Do you often make a promise to yourself but end up breaking it?
Even the most loyal and reliable person, that is you, when it comes to the promises you made for yourself, you fail miserably?
Maybe you promised to yourself you’d wake up one-hour early this morning.
Comes the morning. You hit the snooze button. Again.
I’ll start tomorrow
Tomorrow rolls in. The same thing happens.
A day with a Series of Promises
Our day is made up of a series of promises we make to ourselves.
So, it’s fair to say how our day pans out depends on whether or not we keep the promises.
One extra hour you promised yourself isn’t just about the one hour.
The extra hour is about adding quality to your life:
30 minutes’ work out before starting the day.
One hour working on your blog before heading to work.
30 minutes reading a non-fiction book because that’s the only “me time” available in the day.
Promises You Make to Other People
Imagine your best friend needs a lift to an airport in a godawful hour.
Being a good friend, you promise to take her.
Albeit a little struggle, you wake up, pick her up, drive her to the airport and see her off.
You feel super good about yourself, being a wonderful friend who keeps her promise. Earn your rightful place in your friend’s life: BFF.
So why is it hard for you to wake up when you promised yourself to do things that truly matter to you.
We already know it’s not because you can’t.
When we commit ourselves to others, our words and actions become an opportunity to garner others’ approval.
We enjoy validation other people place on us.
Enjoy being liked and respected.
We also don’t want to lose our face. Labelled as an untrustworthy person. Or removed from a reliable friend list.
We might be an unselfish person who always helps others in need.
Wouldn’t It be Wonderful…
… if we could keep the promise we made for ourselves just as much?
But most of us find it challenging because it seems harmless to break them.
There’s no one to judge us. Nobody is hurt or disappointed by us not getting up an hour early.
But is it really?
We don’t realise the real price we pay for breaking our promises.
Real Price We Pay
Think of someone who keeps breaking a promise with you.
It’s hard to trust that person. Once or twice maybe. But over and over?
You can’t hide your disappointment.
You know she is not a bad person. She is just not trustworthy. You can’t build a relationship with someone you can’t trust.
She can’t be an important person in your life since she doesn’t treat you with respect.
You can’t help it: you slowly distance yourself from her life.
Just like that, your bond with each other weakens.
When you keep breaking the promises you make to yourself, the same phenomenon happens within you… with yourself.
You slowly lose trust in you.
Good intentions are useless without good action.
Your good intentions – your promises – without action create guilt and disappointment. It erodes your confidence.
That’s a massive price to pay because low self-image and self-esteem affect all areas of your life.
What Keeping a Promise Looks Like
When your audition didn’t go well, you still get up at 6 am the next morning and grab your violin.
Because you promised yourself you would.
Even though you don’t know whether anyone will buy your book, you sit down at your desk every morning and write 1,000+ words because you promised yourself you would.
You’re out the door within seconds of your alarm clock because you promised yourself that’s how you’d start your day.
Regardless of a negative interview result, low book sales or low income from your side-hustle gig, you keep your promise.
Show up and do the work
By doing so, you establish a cycle of success.
It means that you love, trust and respect yourself enough to keep the promises you made to yourself.
Just as your commitment to your best friend is reciprocated with a stronger relationship between you two, your relationship with yourself will flourish.
That’s the ultimate reward you reap (or a price to pay, if the opposite is true) when you keep promises you made to yourself.
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