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For this blog, I will define an agreement as anytime an arrangement is made between two or more parties. Ex. Two people agree to meet for lunch at 2 pm. Agreements can also be made with self. Ex. I will get up at 9 am tomorrow morning.
Other phrases such as commitments, plans, accords, etc. can all fall under the same umbrella of agreements.
Why is keeping our agreements important?
When we keep our agreements, we show other people that we can be trusted. We teach others that our word means something and that we value the relationship. We show people that we mean what we say and do not just say yes to things when we have no intention of following through.
Keeping our agreements also helps to build trust. Trust with others and even trust with self. Without trust, it is not possible to have healthy relationships.
What is the price we pay when we do not keep our agreements?
Every single time we break an agreement with someone, we lose a little bit of their trust. Trust is one of the easiest things to lose and the hardest to gain back. Even if people forgive us for the broken agreement, we will still have lost some of their trust in us.
It is even more damaging when we break agreements we make with ourselves. Every time we break an agreement with self, we lose more than just trust. We also lose self-confidence and self-esteem too.
Low self-esteem and self-confidence are two key factors that hold us back from living the lives we want to live. They prevent us from taking the necessary risks to move forward. They cause us to feel like we are not worthy of having more and of playing a more significant role in our lives. They paralyze us with self-doubt and create limiting beliefs that weigh us down.
I know some of you probably have some questions right about now. What is a broken agreement? What if life got in the way and there was no way I could keep that agreement?
A broken agreement is pretty simple to explain. It is pretty much every time that you break your word. You said you were going to do something and you didn’t do it. Ex. You said you would meet your friend for lunch at 2 pm and didn’t show up until 2:15. That is a broken agreement. Another example would be if you said you were going to get up to 9 am, but then you decide to hit the snooze button a few times and do not get up until 9:30 am. That is a broken agreement.
But I got a flat tire on the way to meet my friend that caused me to be late. But I am a snooze person, and I need to wake up slowly. But sometimes stuff happens. These are all just excuses and do not change the fact that you have broken an agreement.
You might be thinking it is impossible to keep all of our agreements. I am here to tell you that it is not impossible and there are a couple of tools or tricks that can help you in this area.
Be mindful of what you are saying yes to in the first place. Simply put, do not say yes unless you have 100% intention and capacity to follow through with your agreement.
If you are not a morning person and need to wake up slowly, then set your alarm for 8:30 so that you can hit the snooze button a few times and still be up by noon.
If you get invited to a social gathering, but you have no intention of going, then say no. It is ok to say no to people. I would much rather have someone say no to my invitation than saying yes and then back out last minute or not show up.
Another important tool to avoid breaking agreements is renegotiation. This tool is priceless. If you are supposed to meet your friend at 2 pm, but you get a flat on the way then call them and tell them what happened. Ask if it is ok that you come at 2:30 or if you reschedule altogether.
Your friend will appreciate you taking the time to let them know what is going on instead of just sitting around being in mystery. Remember that for renegotiation to work it must be genuine and done before the agreement is broken. For example, if you can’t meet your friend by 2 pm then renegotiate with them before 2 pm. If you call later than that, even if it is only one minute, then that agreement has already been broken.
These two tools will help keep trust in your relationships and help you move forward.
Keeping your agreements with others and self will help build the confidence, trust, self-esteem, and discipline it takes to succeed in life. It will help you have healthier relationships and will go a long way in helping you reach your goals.
In conclusion, agreements are anytime we say we are going to do something whether that is with others or with self. They are essential because it shows people that we can be trusted. We pay a hefty price every time we break an agreement. By keeping our agreements, we will be better prepared to succeed in life.
Remember that every time we say yes to something we are also saying no to something else.
To learn more about the importance of agreements make sure to check out my book “Life Balance.” I discuss agreements in more detail there along with many other subjects that can help you live the life you were born to live.
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