I was going through some papers the other day and came across a scrap with some scrawled handwriting. I recognized it as my own and realized I wrote it after waking up from a dream.
I had written that Little Promises I Make to Myself would be a book title.
I had forgotten all about it until I rediscovered this scrap. I knew what the book was meant to be.
You Probably Have Little Promises You Make To Yourself Too
I don’t always make good on my little promises. Some are clearly from my childhood. Others I developed through my experience as an adult, growing up. I distinctly remember this realization in my early forties. As adults we continue to mature and adapt and change – hopefully for the better.
Here’s just one little promise I’ve picked up along the way.
Do What I Say I’m Going To Do When I Say I’m Going To Do It
Promises like this can be noble. For me, this is important so people know they can count on me. It represents consistency, which leads to credibility. Credibility leads to trust and being counted on. It’s important for me to let someone know if I cannot make good on what I told them I am going to do – whether it matters to them or not. It matters to me.
Ultimately this is where the promise to myself comes in. This consistency, credibility and ability to be trusted come into play about how I view myself. Integrity is my number one value. I can feel it in my body when I am out of integrity.
How Does It Feel When You Don’t Keep Your Promises?
What does it mean to be out of integrity? For me, it’s when I knowingly do not do what I say I’m going to do, and don’t admit it. I make flimsy excuses. I expect more from others than I expect from myself. I know I’m out of integrity when I am going off on someone else about a failure to keep this promise to me.
I jumped on someone the other day who failed to do what he said he was going to do. It’s happened so many times it’s affecting my trust in him. I was going to point that out until he got it.
He clearly thought I was a maniac. At first I judged him for not having the same value as me, and for not respecting my need that he make good on his word. That’s what got my attention. My need for it.
Let’s see. If I were clean on that one, why would I be so upset? It’s a little thing called projection. It made me think about where I might be letting myself down. Perhaps I’m letting myself down by counting on someone I know will let me down.
The Promises You Make To Yourself Are The Most Important You Make
I talk a lot about how we show up in the world. How you show up for yourself is important too. I remember reading that those who don’t trust others are the least trustworthy themselves. We get what we put out there.