There are any number of things that will either propel you forward, or hold you back when it comes to getting ahead in your professional and personal life. Therefore, it’s particularly perplexing for me to witness those people who have an inability to avoid the temptation to make promises, or simply tell people what they think they want to hear, then for whatever reason not deliver on what they said.
With the path to greater success often a challenging maze at times, this particular character trait is one that can be fairly easily avoided. Yet, if a person does this, they will absolutely (sooner, if not later) sabotage themselves professionally and personally. People simply do not want to do business with, nor in many cases be friends with or associate with those who for whatever reason simply can’t deliver on what they say they will do.
I want to make one very clear distinction on what I said above. I am NOT saying that you have to try and make everyone happy. Even if you tried, you couldn’t deliver on everything people will ask of you. What I am saying is that if you make an arrangement with someone, or tell them you will do something, if you really want to succeed, and not have it work against you in the future you MUST do your dead-level best to deliver on whatever it was you agreed to do.
Again, there will be times when try as you might, you fall short. In those times admit you did, reach out and make an apology. The next time around work on not repeating the same mistake.
While you may never reach the point where you are able to deliver on 100% of the commitments you make (try as you might), striving not to do so will help you ensure that you’re a lot closer to never doing so, then if you haphazardly run around letting your mouth write checks that you have no actual intention of following through on, whether by choice, or out of genuinely just not thinking about it.
The thing you must remember is, whether intentional or not, the result is often the same… your credibility suffers, and eventually you will garner the reputation as someone who, while they might be a nice person simply can’t be counted on to do what they say. Believe me, it’s a label you don’t want to wear, and with it being relatively easy to avoid there’s no excuse for you to have to do so.
Going forward be honest with yourself. If you fall into the trap that I’ve described above, starting now begin to develop habits that will take you from that person to one who at the very least genuinely tries to follow through on what they promise. Whether it’s something as simple as returning an email or call that you’ve committed to, or something far more important like handling a part of the sales process, or showing up to a family function. The point is, follow through if you said you would.
Depending on how long this has been a part of your character traits it may be easier said then done to replace your old negative habits with different ones, but you must stick with it until you do. Not to do so will limit you in ways you simply can’t imagine. The people who hold life’s great opportunities will steer clear of those who are branded with the label of not doing what they say.
Being aware is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you follow through on what you say you will. The moment that you think about it, you can choose to do what needs to be done — and if you’re honest with yourself you’ll admit there’s always that moment where you think to yourself about the thing which needs to be done. In the end it’s whether you chose to ignore taking action on it or not that makes the difference.
Keeping simple reminders is another easy way to make sure you follow through on what you say you’ll do. If you’re truly bogged down to the point that you can’t break free and do it yourself, set up a system where someone does it for you, delegate out the task, but no matter what, make sure it gets done! Your credibility is simply to important to not take this serious.
Again, this isn’t coming from someone who makes the claim to never have fallen short myself. Though I do hope that far more often I’ve delivered on what I say, then there are instances where I have done otherwise. Remember what I said earlier, I’m not suggesting that you have to commit to helping out or doing everything that’s asked of you, rather I’m saying that if you accept a request from someone, or offer your help, it’s at that point that you need to do your best to follow through.
In closing consider the following…
Over the years (FYI. my first exposure to business and entrepreneurship was at 15 when I began working in our family business) I have seen numerous people who mistakenly believed that making a promise, whether they could actually deliver on it or not, would somehow win them favor. Sadly, in many cases it not only worked against them, it also left a bad taste in the mouth of the client or customer, for the entire business, even though it was actually just that one person who was at fault. Perhaps worst of all is that in most cases the promise that was made didn’t even have to be committed to at all. The client would have been just as happy either way.
The solution is simple…
Make a habit of under-promising and over delivering. If you can do that you’ll find that more often than not you have happy customers, and when it comes to your personal life you’ll have an abundance of family and friends who appreciate you, and show it!
Making a promise just because it makes you look good — if you’re unable to deliver on it, or even worse, simply have no intention of actually doing so, has the potential to back fire on you in ways you simply can’t imagine. Don’t take that chance — your level of achievement depends on it.
It’s your life, LIVE BIG!
-What do you think of the ideas above? Your feedback is always appreciated in the comments below.
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