Be reliable and deliver on all your commitments, no matter how small. If a commitment is in jeopardy, notify others immediately and set a new commitment.

More often than I would like to admit, I find myself being overwhelmed by the number of commitments I have made in any given week. So when it comes to this fundamental behavior, my default interpretation is that I have to be perfect with my word or at a minimum make sure I stay driven to fulfill on everything I have said yes to, at all cost. And, inevitably, I end up not keeping my word, given I’m never perfect enough or driven enough. When this happens, I notice a loss of power, a reduction in my happiness and self-expression. Basically, I feel bad for not keeping my word. The biggest trap here is that all the attention is on myself. I can hear my inner critic judging and evaluating myself for being a bad person or at the very least someone who is not good enough.

This can create a cycle of diminished confidence and a sense of feeling trapped. So now I not only am at a loss of power, I’ve also lost my freedom. When this happens I get really grouchy and then try to act happy and normal over the top of this, which doesn’t work out very well. Essentially I have now become of victim of my circumstances: my commitments, my schedule, and my life. I then fantasize about moving to a deserted island or becoming a hermit in the woods. Yesterday, it was becoming a farmer…. Does this sound familiar?

I forget that the real power is in seeing the opportunity and freedom in honoring my word.

The moment I shift my attention from being a victim of the situation to owning my commitment, which is, in essence, my word, I have the power to choose. I have fundamentally navigated to a whole new world of accountability. As Viktor Frankl refers to in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “In this choice lies our growth and our freedom.”

I can get to work on recovering myself, clean up my impact on others, and make a new promise, communicating this out to my team members. When we honor our commitments, we honor those around us and ultimately ourselves. Which leads us right back to Fundamental #1: ACT WITH INTEGRITY.

Now doesn’t that feel better?

All my best,
Marlene