How good is your word? Well, how good is it? Your word to yourself? Do you find that you keep your promises to your family and friends, yet you break your commitments to yourself all day long? In my opinion, we are only as good as our word is, especially to ourselves. When we continually break our promises to ourselves, we quit believing ourselves. At least I find that to be true.
For instance, when you start a diet. You’ve been doing great for a few days, you’ve sworn off sugar, alcohol and carbs, and then find yourself making excuses to eat the birthday cake at your neighbor’s party. Your brain is thinking, “no, I’m not gonna touch that piece of yummy looking heaven wrapped in chocolate ganache,” yet, at the same time your hand is going for the fork, piercing the fluffy square and it’s flying right toward your pie hole. “Don’t do it! Don’t do it, don’t….here it comes. Avoid, run, shut my mouth! Don’t eat it….…..Crap. I did it again.” Even though you promised yourself come hell or high water, you wouldn’t even take one bite, you ate at least half the slice. Your self-esteem crashes and you feel like you lied to yourself yet again.
Or maybe you’ve made a bucket list with some really adventurous stuff on it, but you just keep making excuses not to let it happen. I could name a list a mile long of the promises we make to ourselves that we break, from little to big. But at the end of the day, a broken promise is a broken promise, which in return makes us question just how good our word to our self is. And after a while, you’re shaking your own head when you hear the promises come out of your mouth because deep down you know you will break them.
I had realized that over the last several years my word to myself wasn’t so great. As far as friends and relationships went, my word was as good as gold. So what’s the difference I asked my self? Why is it so easy to keep my promises to friends and family, but not to me? Why was the value of my own personal goals and commitments not as strong as the commitments I had made to those around me? Why was I always putting others first? I think for me it was a combination of always wanting to please others and having a hard time just saying no. Also, I realized once I promised all the hours of my day away, there’s wasn’t much time left for me for personal growth or furthering my education.
I’ve practiced keeping my word to myself, and I can tell you it has really made me grow as a person. I had to make it a habit though. It’s not like one day, all of a sudden, I just didn’t break promises to myself anymore. And I still do, but not like I used to. I’d say I used to break about 90% of the promises I would make to myself, and now I might break about 10%. It’s completely transformed my life, and it’s still changing every day for the better. A habit takes anywhere from 30 to 100 days to form. So a habit has to be practiced daily for it to become automatic. One thing that really helped me with keeping my promises to myself was getting rid of the excuses I had used. And trust me, when you don’t allow yourself room to use excuses, it’s pretty hard to break a promise to yourself. I have also been practicing the habit of creating a daily goal list every night for the following day. If I forget to make one the night before I wake up and feel a little lost and directionless. When I do make my goal list the night before, I wake up with a fire under my butt and a burning desire to take on the challenge of reaching all my goals. I don’t always reach every single goal for the day, but I’ve learned to swallow the frog first. The thing that makes me cringe the most, is usually the thing that I need to conquer first. Reaching my toughest goals are the ones that reap the highest sense of accomplishment. The saying is true. The thing that scares you the most is the thing you most need to do.
So now if I decide I’m going to do something, I do it. I take action. I don’t sit idle and watch time pass me by. In the end, I’ve found it is a lot easier to keep my promises than to break them. Instead of sitting around thinking about what you should be doing, take action and just do it.