Promises to Keep

Dear Very Cool Woman,

Part of personal confidence comes from knowing that we follow through on our promises. When we set a goal and achieve it, confidence increases; when we set a goal and then forget it or fail to reach it, confidence and trust fall over the cliff.

Keeping promises builds trust and the hardest promises to keep, in my opinion, are the ones we make to ourselves. We make promises about losing weight, about cleaning the office, or calling friends on a regular basis. Another year goes by and we see no progress. Here’s a personal example:

Just recently, I decided to set a goal to write an uplifting letter to one friend or relative each day. I felt good, imagining the joy they’d receive, but then days went by and no letters were written. Nice goal, easy goal, but my inaction motivated my inner-critic to shout nasty things to me—words I don’t want to repeat here—but I’m sure you get the picture.

This went on for quite a few days and then I realized that it was time for action. Action is a great confidence builder. Hope returned as I sat down to write twenty-one notes in two sittings. It gave me a new attitude about myself; one of accomplishment. More importantly, the action boosted my self-trust.

The action proves that I can keep commitments, and the discipline has turned into a habit. As a result, I am ready to tackle other tasks and goals that I’d set, but for whatever reason, put off.

Confidence is a spiral. We humans are either stepping out of our comfort zones, trying new things, acting on goals—spiraling up , or not, spiraling down. There’s not much in between.

So what are you thinking about doing? Is there something your inner critic harps about that you CAN do something about? Start small. Choose one doable task and step-by-step, the voice of praise will overshadow all the nasty voices in your head.

Go for it!


Trusting yourself builds confidence,


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