Let Your Yes Stand Alone

Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Our culture is a culture of "promises." We make promises to assure people that we mean what we say. But there's a problem with this idea. You see, we make promises because at some point in the past, we fell through on a commitment we made. So, now we feel we have to compensate for that lack of commitment in the past by making promises. If you merely said "yes" to things and truly meant it, you wouldn't have to compensate for anything. When you're true to your word, you don't have to make up for it.

Part of this "over-promising" problem is that we're such people-pleasers, so we say yes to everything. We don't want to let people down by saying no, so we agree to their wishes. However, we end up letting them down anyway because we're so overcommitted that we can't possibly follow through with everything we've said yes to.

Growing up, my Dad constantly preached to us kids, "Be a man of your word." It's extremely important to me to do what I say I'm going to do. I want to always let my yes be yes, and my no be no. By no means am I perfect, but I've gotten to the point where I've said no to a lot of things because I know I can't assure people that I'll be able to follow through. Does that disappoint? Probably. But it's better than committing and having someone rely on me, and letting them down in the process. You lose trust that way. And sooner or later, people aren't going to trust you anymore. It's more important to me that people trust me when I say yes to something, than try to please them by always saying yes.

But let's look at this from another angle. What about self-promises?

Have you ever let yourself down by not following through with a promise you made to yourself?

"I promise I'm going to eat healthier this year."

"I promise I'm going to get back in shape."

"I promise I'm going to read everyday…"

And on and on the list may go.

We've got to stop making promises, and start putting action to our commitments. Don't take on so much. Only commit to what you know you can do. Commit to ONE thing at a time. Discipline begets discipline. So begin to discipline yourself in one area, and that discipline will flow over into other parts of your life.

So...start with today.

Let your yes be yes and your no be no.




Derek HarveyComment