Thou Shalt Honor Thy Self-Commitments

Do you take your commitments seriously?

Things such as verbal agreements, mental contracts, and self-commitments. Basically, whatever you’ve agreed to do, that’s a contract. And more specifically, let’s talk about those self-commitments, which I find especially vital.

In other words, if you want to screw over your landlord, have at it (you probably shouldn’t though).

Whatever you do though, don’t renege on a self-commitment. If you make a commitment to yourself, honor it. For the love of liquor and the occasional prostitute, honor it!!!

When you stick to your word, you will build the habit of all habits. The habit of accomplishment, of progress, of confidence, of being true to oneself.

When you say you’re going to go to Toastmasters this Thursday to improve your speaking skills, go. Going to make those calls? Make ‘em. Did you schedule an hour to read? Get out them readin’ glasses. And when you complete those tasks you’ll feel great, and rightly so. You will feel your confidence shoot up like a heroin addict.

With each mini-commitment that you uphold, your confidence will continue to thicken until it gets ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You will have momentum soaring.

However, if you break these little commitments, your confidence will take a U-turn. Suddenly they’ll become easier to break. You’ll feel guilty and your confidence will wither away like hair to a flame.

And worse still is your word will become meaningless to the person that matters most—YOU. The self-commitments will become “self-maybe’s”—the fiat currency of the worst kind.

Follow through with your commitments and by doing so you’re investing in their worth. Making them stronger. From rubber mallet to wrecking ball.

As I close down this thought I must add a sliver of caution. One of my most dogmatic principles that I try and live by is to not beat myself up for making mistakes. I mean it. So, if you do by chance have to break one of your self-commitments, don’t beat yourself up for it…too much.

Of course, there’s always exceptions in life. This might be one of them. If you don’t hold yourself accountable for breaking your promises, and instead pat yourself on the back for a job not well done, you endanger the seriousness of these commitments, which is the same as not honoring them in the first place.

Don’t condone the “self-maybe,” yet don’t beat yourself up to the point of never wanting to make a commitment again.

Find a balance and do the best that you can.


Matt Kramer had an extreme fear of public speaking that nearly crippled his hope, but overcoming it has changed his life. His passion is simple: To help others crush the fear of public speaking so they can use the confidence to capture their dreams. Visit Matt’s blog


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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