DTD Episode 39 Show Notes
To What Do You Commit? 6 Surefire Strategies to Help you Keep Your Word
If you are of a certain age I’m sure you remember the Seinfeld episode that took Jerry and Elaine to the car rental place. If not, you’ve probably seen it in reruns or on a best of show.
In the episode Jerry shares his frustration with the representative, as the car he reserved is not available. He says, “You know how to make the reservation you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. That’s really the most important part. Anyone can just make them.”
We watch and we laugh. It’s funny when it’s not us.
Now, replace the word reservation with the word commitment. You know how to make the commitment you just don’t know how to hold the commitment. That’s really the most important part. Anyone can make a commitment.
How often are you failing to keep commitments in your life?
I’ve worked with many clients who find themselves sliding down that slippery slope away from good integrity. Away from a place where giving their word means something.
Often it begins with a need to please; a need to be the hero, to feel helpful. You want people to know you are there for them and you begin to say yes. Yes, to every request that comes your way.
And a funny thing about those requests, the more you say yes the quicker requests come and from more sources. Somehow the universe knows the person who will say yes without question to any request for help.
Can you stay late to finish up that project? Yes
Can you pick up my dry cleaning? Yes
Can you… fill in the blank with any emergency…………Yes
The need to make others happy in the moment wins over what is realistic and the slide down that slippery slope begins.
Over time the reflex reaction has you saying yes without putting any thought into whether you can follow through or not.
If you do make a quick assessment it’s about how you will delay your own work or skip that workout you really need.
It’s more important to seem helpful in the moment than to take the time to determine whether there’s even a remote possibility that the commitment will be fulfilled. Before you know it you’re that stressed out person feeling overwhelmed, resentful and lacking integrity.
Instead, be a person of your word. The first step to being a person who keeps commitments is being intentional about to what you commit.
Years ago I created this phrase and found myself using it often with clients
Keeping your word starts with being intentional about what you commit to and requires saying no where you must.
~ Kirsten Ross
Here are some strategies to help you avoid the reflex of the automatic yes as you work that muscle of saying no where you must:
• Buy Yourself Time to Think
• Create Policy Statements
• Shift the Focus Back to You
• Know Your Priorities and Stick to Them
• Keep it Simple
• Tackle Easy Situations First
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