Do you find it hard to keep your word? This can be a hard habit to break, but you can do something to change it. Learn how you can walk the talk with this article.
You’ve probably been disappointed by someone who didn’t keep his promise. It could be as simple as a lunch date that was reset or a phone call that wasn’t returned. Broken agreements can put a dent in any relationship. In our business dealings, these can even lead to dire consequences like losing a contract or your job. But the most unfortunate consequences are compromising your integrity, losing self-respect, and losing the relationship itself.
The cost of breaking your word
Jack Canfield highlights very important consequences of not keeping our agreements:
- you lose your authority with employees, colleagues, vendors, and customers
- you lose valuable clients
- you create messes that require attention, time, and money
- you work overtime to regain someone’s trust
Relationships deteriorate when you don’t keep your word. But the biggest price you have to pay, says Canfield, is that you lose trust in yourself. Breaking agreements impacts self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect. You undermine your sense of integrity and personal power. You start distrusting yourself more and more.
Lou Tice over at the Pacific Institute agrees and adds that when you break an agreement with yourself, you won’t help but act in ways that reflect this. In other words, you’ll trust in yourself less and less, which leads to insecurity.
Why you can’t follow through with your commitments and what to do about it
People usually can’t keep agreements for four reasons. You can actually avoid being in these situations:
- If you have too much handle, cut down and reprioritize. Bigger disappointments can be avoided when you learn to say no.
- If you’re forgetful, keep an organizer and to-do list. This solution might sound oh-so simple, but it works! An organizer with a calendar that shows your whole month will help you avoid overbooking and double-booking.
- If you have misplaced priorities and something comes up that seems more fun, reread the first part of this essay. Then decide if it’s really worth it.
- For your consistent laziness concerns, check if it’s time to move on to something you can be more passionate about. Ancient wisdom says, those unwilling to work will not get to eat. This is great motivation you’ll find to be true.
Delays and broken promises sometimes can’t be avoided for unexpected reasons. When this happens, communicate. If you can’t follow through, say so at the earliest time possible and hope that the other party understands. It’s best to say something than nothing at all.
Have you lost someone’s trust? You may have to swallow your pride and apologize. If the person gives you a second chance, then do your best to keep your word. A good name and valuable relationships are always worth keeping.