It is very interesting that when I talk to our students about subjects dealing with character, it always make me stop and think about myself. We have been talking about why it is easy to keep our promises to ourselves and others and why it can be hard sometimes too.
It is always easy when it is fun, or we are good at something or if we just love doing it or being around the people we are involved with. On the other hand it is a lot harder when it is something that we do not understand or is boring to us. There really are 3 things that get in our way of keeping a commitment.
I read recently that they are considerations, fears and roadblocks. I have noticed with myself that many times that all three of them get in the way many times all together.
First you have the negative talk, considerations, that happen and you can quickly come up with all the reasons you cannot do something. That many times can lead to fear which are feelings. They may include fear of failure or rejection (two that I battle all of the time). Then of course as soon as the first road block comes up your fears are realized and you are sure that your original considerations were true and so you get frozen.
Now back to promises. The promises we make to ourselves are very important. I have promised to complete the Ultimate Black Belt Test the best way I know how or better than I know how at this moment. I must learn how to overcome the considerations, fear and roadblocks to keep this promise. No matter what comes up I must overcome the negative voice, the fears, and those roadblocks that are bound to get in the way.
One of the most important kind of commitments we ever make is the promises that we make to ourselves. We know that our ability to keep promises to others will have an affect on the way they view us. They will see us as someone they can trust, or that we are reliable, dependable and responsible.
Did you know that the way we keep or not keep promises to ourselves has the same effect on us personally. If we continuously make promises to ourselves, and then break it we are not showing the same respect for ourselves that we show to others. This has a very negative affect on the way we feel about ourselves.
Lets say we promise ourselves to take a walk everyday for exercise, and we do so for 4 days straight. But then we let various things get in the way of our keeping this commitment. In affect we are lying to ourselves, and we begin to see ourselves as not reliable or dependable. This then allows us to give up in other areas of our life on commitments and soon we find that our self respect is very low. Do you know how good you feel about yourself when you keep commitments to yourself?
Showing commitment to ourselves will make a difference in our success in life and it will help us keep our commitments to others.
Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.
Have you ever had a friend or someone you knew that very seldom came through on the promises they made. They say they will call you, or go out with you or take care of your kids and they don’t. It does not take very long before you begin to lose faith in them. You recognize that they may not be reliable, accountable or dependable. You just may not trust them.
The same thing happens to us when we make and break self – promises. What if I promised myself that I was going to work out in the morning. Or I am going to be sure to eat breakfast every morning. Or any number of other promises we may make to ourselves. If we do not keep them, it won’t belong before we won’t trust ourselves. We may begin questioning if we are responsible. Our self esteem will suffer.
Make and keep a small commitment to your self and then as you built up your trust in your self the commitments you make can get larger and more difficult. Being honest with yourself, keeping your word to yourself on small and big things will create in you the person you want to be, Responsible (Reliable, Accountable, Dependable)
In our discussion about responsibility this week we will discuss keeping our promises. While it can be very easy to make promises, sometimes not so easy to keep those promises. But when we do we are showing that we are a R.A.D person. What does that stand for? Responsible, Accountable and Dependable.
We show that others can rely, count on and depend on us and that we can rely, count on and depend on ourselves. This idea of counting on ourselves is so important in our self esteem. Just as we would not trust a person that does not keep their word, we can grow to not trust ourselves for the same reason. I think about the example that Steven Covey uses when he talks about building a personal bank account by keeping our word to ourselves and others.
As we make promises to ourself and then keep them, we will grow in our belief in ourselves. If on the other hand we fail to do what we committed to do, our ‘personal bank account’ becomes depleted and we can become very discouraged even depressed. We can show our responsibility by keeping our promises.