My theory is that at some point in our life, many of us have made a cognitive contract with ourselves. By this I mean we have made a statement, a silent spontaneous promise, a decree, or vow. (I have not quite figured out the best term for it yet but these are some of the words I use to describe this experience.) Little did we know at the time this was affirmed in our mind or how this statement might influence our choices and what we might be attracting into our life.

One of the discerning features of this theory is that these kinds of cognitive vows or internal contracts are not unconscious like many of our so called limiting beliefs. We simply have forgotten saying or thinking it. With a little reflection, I have observed that we can pin point the exact circumstance (story) behind it, how old we were, and what exactly we said to our self. It is thought or spoken in response to a particular situation or experience that feels out of our control at the time. It is a statement that promises to deliver and is related to a limiting belief or core belief underlying what we are unknowingly attracting into our life.

I will share two of my stories so you get the idea of where I’m coming from.

Story #1.

When I was a teenager my parents were having serious marital problems. My father was a prominent psychiatrist in Montreal and Italian to boot. He would not allow my mother to work and she wanted to get a job for many reasons but one of the reasons was so she could develop financial freedom and be financially independent from my father.

 My interpretation of this situation at the time was that my mother was tied and dependant on my father financially and did not feel that she could leave the marriage. (The story)

 I clearly remember saying to myself in my head “I will never rely on a man for money”. (The vow)

From that point on in my life nearly every man I was in relationship did not have money which, by the way really sucked. More importantly, I think I equated having money with power. In particular power in relationships and freedom to choose, to stay or end a relationship and so maybe I attracted men without money so I could be in control.


For the next 3 years, my mother did begin to work, did leave my father, went back to school and got her teaching degree and because my father wanted to sell the family home she left to move to a teaching job out west and make a home for herself and my sister. I remained in Montreal to pursue my ongoing education. To make a long story short when I was 19 years old my mother ventured out in her Volkswagen with our family dog and on an incredible journey to move and live out west and before reaching her destination, on my parents wedding anniversary date, she died in a tragic and fatal car accident. My father stopped working and seeing patients and five months later he killed himself by contracting liver disease through intentional drinking and not seeking medical attention.(The story)

 I was sitting in a university lecture a few months after this huge loss, and after it ended I clearly remember looking at the 2 doors of this huge lecture hall thinking “I have a choice to make.”In my fantasy thinking I said to myself “If I go through the left door it leads to the psych ward, and that means I will become a victim to these losses. The door to the right lead to focused attention to be successful with school and moving forward with my life.” I said to myself, “that would be what my parents would have liked me to do.” I chose the door to the right. I then became aware of the fact that  “ there is no one left to affirm me and it is now up to me to affirm myself because I can’t count on anyone else to do this for me” ( the cognitive contract).I visualized my arm stretching around and tapping myself on the back.

 One of my primary love languages is words of affirmation. Both my parents were very affirming of my efforts and successes and I realized that my source fuel for self worth had now evaporated with their deaths.

Now, this would appear to be a good thing and for the most part I did learn to value myself and my accomplishments and I believe it is important for everyone to learn this ability. However, I found myself in a job for 22 years where my accomplishments and contributions were not affirmed or vocally appreciated. This angered me. I also saw it reflected in my personal relationships. After blaming others in my mind for this lack of external recognition, ‘what is wrong with these people that they cannot see how great I am and what I have to offer’ ….Yes, this is part of my shadow teaching! I began to explore how it came to be that I created this for myself. It took me back to the decree I made years ago that there “is no one left to affirm me but myself, I just can’t count on anyone to do this for me”.

 I believe that each and every one of us has made a decree, a promise to ourselves about what we will or will never do, what we will tolerate or not tolerate and or/what we need to have happen to be SAFE or get our needs met.

 My theory suggests that these cognitive contracts with our self are spoken at pivotal points in our life, usually in times of extreme stress, where we make a proclamation around what we see going on in our life with our families, our peer group and/ or parents marriage/s. Although these promises we silently make to our self can be useful at the time you may recognise that they now function as a limiting belief.

The reason I am exploring this is because we can use EFT to collapse and shift out of these limiting patterns. For example;

The set up….Even through when I was a teenager I said to myself I will never rely on a man for money, I accept myself anyways.

Even though I witnessed my mother being stuck in a marriage she wanted to end and said to myself I will never rely on a man for money, I now recognize the source of this vow and love and accept myself.

Even though I believe I need to have money to be in a position of control and safety in a relationship, I am learning to forgive myself and my parents.

As you can see there are many angles I could explore with this to begin to clear this belief.

Since clearing this through EFT and bringing this into my conscious awareness this pattern is shifting and I have opened a space for others to affirm and value me.

I am interested for all of you who read this to weigh in on sharing your story if you recognise and remember having done this. I am interested in knowing if this is a more universal experience. All comments are welcomed and appreciated

 The features of this process are to:

  1. Remember specifically what you declared to yourself at a particular age and time.
  2. Share the story that lead up to creating this thought.
  3. Identify how having said this maybe influencing why you are not getting what you want or need now. 

Thanks for reading this and I hope it tweaks your memory and thus bring you to another possible level for healing a core issue with EFT. Blessings Jody