How many times have you promised yourself that you will take better care of your health, only to find that the time of the fitness class you wanted to attend has come and gone, or that the chocolate cake that was on your plate disappeared into your belly?
How often do you deny your own needs,
lie about how tired you truly feel, or just keep plugging away to ensure that you don’t disappoint someone, even though it may mean that you have to disappoint yourself?
If you’re like most women, the experiences described above are all too common an occurrence. Women tend to be wonderful at keeping promises that we make to others. We will go out of their way to help a friend or colleague because we said that we would. We are women of integrity. . . . Except, when it comes to the promises we make to ourselves.
Unfortunately, when you break the promises you make to yourself, you lose trust with yourself. When you lose trust with yourself, you lack clarity. When you lack clarity, you are stymied in your ability to make decisions.
It is this lack of trust in ourselves and this lack of clarity that gets us stuck in situations that we can’t believe we got ourselves into. We stay in relationships that take a lot out of us. We are reluctant to break our promises to others for fear of disappointing the other person. We work at jobs that don’t necessarily work for us. (Frankly, I became an attorney to keep an unspoken promise I made to my parents). Which reminds me of another important point: sometimes, the promises we keep to others isn’t even spoken! It is inferred or assumed. Nevertheless, we keep them.
It’s time to change this pattern. It’s time to learn how to truly be your own best friend. Here are three tips to help you develop integrity with yourself:
1. Know that you matter. This may seem simplistic. The truth is that many of us give so much of ourselves and promise so much to others because we subconsciously want to believe that we matter. But our actions betray what we really feel. People will treat us like we don’t matter because we treat ourselves like we don’t matter. The only way to know that you matter is to start claiming it. Each day, affirm that you matter.
2. Evaluate Your Broken Promises.This is a biggie. You have to be honest with yourself. What are the things you want to do for yourself, but fail to do (or start, then stop, and never pick back up again)? In order to start building trust with yourself, you have to begin by begin honest about where you have let yourself down.
3. Start small.Trust takes time to build. If you have put yourself last for years, don’t expect that you are going to become a self-love guru overnight. You won’t. You have to: (a) heal from the ways in which you have betrayed yourself, and (b) commit to one small promise you know you can keep. Then do it! As you keep that promise, then slowly add another one. Remember to celebrate when you do keep your promises, and to criticize yourself when you don’t.
As you continue to cultivate personal integrity and trust, you will notice that the circumstances in your life also change. You won’t feel drained because you’re not over-extending yourself. People will give to you because that is the subconscious message that you relay to others. You will gain clarity and be able to make decisions more quickly, trusting that you can handle whatever comes up.
From this moment, I challenge you to keep your promises to yourself first and foremost!