Have you ever said “Starting tomorrow I’m gonna ________” and then you didn’t do it?
Have you ever promised yourself that you were going to lose weight, exercise, eat healthier… save for retirement, save for college, start a business… learn another language, learn to dance or play guitar… spend more time with your team members, your stakeholders, your kids, your parents, your in-laws? (Okay that last one might be a stretch, but you get the point, right?)
What promises have you made to yourself that you haven’t kept?
What promises are you still making to yourself that you know you won’t keep?
Do you want to be a good leader, a good parent, a good friend, a good partner? Do you want others to want to follow you, or be with you, or enjoy your company? Then those questions above aren’t rhetorical! Do you make those promises to yourself and fail to keep them?
If so, join the club! Most people do this every day… yes, every single day!
I remember back to when I was an athlete. I played basketball in high school and college and then even coached in high school and college. I remember promising myself that I’d never get out of shape… that I’d always exercise… that I’d always be able to run a mile. Then, it happened. I gained 25 pounds. I didn’t “feel like” working out. I didn’t have money to join a gym. I didn’t have time to workout. I had other, more important things to do. You know the excuses, right?
In the evening, I’d set my alarm to wake up early and then when the alarm went off, I’d remake my previous decision and sleep in a little more. After doing this time and time again, I realized what I was doing to myself. Every time I promised myself that I’d get up and workout and then I didn’t, I was destroying my trust… my self-trust. This weakened my confidence, my courage, my self-esteem and yes, even my integrity.
It’s the little decisions that we make every day that determine our success and failure.
Do you trust yourself?
When we look at some of the attributes of trust you find things like…
- Good Intentions
- Strong Character
- High Integrity
- Solid Track Record
Now, take an honest look at yourself? Look at the promises and commitments that you have made to YOURSELF. How’s your track record? Would you trust YOU?
Trust Can Be Learned
Did you know that you can learn and earn trust? Most people do. The real question is… Do you know HOW?
The first step is to become TRUSTWORTHY!
The only way to build trust professionally (and personally) is by being trustworthy.
How do you do that? One simple discipline practiced every day.
Make one simple promise to yourself every day and, no matter what happens, keep it!!
Don’t start with some grandiose plan to change everything in your world. Start with one simple promise. Floss one tooth every day. Eat one baby carrot every day. Use one less sweetener in your coffee or tea every day. Smile at one stranger every day. Wait 1 minute before opening your email every morning.
Then, as you get good at keeping these little promises to yourself, CELEBRATE!! (You might have thought I was going to say “make bigger promises to yourself”, didn’t you?) You must first celebrate your success. This tells your brain to do more of what you just did. Celebration releases chemicals and hormones that can drive you to future success faster.
Then, your next step is to make a bigger promise to yourself. Now, not too huge. Make sure that you can accomplish it and that it leads you in the direction that you are trying to go.
So here are your steps:
- Make one simple promise to yourself and practice it every day.
- Celebrate with a fist pump or clasp your hands over your head in victory with every success.
- Take another step forward and make a bigger promise to yourself.
So what is the hidden truth?
It’s this. If you don’t learn how to become trustworthy to yourself, you won’t be trustworthy to others. Every day that you break a promise to yourself, you not only lose trust in yourself, you lose confidence, you lose courage, and you lose your integrity – your wholeness.
We all like to believe that we are people of high integrity (and I’m not here to question yours). I just want you to take a good, honest look at yourself. All great leaders do this on a regular basis. They don’t always like what they see, but they know that as long as they are alive, they can change.
So… What one simple promise are you going to make to yourself today? I’d love to know. Write it in the comments section below! Let other people know that you are becoming more trustworthy!