Why Is It Important to Keep Promises (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

“We must not promise what we should not, lest we be required to perform what he cannot.” Lincoln, Abraham

When was the last time you made a promise to yourself that you didn't keep? How did that make you feel? Did it bother you? Did it deplete your energy? Does it leave you feeling depleted? Here are eight reasons why you should keep your promises.

1. Unfulfilled promises create loopholes

When you make a promise to yourself and fail to keep it, a part of you is acutely aware that it is unfulfilled. In the back of your mind, it registers as an open loop. And that part bothers you. It eats away at you on a deep subconscious level. Dealing with emotions depletes your energy.

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Why? Because promises made to yourself have an emotional component. An attachment that, if not fulfilled, has unfavorable consequences. You experience discomfort, guilt, and uneasiness. And these feelings make it less likely that you will follow through on your next promise. This creates a virtuous circle of broken promises. And we all know how important that is to your ability to succeed.

What is the solution? Make no promises to yourself that you are unsure you will be able to keep. Make only a few promises at a time. Make only promises that you are confident you will be able to keep.

2. Promises kept are great for motivation and success

Broken promises can set off a downward spiral of failure. However, the inverse is also true. A fulfilled promise fosters a sense of self-efficacy, which is one of the most powerful motivators. Consider a time when you made a promise to complete something by a certain date and followed through on it.

How did you find it? I'm sure it's pretty good. It works in both directions. When you make a commitment to yourself and follow through on it, it boosts your self-esteem. Possessing a sense of self-efficacy. So, how do you apply this knowledge to improve your chances of success?

When you make a commitment, block out time in your calendar to complete the task. This will force you to be realistic about what you can accomplish given all of your other commitments. This is a very effective method for being realistic about what you can handle. Stick to this one rule, and you'll be well on your way to creating a virtuous cycle that feeds success.

3. Broken promises affect you just as much as the person to whom you make the promise

We are a social species. When you make a commitment to someone and then break it, you have the distinct feeling that you have let that person down. You know what I'm talking about. It's as if you made a pact with that person and then broke it. That's not cool.

Unfulfilled promises to others leave you as disappointed in yourself as they do in the other person. If you break a promise to someone else, you will be left with a lingering sense of dissatisfaction. You may not realize it consciously, but you will doubt your own integrity on some level. It will have an effect on your self-esteem and your chances of long-term success.

Simply being aware of this fact should deter you from making a promise to someone you are unlikely to keep. You'll sleep better and feel lighter as a result.

4. Keeping every promise strengthens your self-esteem

How does it affect your level of trust in someone when they break a promise to you? You have less faith in them, don't you? The same holds true for promises you make to yourself. When you fail to keep those promises, you lose faith in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

So, how do you keep each and every promise you make to yourself? When it comes to promises, keep it simple. Treat them as if they were sliver bullets. For every yes, say a thousand noes. If I'm starting to sound a little repetitive, that's a good thing. It shows that you've been paying attention. I don't think the importance of being selective when making commitments can be overstated.

Choose your commitments with care. This will dictate how you will spend your time. Commit to fewer tasks that you know you can complete and will have the greatest impact. This will help you more than anything else to develop confidence in your own abilities!

5. Following through on every promise teaches you how to apply the Pareto principle

Have you ever heard of the Pareto principle? According to the Pareto principle, approximately 20% of the reference yields 80% of the results. It makes sense to concentrate on that 20%. And the best way to focus solely on the 20% is to say no to everything else that you believe does not fall into that 20%. You could even go one step further and apply the Pareto principle to the 20%, implying that 4% of your efforts will yield 64% of your results.

The best way to improve your application of the Pareto principle is to practice. Keeping a daily journal is a good way to accomplish this. At the end of each day, reflect on what you focused on and which of those things yielded the best results. Determine what works for you and make a conscious decision to focus on those things the following day. This ritual also works well at the end of each month.

6. Keeping your promises allows you to achieve a sense of calm

Keeping your promises imposes a certain level of discipline in your life. It assists you in embracing minimalism and in the activities that you engage in. Hopefully, this will extend to a minimalistic attitude toward possessions as well.

Here's the simple truth: the less stuff (read “noise”) whirling around in your head, the more peaceful and balanced you'll feel. Give it a shot. Try concentrating on just one thing at a time. Refuse to give in to the urge to multitask, which is not only inefficient but also exhausting.

Try getting rid of any clothes you haven't worn in a year. Alternatively, try getting rid of some of the junk that has been piling up in your garage. Do this for a week and I guarantee you'll feel a lot lighter at the end of it.

7. Following through on promises keeps you on track to achieve your life objectives

When you're motivated, it's simple to keep a promise. But how do you keep a promise when you don't feel like it? That's a lot more difficult. So, what's the point? Because your emotions are as stable as a leaf in a storm! Don't misunderstand me. Feelings are important, and they should not be ignored. But that doesn't mean you have to react to them every time they appear.

Feelings are fleeting. Being reactive to your feelings (rather than mindfully watching them) does not serve you or your long-term success. Using a mindful approach in which you observe your feelings without reacting to them increases your chances of keeping your promises regardless of how you feel. And therein lies the power!

When you make promises to yourself that you will keep no matter what, you are playing in the orchestra of life. You're working within the confines of a strict routine, just as each musical instrument must be in tune for the orchestra to function. Every instrument must serve a purpose.

So, the next time you feel compelled to flee from a commitment you've made, remind yourself that it's just a feeling. You don't have to give in to your desire to flee the situation. Accept that you want to run, and then go ahead and finish the task anyway. I guarantee you'll feel better once you've finished it.

8. A string of broken promises can harm your self-esteem

Unfulfilled promises elicit an emotional reaction of shame and embarrassment. If you do this over and over, your self-esteem will suffer.

What is the solution? Yes, you guessed it! Make only a few promises so that you can keep your word. Make use of your word to instill trust in others and in yourself. I'm not saying it's always simple. Fulfilling promises can be difficult at times, but it is this that strengthens your sense of integrity and self-esteem.

Your reputation is built on your word. Finally, when you've completed your mission on Earth and are nearing the end of your life, what do you believe will be most important to you? What about your bank account? What are your possessions? Or the connections you've made and the impact you've had on the world?

Money and possessions make life a lot easier. But, in the end, the quality of the relationships we've built and the difference we've made in the world will be the most important factors. What will it be like for you?

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