When it comes to making a promise, sometimes the best person to focus on is yourself. We make promises to others all the time, our friends, our family, our colleagues and we work hard to keep to it. But how hard do you work on keeping the promises you make to yourself ?
Keeping promises to yourself is very much like creating a new habit. With every promise that we fulfill to ourselves, we are reminding ourselves of what we want and that we are capable of achieving it. You then begin to create an energy that stays with us. When we’re faced with a decision to keep or break our personal promises, we’ll more than likely choose the former.
Promises to yourself are the most imperative because they establish a key aspect of your identity; your confidence. More often than not, a promise you made to yourself has the purpose of bettering you in some way. Not only does it boosts your confidence, but it reminds you that you are valuable and worthy of this self-care.
Yes, it boils back down to self-love. I shouldn’t have to convince you that it’s a good idea if you knew how much happier you would feel afterwards. It’s a powerful way to live.
Start showing up for yourself. Consider it a non-negotiable investment in yourself that will benefit you. It’s always rewarding to change our behavior in ways that improve our lives. And it feels even better knowing that we can rely on ourselves.
The idea behind this is; if you consistently keep to the promises you make to yourself, you are prioritizing yourself and practising self-love. So when the big things arise like “I promise I’m never going to allow anyone to disrespect me.” or “I promise I won’t allow anyone to treat me that way again.”, you’ll mean it and take it seriously.
By keeping small promises, you are building trust in yourself. With every promise kept, your belief in yourself strengthens and your expectations for yourself rise. Soon, keeping promises to yourself will become part of who you are.
So no matter how tiny it is, like promising to oil your hair today, or taking your old blind dog down for a 10 minutes walk, do it. Keep promises to yourself so that you won’t accept anything less or anyone else not keeping their promises to you or breaking the ones you strongly abide by.
Tips to help you enhance your energy level when you make yourself a promise:
- Consider it a contract to yourself
I mentioned previously to consider it a non-negotiable investment in yourself. Be specific about what you intend to do or stop doing. Be definite about the results you expect for keeping your promise. Ask yourself these questions – Why are the results important to you? What are your conditions of successful completion? What is the value you get? Be clear about the importance of this contract.
- Write it down
Make a ritual. We might waver on our promise when things get rough. Writing them down solidifies your desire for the outcome and makes the thought hold more weight.
Keep your written promises where you can see them regularly. When I was going through a rough breakup, I had these promises written down on my diary. For the whole month of February, I left myself a note everyday. Notes on what I needed to stop doing in order to move on and reminders on why it never worked out in the first place.
It was really difficult at first but as the days went on, I saw the number of days I was striking off on my calendar. The number of days were turning into weeks where I had stuck to what I had promised myself. At the end of the month, I felt stronger and more confident. It boosted my productivity and happiness. By the time March came around, my calendar was a lot less messy than the month before.
- Change your beliefs
This isn’t wishful thinking. Initiate and act like your self-esteem depends on it, cause it does. Most of us takes keeping promises to others seriously, but for some reason, we don’t apply that same belief to ourselves. Stop giving yourself excuses and stop believing that it’s okay to let yourself down. Once you belief that you matter as much as everyone else, this attitude won’t be acceptable to you.
- Get on the same page with your mind
It’s never been more true. Mind over matter people. When quitting bad habits or starting new good ones, there is always going to be a power struggle between your mind and your heart. Sometimes you will be faced with mental and emotional obstacles. I know that’s what I went through. The mind usually wants to change things but the heart can’t catch up as of yet. But once your heart catches up with your mind, you’ll start taking your word more seriously. You’ll start to see things with a lot more clarity and focus. The results can be very rewarding both outwardly and inwardly.
By following these steps, we become more deeply in tune with our underlying desire for transformation. We are our word. Keeping promises to yourself allows you to trust and love yourself more. You’re beginning to teach yourself and others to take you more seriously.
In a world where vows are often left unfulfilled, where making a pledge means less than it used to, where promises seem like they are made to be broken- it would be nice to see words come back into power. So out of all the promises you feel too overwhelming to keep to, how about keeping to just one: promise to keep promises to yourself.