The promises you don't keep

Guillaume Hansali
Guillaume Hansali
The promises you don't keep

We were raised to keep promises to others. And we're pretty good at it.

Keeping promises builds trust. Friendships are made of promises kept. Society relies on promises kept.

But we tend to be lousy keepers for a certain category of promises. The promises we make to ourselves.

The decisions we made. The things we set ourselves to do.

The daily 10,000 steps.

Cutting on carbs and sweet drinks.

Planning that next trip.

The New Year resolutions that expired in February (I'm being generous).

Not bringing the smartphone into the bedroom.

The last cigarette. The last drink.

And the hardest promises of all. The ones we make once but need to keep continuously. The long-term commitments. To learn, to practice, to build.

Self-commitment is so fragile. It just takes a few "not today".

It's not a big deal. There's no contractual obligation. You're not hurting anyone. You're not betraying anybody's trust.

But the truth is, you are. You are betraying the trust of the most important person. The only person you can't live without. And the only person whose judgment matters and hurts. Yourself.

You know what happens when you stop trusting yourself.

You give up on your dreams. You lose faith in your abilities. And eventually, you comfort yourself in believing there's nothing special about you. You weren't meant for greatness, or success, or happiness, or whatever.

But we both know it's not true. You are special. And you're meant for all of that. For anything that life has to offer. Anything you choose to pursue.

All it takes is a promise. And keeping it.

Don't promise much. A little bit is enough. But keep your promises.

Because the only way to trust yourself is to keep your promises. To yourself.

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