your side hustle and 5 am to 10 pm on your business. So there’s that work hard, and then I don’t deserve it, so you don’t make money. So all you’re doing is burning yourself out, and at the end of the day, your bank accounts not changing your ability to support your family isn’t changing. But what does change is you become a shell of a man because you’re empty, right you have nothing else to give to your family your loved ones except for this false promise that you’re going to make it if I just work harder. I’ll make it you get that unconscious commitment that voice in the back of your head saying I’m not worthy, so you don’t make more money.

Tim Matthews  19:27  

Yeah, all for me, I was making more money but then found ways to spend it. Yeah, I’d find ways to waste it. It was almost like no, I didn’t do that spend it to prove to the people that I could make it, then put me back in a position where I had to make it again. So that could be the hero and make it, so everyone would then look at me and get this vicious cycle.

Doug Holt  19:53  

And it happens; this is exactly why I want access to The Powerful Man bank account. Now no it, you’ve, you’ve done a lot of work around that. You can see it in the way you do now because, for the things that you do and the charitable aspects that you commit to, you do it. You reinvest in yourself, and this is just to clarify the message of where you’ve come from. You are going away for five days to network with other very high-level business professionals and a very exclusive group. You’ve read it, you’ve taken that money, not spend it on junk and expensive watches and clothes. But you’ve reinvested that money in your growth. I think that that shows that you’ve changed your unconscious commitment from showing off how much money you can spend, but more so, how much you can invest in yourself. That, that’s what we want to talk about to these guys. Right? So if you’re listening to this, one of the questions you may be asking yourself, is well, what are my unconscious commitments? And so one of the ways guys that you can establish those things is realizing first taking a very radical and honest and raw look at your life as it is today. Where are you? Where are you today? Are you where you want to be? Odds are if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re not a member, or an of The Brotherhood or The Powerful Man, because those guys still listen, because we talk about these podcasts with them quite often. But the chances are, you’re not exactly where you want to be. So you want to look at what are those unconscious commitments you’re making? What is the underlying current or belief system that’s running the show is? Are you we look in your areas of self-wealth, health? Business. Where are you in relationships? Where are you in all five of those areas? Do we call the five territories? Where are you in those territories? And are you where you want to be? And if you’re not, what are you unconsciously committed to? And Tim, one of the biggest things that I do to do this, to figure this out for myself, are what my three biggest complaints in all the five territories are? Right, identify my three biggest complaints in the five territories? And then move on that?

Tim Matthews  22:24  

Yeah, great point. Great point. I mean, for me, if now I’m aware of them, it’s much easier for me to be able to do work on them. However, I felt I didn’t know these pods were running my life for so long. I didn’t; there were a few key moments in my life that stand out to me that  fueled my discovery of these, one of them was the fact that somebody once said to me, a very close friend at the time., I was sharing some of the workflows that I was experiencing and some things I was going through, and he was like, wow, it seems to me like, you don’t feel good enough, you just tried to prove yourself. When he said that, he just landed, I don’t know why or where I was in my life at that time, what was going on, but it landed. It had me reflect on how I  felt and got real with myself. I took some real inventory of the results I was experiencing in my life, the journey that I was on, and the patterns that I kept on repeating. 

Then the second chemo was in hiring a coach because you go to these people for reasons. After all, they have a proven track record. They’re professionals in what they do. The accelerated things I shared with them were very real and honest about my reasons for hiring this person what I was experiencing in my life at that time. It was so easy looking back; it was easy for them to point things out. I mean, any great coach asks questions, doesn’t it? And they asked some great questions of me that had me realizing some key things about my life and my journey up until that point. It just blew me away when I started to see how this gym, my journey, everything was just interlinked. Everything was interlinked and kept coming back to these two men, unconscious commitments, everything like everything, how I tolerate my relationship, how I stayed in it, the drugs that I took the money, the bid, everything came back to these two things. It was just astonishing. It was, and at the end of the day, we can’t see our blind spots. 

We just can’t, and this is, this is why in other men, when the men experienced this realization for themselves, it’s, it’s amazing to see the look on their face and how it takes a breath away. They’re like, speechless because the pennies dropped and then go into his journal for hours, and hours, and hours and get all of this out onto paper. That is where the gold is and that realization and then making the necessary adjustments moving forward. That’s the key as well. The reality is Doug, and I’m sure these commitments for me still come up from time to time. They don’t become unconscious anymore, which is a great thing. They don’t have control of me anymore, which is another great thing. I can spot them a lot faster and overcome them much quicker and with much more grace and ease, so I’m not sidetracked. I can use to be; I mean, I wasn’t even sidetracked before I was completely living shaman of existence compared to what I now know to be true for me. So yeah, I mean, if you do know what yours are, and they are coming up for you, from time to time, don’t beat yourself up. You’re a human being, and it’s going to happen. Have the flexibility and grace with yourself to see it, acknowledge it, don’t judge it, let it pass on by, and get back on a path of your truth and get back on the horse and take action aligned with what your truth is.

Doug Holt  26:30  

Man, it’s, it’s so true. You can see this. That’s why I journal about this today, and why I’m grateful to have you in my life is no matter how much work we do as men, the guardrails we put in place, so to speak in our lives, we need that coach that, that person that to look at us subjectively, because you can’t see the forest from the trees all the time. Something you and I talked about means that we provide for the men in The Brotherhood. It’s also something that it’s great that you and I go back on you, and I have started an accountability practice where every day we message each other to see if the other person is on track. How are we? See where we are? Are we missing? Are we on there, and that level of accountability also puts what we want our standards? So does into plain view. It’s in the conversation, and you’re always when you’re in the conversation of what you want versus what you don’t want. It’s very different. Right? That conversation, that outcome is very different. 

So one of the other things I want to leave these guys with is when you are identifying these unconscious commitments, notice how when you write them down, where you feel it in your body, where are you feeling? Do you get tense when you write it down? Or you think it? Do you get the queasy feeling? Do you get a kind of unease in your body or your stomach? When you write them down? Or more appropriately? Will we have them do it and I wish we could go through the whole exercise on this, but we just don’t have the time. But when you write that unconscious commitment down and then write the opposite. So, for example, to be taken seriously, I cannot look fit that was mine from my intellect. Right? So when I write the opposite, I can be both aesthetically fit and be taken seriously. For my intelligence? Where does that show up for me? Right? If it shows up as uneasy or tense? Or it doesn’t sit right with me, then I know I’m still holding on to something. Right, then I just know that I’m not; I have yet to let that go. So that’s a great indicator, a great starting point for these. 

You may have guys you may have chances are you’re going to have more than 20 unconscious commitments; we may have quite a few more. As you peel back the layers, you may discover more underneath that. That’s a great thing. Because you’re kind of like Indiana jones doing an archaeological investigation into your subconscious into your mind and finding out that programming is, and just like you update your iPhone or your android or whatever smartphone you have, you update that software, it’s time to update your software. It’s time for a reset. It’s time to get yourself a reset., my windows computer, it’s ctrl alt delete; you guys have mac’s; you guys can figure that on your own. But are you ready for a reset in your own life? Are you ready to reset, reboot and reclaim your power? And if you are, I invite you to come to one of our alpha resets and check that out because I think Tim is the most powerful way. The alpha reset is an intense retreat, and to get there, right to get to The Alpha Reset, one you have to apply, two you have to be accepted. Three, you have to go through eight weeks, eight weeks of intensive coaching with our team and with another group of men just like you. That’s just to get to The Alpha Reset. After that, that’s when the ctrl alt delete reboot happens. That’s why we call it The Alpha Reset.

Tim Matthews  30:17  

So true, so true. I love the whole Indiana Jones analogy as well. Whenever you use that, I always smile; it’s so cool.

Doug Holt  30:24  

I love it to man because you think about investigating, and, I’m an adventure, I love to adventure. If anybody knows the lifestyle that I live, it’s all about adventure, and go and adventure in your mind and your soul. Just no greater adventure in the world to me. That’s all we got for time today as a wrap-up. So gentlemen, are you ready to reboot? If you are I enjoy I invite you as we invite all the men, we never tell them what to do. I invite you to join us, get on a call and see if it’s the right fit for you. Not everybody’s accepted. So we do have an application process. We want to make sure it’s the right men in the right place. If you’re listening to this, the odds are that’s you, and I invite you to be there. So go ahead and reboot your alpha, and we’ll see you at the next alpha reset.