The most important person you can keep your word to is yourself.
I had a thought the other day, and didn’t capture it at the time (bad Matt . . . !), but want to (try to) re-construct it now. The gist was that we have many of the troubles we do in life because we do not trust ourselves. The reason for this lack of trust is, quite simply, we don’t keep our word to ourselves.
We say we’re going to lose weight. And we don’t. We say we’re going to eat better. And we don’t. We say we’re going to spend more time with our families. And we don’t. We say . . . I think you get the point. I am sure we all can identify with the breaking of promises, to ourselves and others, small and sometimes big. And the more it happens, the less we feel we can do about it.
But there is something we can do. And it’s not earth-shattering, or huge, near-impossible, requiring tons of will-power, or anything like that.
Simply pick something small, that you want to change or improve, that is meaningful to you and do it. Follow-through each hour, day, or week and keep your word. It will work. And it will matter. The key is to pick something small and manageable. Perhaps something that you could have done anyway. The important thing here is: consistent, authentic action congruent with your thoughts and intentions.
We’ve all been betrayed, in ways large and small in life. It hurts when people lie to us. The impacts on our emotional lives are often significant, even if the “real-world” impacts are not so big. Lies erode. They eat away at the fabric of what we base our lives on: trust.
I bring this up to ask what you do when you discover that you’ve been lied to, but still want to preserve the relationship? You, no doubt, want to see proof that the person has changed. You watch their actions and carefully determine if they match their words. For trust to be repaired, the transgressor must step-up and walk-the-walk, over time. So must you, to regain your own self-trust.
Consider doing the “small things” mentioned above as a sort of physical therapy, but instead of regaining joint flexibility and rebuilding atrophied muscles, you are rebuilding trust — making your word matter to you, again. There is no thing greater than self-trust.
When you learn to make the right promises to yourself, and consistently follow-through, your life will transform. I promise.