Simple, direct: Do what you say you’re going to do. Here’s how:
#1: Stop talking about how this or that unexpected challenge has arisen, and maybe it would be better to do it at some other time (what fabled time would that be? The time of No Challenges Arise During That Time Because You Control the Universe and Know They Won’t? I must have missed that fairy tale).
Waiting for the right circumstances to fall perfectly in to place will just keep you waiting.
#2: Quit with the nonsense about how it was harder than you thought it would be, as if that’s a reason for giving up. Do you want this, or don’t you?
If you undertook the journey only to discover that this was not your Truth North, that’s a worthy undertaking–so now release, and find your next adventure. But quitting what you know you’re passionate about, simply because it’s hard? I beg of you–the world needs you. Don’t stop, now.
#3: Quit setting up appointments (or vacations or taking on a new project), and then citing that as the reason why you can’t honor an original commitment that you’ve already made.
You put the diversion there. No one else logged on to book those travel plans, but you. You set up the appointment. You said yes to the project.
Thus–you are the one solely responsible for not honoring an original commitment, purely by virtue of setting up something else that would stand in its way. Just own that this choice was made (and hopefully, make amends).
#4: Quit playing the “Wish I could, but golly gee, it’s not my fault, this thing came up” card.> Sure, sometimes unavoidable circumstances come up–but 99% of the time, when someone plays this card, they really could have shown up, and they just chose not to.
“Unavoidable” means–cannot be avoided–and that includes death, illness, and car break downs, not having a day where you just don’t “feel” like honoring a commitment. Recognize that “just don’t feel like it” is often fear. Recognize that over-committing and then bailing on some of your commitments is out of integrity. Accept responsibility.
Commit fully, or don’t commit. It’s okay to not commit. Just don’t commit and then not actually be committed.
#5: Quit asking others to play along by expecting their silence, or through making them the bad guy if they bring up that your words and actions are not in alignment.
What has happened to us as a society that people routinely do not do what they say they’re going to do, and then the “nice response” is to not say anything about that lack of integrity?
What if that’s not the “nice thing” to do–what if that’s the thing that brings everyone down, collectively?
What if the person who doesn’t let you off the hook when you’re out of integrity is doing you the greatest favor of your life?
The Love You Were Waiting For
Believe it or not, despite the directness, I say this out of love.
I say it because I see people suffering and they’re running around wondering “why” they’re suffering, and really?
This is why. This right here–a life of internal manipulations and internal lies and internal justifications that pour outward and spread like cancer, unchecked.
The more we lie to ourselves within, the more we lie to ourselves without, and the more we lie, the more we feel awful about our lives. Some people have internal worlds so saturated with lies and the justifications and manipulations that keep those lies in place, they don’t even know who they are.
The more we are practicing a lack of integrity on an individual level, the more we’ll pretend to be outraged when we see it in our politicians or corporations, and yet–on some level, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? We expect the larger institutions to exhibit integrity, yet most of us don’t do it ourselves, day-to-day.
We routinely say we will do things, change things, shift things–and then, we don’t. What’s more? We make up all the excuses in the world for why we couldn’t, and then we get upset when someone points out that there were different choices to be made, that we did in fact have options.
If you say you’re going to do something, do it, no matter if the only person you’ve said it to is yourself. What might happen in your life if you made that commitment?
Integrity is a daily practice, and everyone’s out of integrity, somewhere. The point is not perfection, it’s commitment.
When you make a ruthless commitment to doing what you say you’re going to do, something interesting happens–that layer of “oh golly gee” excuses and justifications and energy wasted on internally manipulating yourself starts to dissipate.
If you start simply doing what you say you’re going to do–being “impeccable with your word” as they say in The Four Agreements–the dross turns to gold.
Best of all? You can walk by any mirror and look yourself in your eye, knowing that your life, and what you’ve built it around, is not a sham.
That right there, is some courageous living.