How to Stick to Your Word (Integrity!)


Have you ever found that you miss appointments, cancel things, and often don’t stick to your commitments? Or do you know someone like that?
It’s not that you’re a bad person – you’re likely just committing to things you shouldn’t. 

If you want to honor your word, deliver on what you promised, and show up for the people in your life, then this episode is for you.

4 ideas that will help you stick to your word:

#1. Don’t commit.  Stop committing to things that you’re not passionate about. When you lack passion for the commitments you make, they tend to feel like heavy obligations or trifle commitments. They’re easy to cancel or quit. Learning to turn down more opportunities (even the good ones!) will help you stick to your word.
#2. Respect other people’s time. Your time is not more valuable than others. Respect others’ time much as you respect and want to protect your own. Remember that everybody has priorities and a to-do list each day. Your decision to cancel on them disrupts their day and life, and that’s not fair. You don’t want people ruining your schedule so don’t do it to others.

#3. Know your payoffs. 
Sometimes, we say ‘yes’ to a lot of things but we forget the payoff when we start working on them. We forget why we said ‘yes’ in the first place and lose passion, and so we quit. Before you cancel on anything, try to remember why you originally said yes. In other words, revisit the payoff so that you’re willing to endure the struggle.

#4. You break it, you buy it. If you cancel on someone or fail to deliver, you’ve broken your word. You need to buy back your character, reputation, and integrity with an act of kindness, generosity, or attrition. You’ll have to go beyond your original commitment. Not only does this type of act regain your reputation, it also supports you on your journey to being a good person. When you mess up, be more generous. 

Watch the video above for the full lesson so that you can reach high performance and continue living #TheChargedLife!

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Complement with these previous posts:
What To Do When You Feel Lost
How to Believe in Yourself
How to Be More “Mindful”
Stop Being a Helpful Burnout
4 Ways to Become More Disciplined



Related quotes to consider:
[Follow Brendon on Instagram for tons of great quotes]

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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Charged Life with Brendon Burchard. Please note that this episode, like all TCL episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Charged Life has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of Youtube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you don’t stick to your word? You break commitments, you show up late, you don’t deliver what you promised or because of all of that somebody gets mad at you and you find yourself back peddling or feeling like you are not living in integrity. Or, worse, people tell you you’re not living in integrity. Why is it so hard to stick our word and what can you do in your life to make sure that you are more committed to the things in your life? Are you ready to stop breaking your promises and deliver on what you set out to do? Are you ready to show up when you’re supposed to show up?

That’s the topic of today’s episode. Let’s jump into the four ideas on how to stick to your word.

#1. Don’t commit.  Just stop committing to things that you don’t have passion for. Sometimes someone’s asking you to do something, and you without hesitation agree to do it. Then, the time arrives for you to show up for that person, and now it feels like a heavy obligation, and you find yourself wondering why you committed in the first place.  

It’s because you didn’t have passion for it in the first place. You said yes out of an obligation, rather than out of a passion. And because of that, you’re paying for it.

You don’t have to obligate yourself to other people. As soon as you realize that, you’ll find a greater degree of freedom in your life. Start committing to only those things where you feel a passion, a calling, a real desire to serve. It’s not your job to save everybody. It’s not your job to solve all the train wrecks in other people’s lives.

So, you don’t have to say, “Yes, I will handle that for you,” because they messed up. It’s really important that if you say, ‘Yes’ to somebody, it’s because you want to. Otherwise, defer it and tell them, “You know what? Somebody else could do that. You know what? That’s not for me.”

Learning to turn down opportunities (even the good ones!) will help you better stick to your word.

I think too many people break their word not because they’re not good people, but because they get into the habit of taking on too much. They fill their plate with all of these commitments from all these people and then they realize that they can’t even go towards the things that they want in their life. They can’t even handle their own responsibilities, let alone try to solve other people’s stuff.

So, be wary of overcommitting yourself. If you can focus on that and learning to say ‘No’,  then later on you don’t have to say ‘Sorry’.

#2. Respect other people’s time, energy, and efforts. Do this as much as you respect and want to protect your own. Your time is not more valuable than other people’s. It took me a long time to realize that, especially as I started building a team and a big company, and a big organization.

I know we are all guilty of that, and sometimes we have to apologize for it. So, what I’m here to say to you is: remember, everybody has a story, everybody has a to-do list that day, everybody has a priority.

Canceling on other people so nonchalantly is not a positive character trait. 

I know that’s hard to say, but I was lucky people told me that earlier on in my career. It meant a lot to me.

Now, what’s happened is, we’re in a culture right now in which so many people are comfortable breaking their own commitments, and they allow other people to break their commitments. Nobody’s setting any standards and now we’re all so used to it because it’s so easy to cancel on somebody. You just pick up your phone and say, “Sorry, I can’t make it.”

And we’re so used to doing that so casually through text that we don’t see the damage on the other side. Somebody cancelled their meeting to talk to you. Somebody could have been spending their time with their daughter, their spouse, their lover, their team. Somebody else could have been working on their dream project while you work on your dream project and cancel on them.

Always respect other people’s time as much as you respect your own. Protect other people’s time. Don’t ask for favors if you don’t really need it. Don’t say you will be there when you won’t.

And I know it’s hard. Things do come up. But you know what? If you are always saying, “I’m sorry, these things came up” and you’re always making excuses, at some point you’re not owning your life and you’re not being responsible for your day and your schedule.

Of course things do come up sometimes. But if you consistently find yourself texting people fibs, “Well this came up, sorry” then it’s the time to revisit how much you respect other people’s time.

I think this really matters today. I’m sure a lot of people have blown you off in the last weeks, months, years. You didn’t appreciate it. So, why do it to somebody else? Respect other people’s times.

#3. Know your payoffs. Sometimes, we say ‘yes’ to a lot of things (especially the good opportunities!!) but we forget what our payoff is, and why we said yes to it. So, now we cancel and we don’t follow through with our word because we forget to remind ourselves about our why.

Why did we commit to that? Oh right, we could see this payoff over there. It totally makes sense. So, before I ever cancel something on anybody, I always ask myself, “Why did I commit to it in the first place? What was the payoff?”

And I remind myself what I was going to get from that situation or give to that situation.

This includes a service point-of-view. I’m sure there is a reason that I felt like I could serve this situation or this person, that’s why I said ‘yes’.  So, always be aware your why.

Before you commit to something, what’s the tangible takeaway? Why are you doing it?

Before you cancel, evaluate the opportunity and make sure you committed for the right reasons. Ask yourself if you’re respecting their time. Ask yourself what the payoff will be if you go through with it. Ask yourself how this commitment supports or dilutes your legacy.

Convince yourself why not to cancel by reconnecting with what you could get or what you could give.

#4. You break it, you buy it. Take this into your own commitments. If you break the meeting, if you break your word, if you don’t deliver when you said you were going to, and you don’t show up when you said you would, then you buy back their favor.

What do I mean by that?

You send them something. You send them either a very kind audio message, voice message, or a very kind email. You send them something in the mail if you missed a big meeting. You send them apologies. You send them some flowers.

You need to repair the damage. You are not taking into account how much damage is happening in other people’s lives when you steal their time away. If you’ve taken someone’s time away multiple times, then at some point they’re going to say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

And they ultimately may not feel good about you anymore.

You need to repair the damage. You break it, you buy it. You need to buy back your character, your reputation, your integrity with an act of kindness, an act of generosity, an act of attrition.

Go beyond what you committed to now. If you were only going to give them 30 minutes, and you canceled, offer to give them 60 minutes in the future.

Not only does this type of act regain your reputation, it also supports you on your journey to being a good person. When you mess up, be more generous. You break it, you buy it.

And that will help get some favor back. It will help you feel better about yourself because so many people are running around with a lot of guilt because they break their word all the time.

If you read my book The Charge, you know that the third human drive is congruence. That idea of being congruent in our own actions, in our own mind, of the best of who we can be. We all want to be extraordinary people. Don’t sell that opportunity to be extraordinary by breaking your word. Don’t screw up when you promised.

I know you know all this, but sometimes common sense isn’t common practice and that’s why I’m here to remind you of these four things. Keep your word, my friend. Other people’s time is worth it and your integrity is worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and that you will share it with other people. I look forward to seeing you out on the road sometime. I just want to remind you that it’s about the fundamentals. When we get back to them, we start to experience more of The Charged Life.