Personal Development, Leadership, and Motivation Blog Series
What was said cannot be undone
I’ve always been a firm believer that once a person says something and/or makes a commitment to do something that, what was said cannot be undone, and one must follow through. Perhaps, time might have changed what is expected a little, as I feel that expectations behind commitments are little looser now than few years ago, but nonetheless it is still something that absolutely exists and is expected. It’s like making a wedding vows, once you said it, you can’t change your mind the next day, because, you’ve made a commitment to yourself and another person you love. So, why should the sense of commitment and responsibility be any different or less valued when one makes a promise to themselves and others to follow through on a particular plan or task? It shouldn’t be. Regardless of the nature of the promise or commitment made, I feel that once word is given it cannot be undone or taken back. That is why it is absolutely critical that we spend necessary amount of time thinking through the situation, analyzing pros and cons, understanding risks and commitment required, before verbalizing or putting your acceptance on paper agreeing to take on a particular task or challenge, whether it is personal goal or professional agreement.
Consequences of broken commitments
There are several negative consequences that exist when one breaks his or her promise and chooses to no follow through.
One – any previously established trust that you may have built over long period of time, will be typically diminished and replaced with caution. Now, whenever someone who broke trust makes any other future commitments, he or she would be approached with caution and low level of trust. Therefore, it may be challenging for a person in this situation to expect the same level of trust and autonomy in decision making from others when it comes to important projects and assignments.
Two – personal and professional reputation may suffer in the eyes of business partners or even family members and friends. When you are known as someone who does not keep his or her promises and commitments, the likelihood of someone coming to you for an advice when it comes to planning, goal setting, and organization, would typically be relatively low.
Three – One will likely be perceived by others as someone who creates an ‘empty noise’ – talks a lot, promises many things, however, when it comes time to actually deliver on promises made, that person is nowhere to be found. I think at some point in our lives we all have dealt with this type of individual in the place or business of somewhere else.
These are just three of many negative consequences that come with lack of follow through on commitments made by an individual. I am sure if we keep going and list all possible outcomes, the list could be rather extensive.
What does this have to do with personal commitments that we make to ourselves vs. other people?
Commitments made to ourselves are as important as those made to others. I often hear and see people making big promises to begin working and taking action to accomplish personal goals, whether it is fitness, self-education, goal planning, getting rid of bad habits, be more pro-active and stop procrastination, starting their own business to do what they say they love, but no actionable steps is being taken to actually do what was committed to and promised. For example, in reference to personal development and leadership, if someone is telling me that they want to become a better leader in their business, or begin investing more time and energy into their self-education every day by means of reading more, utilizing information available in leadership and personal development books and e-books, podcasts, blogs, I would typically wait and see if a person actually follows through on what he or she said they are going to do. In many cases what happens is, we take a first step, being learning, reading, and this would typically last for few days, maybe even a week, and then we get tired, lose interest, desire to keep powering through occasional challenges, and then we stop.
What happens after we choose to stop and not follow through on our own commitments?
As soon as we decide to stop and put our commitments to the side, that is when excuses come in. We begin generating various excuses as to why we were “unable” to follow through. Most of the excuses would typically have no direct correlation to the actual problem – failure to keep their word and not follow through on promise given. Please do not get me wrong, there are situations that may sometimes actually keep us from completing what we’ve set out and committed to do, however, the frequency of such situations actually taking place is very small. In most cases, it is our own decision to stop, to give up, showing no desire to try, is what causes us to limit our personal and professional growth.
Please remember, we can either help ourselves to keep moving forwards towards desired outcomes, or hold ourselves back creating many different reasons why we are not where we want to be
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