Are you trudging through life trying to "get things done," and breaking promises to yourself day after day?
Secretly, you wonder, “what is wrong with me?” Or, “why can't I do what I say I'm going to do?” It's just doing the laundry, getting to bed on time, losing weight, starting yoga, getting to places on time, finishing that project, or starting that online course I paid for but never seem to have the time to do.
Sound like you? Are you cheating on yourself in this way?
If so don't fret, I know it feels like garbage, and I know how much shame you feel, but THERE IS something you can do about it. You can build the muscle of self- commitment and drop beating yourself up. Let me show you how.
Why is it we are more reliable to others than we are ourselves?
I’ve been thinking about this lately as I’ve been observing how, for many of us, if we have plans with someone else we’re more likely to follow through than if our commitment were just with ourselves.
Going to yoga for example. A lot of us are more likely to go if we have a friend we’ve committed to meeting there.
For me, yoga is a core part of my self-care and I schedule it weekly. I love yoga. I love the way it makes me feel, I love teaching it to others, I love how it grounds my emotional life, and helps me focus on what is important. However, I go through periods of time where I skip it. I don't keep the commitment to myself. Then I feel terrible because I missed all the mind-body-spirit benefits of going, I may internally beat myself up about it, and I don't trust myself to keep my word to myself. Basically, I'm out of integrity with myself.
Just like if I had a friend who was going to meet me for yoga and she flaked on me 10 times, I'd probably start to think I couldn't trust her word and that she was unreliable. But this is what we do with ourselves when we don't follow through on our commitments we have made with ourselves. We don't even realize this is happening, we just feel bad.
I'm 100% committed to my clients. What are you 100% committed to?
On the same calendar as my yoga classes are my client appointments. Those I ALWAYS make. Always. So if I can commit to my clients, what is happening when it comes to committing to plans for myself, yoga or otherwise? Interesting right?
Committing to yourself is about your relationship with yourself.
You’re not always going to feel like doing it. In fact, you can just about guarantee that you WILL NOT feel like doing it. There is a lot of freedom in knowing this.
For busyaholics this shows up a lot in our personal commitments. It's interesting to note that even though I love yoga, most of the time, I really don't want to go until I am actually there laying on my mat before class begins. It helps me to know this when my mind chatter is going nuts about whether or not I should go.
It's on my calendar and therefore it's a commitment that I have made to myself. If I keep that commitment to myself I engender trust, security, integrity, and confidence - that when I say I am going to do something I do it.
Let's get me some of those juicy feel good feelings.
A lot of my clients will over-commit on their work schedule and then sacrifice their personal schedule.
Whatever your “it” may be, you’re not always going to feel like doing it. But here’s the deal, keeping our commitments to ourselves is about doing “it” even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we’re too busy to deal with it.
The goal is to become reliable to yourself. Not just to other people.
In fact, in my opinion, being reliable to ourselves is critical. That’s how we know we can keep our word. That’s how we know if we say we’re going to do something for ourselves, we do it. There is so much freedom in that. "If it's on my calendar, I'm doing it." We think this is restricting, but it frees us from the mind chatter decision making fatigue and makes life way easier.
The force or energy for being reliable to ourselves comes from INSIDE us.
Often the drive to be reliable to others is externally driven by perceptions, we don’t want to be viewed as unreliable. Isn’t it interesting? So many of us work very hard to be reliable to others, but don’t apply that same drive to being reliable to ourselves. So what can we do?
Practice having integrity with ourselves without beating ourselves up.
This isn’t about judging or letting our inner voice go self-critical when we don't keep a commitment. Beating ourselves up is part of what leads us to not keep our commitments for ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle. When we keep our commitments to ourselves we want to do it from a place of love. Just like when we keep commitments to others.
We have to let go of beating ourselves up, and sit down and do the thing that feels totally uncomfortable or that you really don’t want to do. Most of us have a whole bunch of reasons why we don’t want to and that's ok.
Do it anyway. Build that muscle. Confidence awaits you.
When we do it anyway, we learn to feel what it feels like to be reliable to ourselves. We begin to build that muscle, slowly at first, but the more present and conscious we can be in that moment, the more we really take in the value of getting things done for ourselves.
Most importantly we build confidence. If we can commit to the little things and make things happen in our lives, we can commit to the big things. Imagine feeling that there was no dream too big for you to accomplish because you believed in your ability to self-commit and follow through. The sky's the limit.
What is the personal commitment that you let slide?
Now you try it. Your mission:
1. Pick one personal commitment you tend to let slide.
2. Choose to see it as non-negotiable and get to it.
3. Start with a little goal. Don't say I will go to yoga three times this week. Start with one time. You want to build confidence. If you set the bar low and can commit to that, then you can raise the bar. This will help you avoid feeling like you failed and give up.
4. Never give up, keep trying until you find the right formula for you. You will.
5. Afterward, note how you feel. Yes, how you FEEL. Our brain wants to make hard things bad, tiring, exhausting.
When we begin to learn some hard things equal amazing feelings, we begin to shift our thinking and consequently our actions.
Want to kick start this new habit? Set up a Free Mini Session with me. Do it! :) Make it non-negotiable.