How many times have you told yourself that you want to do something and then you don’t do it?
How do you feel when you are not keeping your commitments to yourself and are not following through on what you said (and promised yourself) that you would do?
It’s a bad feeling, isn’t it?
What to do?
The first step is to become more aware of what is happening and what you are doing. When you say we are going to do something, and then you don’t, you are, in essence, weakening the trust between you and yourself. What you might be taking for granted (and what I would like you to be more aware of) is that you are in a relationship with yourself 24/7. In your relationships with others, when you commit to doing something and then you do not do it, that trust between you and that person is questioned and weakened. The same is true for you and your relationship with yourself. Each time you break a commitment to yourself, you keep weakening the trust between you and yourself. This makes you doubt yourself more, and of course, not trust yourself or your word very much.
What Steps Can You Take to Rebuild Your Trust with Yourself?
Step 1: Be Clear and Specific.
What might be getting in the way of you not following-through on your word with yourself is that you are being too vague. When you are vague in your communication, you are less directed, and therefore, less likely to follow-through.
For example, let’s say you are interested in enrolling in graduate school next year. Instead of stating or writing down that you will look into various graduate degree programs, be clear and then get specific. State clearly what your goal is and then make a very specific list of all the tasks that you are required to do to reach that goal.
“I am going to look into graduate programs for next year.”
Clear and specific communication:
State your clear and specific goal: “My goal is to enroll in a graduate program by this January.”
State your clear and specific tasks to help you reach your stated goal:
“To do tasks to help me reach my goal:
(For each task also add when you will accomplish that task by.)
Step 2: Upgrade your Language
What we say has an impact on how we behave and what we do. What we say and how we communicate is also an indicator as to how confident, trusting, and committed we are with regards to following through on what we say we will do.
For example, saying “I have to” or “I need to” are likely to make you feel resistant to following through on what you said you would do. This is because having to or needing to takes away your sense of control. In essence what you are doing when you use language such as this is relinquishing your control over yourself.
To regain control of your situation (and your life) upgrade your language and replace “I have to” or “I need to” with “I will” or “I choose to.” Upgrading your language will get you back in the driver’s seat of your life and recommitted to yourself and to following through on your goals and tasks.
Step 3: Only Commit to Doing What You Know You Are Ready, Able & Willing to Do
Be honest and realistic with yourself about what you know you are able to and ready to commit to doing. If you do not know what that system is for you just yet, explore various methods until you find the right one for you. Sometimes the only way to figure out what works best for you is by jumping in and trying something out. Once you do, you can examine your experience and ask yourself questions like what worked best? and what did not work as well? Only you can truly know what that is and I encourage you to figure out the system that works best for you. What might work for someone else, can work for you, but be honest with yourself about who you are. Do not compare yourself to others. You will be most successful at anything you do when you are being authentic to who you are.
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In support and admiration,