Making and keeping promises

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Making and keeping promises

When you keep all of the promises you give to others you will feel great, your sense of self worth will increase and your sense of being a good person will become higher.

When you keep your promises you will experience inner peace instead of the conflicts that you will usually experience when you don’t keep them. When your words become more creditable than a signed paycheck you will win everyone’s trust, you will experience the beauty of emotional integrity and your own perception of your self will change.

Do you think that bad people do bad things because they are bad? No, they do them because they think that they are bad people as a result of their distorted self concepts. When you keep your promises you will change your self concept from someone who says something and does another thing to someone who is trust worthy.

This in turn will be reflected in your own behavior and your personality. (see What is the self concept)

Why can’t I keep my promises?

We all fail to keep our promises sometimes but some of us seem to have a problem in keeping most of their promises even though they are good people. If you can’t keep your promises then this doesn’t mean that you are bad but it only means that you aren’t paying attention to the following items:

  • Self understanding: If you lack self understanding you are very likely to give hundreds of promises that you can never keep. For example if you don’t know that working under pressure is the last thing you would want to do in life you might promise your manager to finish all of your work in few hours but when you start to feel pressured at the end of the day you might fail to keep your promise. (see I am stressed out)
  • Can your really do it?: Some people give promises then discover later that they can’t keep them because of certain limitations in their own abilities. For example saying that you won’t sleep until you finish work but then finding yourself sleeping on your desk. Knowing the upper limit of your abilities is very important before you can give a promise, if some people can spend 72 hours without sleeping then its not a guarantee that you will be able to do the same (at least in that day)
  • Can the task be done? : Some people give promises that can’t be done!! For example saying that you will get the money from the bank today but then finding that the bank is closed because you gave the promise too late.

How can I keep my promises?

In order to keep your promises do the following:

1)When asked for a favor see if you can really do it or not (the same goes for giving promises)
2)If you found that you can’t do it, be assertive enough to refuse it
3)If you have doubts then say "I will try but I am not sure i will be able to do it"

After a short while you will know the limits of your abilities and you will never give broken promises again.

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