31 Aug What To Do When You Break A Commitment With Yourself
Last night I went to bed at around 11pm without having fulfilled on a recent commitment I made to write for 1 hour a day. My justification was, “I’m too tired. I didn’t realize I’d work so late.”
I woke up a few hours later at around 2am feeling bad about not following through and decided to get myself out of bed and do it. It wasn’t too late!
As I sat on my couch in the pitch black with only the glow of my laptop for light, I reflected on why I almost backed out of my commitment.
I thought back on other challenges I’d done. I wrote a song every day for 30 days just over a year ago without missing a day! So, where was that same audacity for follow-through?
I remembered another challenge I did after my song challenge to run 2 miles every day for 30 days. For a reason I can’t even remember, I didn’t finish. Then there was another, where I committed to reading ten books in one month, which, long story short, I failed!
I noticed that my two unfulfilled challenges, after a very successful challenge, were subconsciously eating away at what I thought about myself. Without acknowledging it, there was a voice in my head saying I couldn’t keep my word. I hadn’t dealt with it, so now it was affecting my ability to follow through on new commitments.
So, I did some self-coaching.
Here’s what to do when you’ve broken a commitment with yourself.
- Acknowledge it. I acknowledge I have failed two challenges. I’m not going to try to forget it without acknowledging it, otherwise it will lurk and diminish my confidence.
- Identify the impact it made on you. The impact on me was it decreased my confidence in what I feel I’m capable of doing. Since I broke my word to myself two times, I fear I’ll break my word to myself…three times! And four times!
- Identify the impact on others. My first challenge was private, so the impact on others was indirect. The second challenge was public, and I never provided an update at the end of the month. Certain people may have been left wondering if I succeeded. A few people asked, and I bore the bad news. If anything, it was like false inspiration.
- Create a new promise. My new promise is to fulfill on my current challenge of writing for 1 hour every weekday, shortly after waking up, once I’ve read some inspirational content.
- Determine what could get in the way. The residual build-up of lack of confidence from failing my last two challenges might get in the way. I’ve dealt with that by acknowledging it and creating a new challenge to rebuild my confidence. I may also stay up too late and be tired and only want to wake up in time for my first coaching call rather than making time for reading and writing. The way out of this is to tell myself I can have a nap later and to just get it done first-thing when I’m sharpest.
- Get an accountability buddy. Wow! This makes all the difference. It’s the reason I’m even writing this blog. How great is it to receive a few words of encouragement in weak moments! This morning I got: “Morning Rosanna! Wake up and start writing xo”
Now, what about you? Do you ever make specific commitments to yourself – like, challenges? What’s your follow-through like? Have you observed your inner dialogue? Do you need to acknowledge some broken commitments from the past and start fresh today?
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