I’d been thinking about writing this article topic for a week or so when I was listening to Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He told me about Success Principle Number 54: Keep your agreements. I knew then that this was an article that must be written now!
In high school I had a friend who was always canceling on me. We’d have plans for Friday night and at the last minute, she canceled. It didn’t take more than a couple of times for me to learn not to make plans with her anymore because she was unreliable.
Back in the day agreements were made on handshakes and “one’s word is one’s bond” was a common saying. But nowadays, agreements don’t seem to have the honor they once had.
Whether it’s in your personal life or business, it’s important to keep your agreements. What do people think of you when you cancel, renege on your agreement, or just don’t show up? Heck, what do you think of yourself? According to Jack Canfield, when you have an agreement with others, it’s also an agreement with yourself. And if you don’t stay committed to that agreement, you yourself have a loss of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect. Your own integrity is lessened.
Maybe you’ve agreed to help a friend move or agreed to participate in a webinar, telesummit or other event, and you cancel. What kind of situation does that put the other person in? It could be harmless, but it could also put them in a bind.
So how can you avoid disappointing yourself and your friends or business colleagues? Before you agree to something, stop and think about it first. Look at your calendar and make sure it fits into your schedule. Make sure it is something that you really want to do. If it fits into your schedule and you really want to do it, then you can agree to it. Make sure to put it on your calendar so when the next opportunity comes along, you remember your previous commitment.
If it doesn’t fit into your schedule or it’s not something you want to do, then tell the person no. You don’t have to say yes to all opportunities that come along, and in fact, it’s better that you don’t. Saying no to certain opportunities gives you the space to say yes to the right things.
Sometimes crap just happens and you can’t honor your commitment. The car breaks down, you’re stuck in traffic, your internet goes down, your computer crashes, and the list of surprises continues. So what do you do? Communicate with the other party as soon as you possibly can, even if it’s after the event. Ask if you can reschedule or make other arrangements.
To what standards do you hold yourself to make sure you follow through on your commitments? Share with me below.