How can you improve at following through on your commitments?
Explore your Chances of Success
Look at the commitments you've made in your life. What percentage were completed by the deadline - write down your answer between 0% and 100%.
If it's not 100%, then what's the difference between those you kept and those you failed to keep? Your answer to this crucial question can change your life: When do you find it easier to break a commitment?
Some say that it's easier to keep promises to other people than themselves. If that's you, you need to clear on just how important you are in your own life. Realize that you are the only person guaranteed to have your best interests in mind, only you can guarantee this.
What's the Common Denominator?
Explore the circumstances which stop you keeping a commitment. What happened to make you fail? Writing down your answers will help you avoid such self sabotage in the future. Become more aware of circumstances in which you find it easy to break a commitment. Then realize that how to improve is to avoid such situations.
[Aside. When someone else promises they have your best interests in mind, then be very, very skeptical! Your partner, maybe, but how about politicians? Remember that Adolf Hitler, the infamous Nazi Germany dictator of World War II and the Holocaust, said: "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." He went on to add: "What good fortune for those in power that people do not think." Some well-known current politicians seem to have exactly the same philosophy!]
Some people make promises they don't want to complete. But why? You don't have to do anything, although there are consequences to every choice you make.
You may say, I don't want to but I have to - my kids need feeding! But realize the truth: you're choosing to work at a job you dislike in order to meet your responsibilities. So how to improve is to enjoy that you're being responsible rather than being a self-indulgent and irresponsible person who could refuse your commitments.
Realize that your decision to have kids years ago included the commitment to look after them until they're 18 and capable of looking after themselves. So working to feed the kids is the consequence of your previous choice along with your current choice to be responsible. You're a great person, what a star! If you promised to look after your partner in sickness and in health, then since you gave your word - keep it. You will change your life by keeping your commitments.
Did you Mean It?
Even saying "I'll do something" is informal, but it's still giving your word. At that moment you presumable intend to do it! If you don't, then why lie? You know you're not telling the truth!
Untruths about whether you'll do or not do it can only lead to disappointment and loss of self-esteem. The result of an idea is never separate from its source. When the source is untruth and deception - which has no power - then how can the result have any power? In many cases, deception and untruth is also illegal.
Your Word is a Promise
If you change your mind later and decide not to do it, you destroy the momentum you have already put into it. This is not wrong, yet won't change your life. Changing your mind just wastes the time and energy you've invested so far. It also destroys respect and helps you be seen as untrustworthy.
If you cannot both promise and mean you'll follow through 100% as promised, then you're setting yourself up for failure. This suggests that it's just too much for you at this time. So don't make such a big promise!
Chunk it down into smaller bite-size pieces which you can complete 100% guaranteed. The secret of success is to choose only the first task and commit to that instead. You need to end up with a commitment that you can guarantee to complete 100%. One that you can take to the bank.
Food for Thought
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
- William James, 1842–1910. American psychologist, physician, Harvard professor, philosopher
This article was originally published at articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/increase-your-chances-of-success-how-to-avoid-self-sabotage-part-4-in-the-commitment-series-6086464 .html