40+FAB Blog

Broken promises

It seems to be a lot easier to be the one breaking a promise than to be the one having a promise broken.

When we make a promise, we take on many levels of responsibility in order to keep that promise. There will be extra demands on our time, resources and even physical strength. If we don’t go through with the promise, it will be less of a burden on us, but the question is, at what cost?

My son is at the age where he see’s promises as a way of gauging his dependence on our love and care for him. He now gets really upset if anything is promised and not followed through. We can see that he is trying to build a new level of trust in us, his parents.

I have had to reassess my attitude towards him and drastically reduce the number of times I break my promises. To me, it was convenient to break promises, but to him, it was devastating and affected his perception of me. I have realised that his trust is more important than my convenience.

Our attitude towards promises should span across everything we do, including our career and business. You have made a promise to your work colleagues or your customers to provide certain services at certain times. They expect you to show up and be your best, and when you do, it perpetuates trust. There may be the odd day where things did not work out but from your reputation they will know that you tried.
If on the other hand you have broken promises over and again for your convenience, they will soon lose all trust in you and the consequences of that are not at all appealing.