Today I want to talk about one of the greatest skills that you can ever develop as a human being, the ability to keep your own promises. Keeping promises to other people is important, and yet to be a whole human, we’ve got to develop a really great relationship with the promises that we make to ourselves. Unfortunately, the promises we make to ourselves are often the ones that we break most often.
How good are you at keeping the promises you make to yourself?
Over the years, I’ve created a little bit of a definition of the word confidence. The word confidence to me is a by-product of kept promises. And so if you’re a person who intends to have confidence and certainty in your life, that is best done by making promises to yourself and then following through and keeping them.
Your word to yourself becomes your bond. In fact, one of my all-time favorite coaching questions is, “if I followed you around all week long and just observed your behavior, would I see a person whose audio and video match” meaning is what you say and what you do in alignment? And unfortunately, for a lot of us, that isn’t the case. We judge ourselves on our intentions and we judge others on their actions and I would encourage you to flip the script. Start judging others on their intentions and judging yourself on your actions. This is such a huge deal because when you consistently break the promises that you make to yourself, it erodes your sense of confidence and belief in yourself.
And the opposite is true as well. When you decide that you’re going to keep those promises when you decide that you’re going to develop a powerful relationship with the words that come out of your mouth, your whole life shifts. So, what is the relationship that you have to the words that come out of your mouth? Are you a person who keeps your own promises? Are you a person whose audio and video match?
Here’s what I want you to understand. Promises are just like money. Oftentimes we tend to discount small money thinking that we will somehow take big money much more seriously, but what I’ve come to know through coaching people over the years is that money and promises are synonymous. Meaning if you do not manage small money well, you’ll never manage big money well. And if you don’t manage small promises well, you’ll never manage big promises well.
My intention in sharing this with you is twofold. One is to take all promises (and money) seriously. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that small and big are somehow different. Secondly, start small. Pick a single promise or commitment you will make to yourself and follow through on it no matter what. That might be something like flossing, reading 10 pages per day, or walking 10,000 steps. Choose a promise that no matter where you are or what you’re doing you can and will follow through every day.
Regardless of how big or small, your business is, I promise you that if you can learn to become a promise keeper if you can end the negotiation within you, when you say you’ll do something, you will unequivocally do it. This is the path to fulfillment.