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How to Boost your Self Esteem by Sticking to all your Commitments


“Self esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.” – Nathaniel Branden

Picture this.

There’s an important client meeting. It’s to present your company’s latest product.

And your boss asks you to add the finishing touches to the presentation.

You are the office PPT ace after all. It is not a direct order, more like a favour that could work in your favour.

Your resolve is iron!

You want to turn that presentation into a work of art and will earn those brownie points without brown nosing.

But then something urgent and insistent comes up and you get entangled in the distraction. The hours turn into days.

The client comes to the meeting, and it starts…with the lousy presentation. Untouched and unimproved.

Breaking Commitments hurts our Self Esteem

How many times has something like this happened to you?

You have every intention of honouring the commitment. You make a firm resolve.

“I will not miss this meeting”

“I will not forget this anniversary”

“I will get my annual check-ups done on time”

“I will call my mom regularly”.

But stuff still slips through the cracks. And you end up not as reliable as you would like to be.

Over time, these little mistakes, come together to paint an image. It is an image of someone who can’t keep his words. Someone who is not reliable. Someone who is not to be trusted with getting things done.

And the question here is not about what others may perceive you as. Broken agreements hurt you more than they aggravate others.

You come to consider yourself incapable of respecting the belief and faith of others. And this damages your self esteem.

Believe Me, I understand You Have a Lot to Do

And you have been taught to take on responsibilities eagerly. After all, he who does more, thrives more.

But what you haven’t been taught is how to track your commitments so that you don’t forget them. Most people end up using their ‘minds’ for this task.

As David Allen says, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

Don’t fret. There is a different way, a system to ensure that you stay on top of your agreements by showing up and doing what is required of you, every time.

GTD® is the Real Deal

Getting Things Done is the magic system that puts you in control of your life and allows you to remember the right things to do at the right time.

A set of easy to remember, easy to implement intuitive practices. And once you start applying them in your life, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to operate without for so many years!

With GTD you feel in control because the nagging commitments leave your head and go take up residence in an external, reliable system that you can frequently review.

This leaves you well informed about what you need to do next, the status of the projects demanding your time and how much you can take on and execute without straining yourself.

Founder David Allen has divided the system into 5 key steps:

  • Capture, what has your attention
  • Clarify, what it means to you (What’s the Next Action?  What’s the Successful Outcome?)
  • Organize, park them in a trusted system
  • Reflect, on them regularly
  • Engage, trust your intuition and engage with your work

Want to learn more? Watch this 2 minute introduction video to GTD:

Manage Agreements Like a Pro with GTD (and boost self esteem)

GTD will result in a mindset shift. I can guarantee you this much. You will:

Learn the Power of Externalizing Your Agreements:

We feel great when we make an agreement. We have been conditioned into believing that saying ‘Yes’ is the essence of success.

But the euphoria is short lived. We end up either overcommitting ourselves or we simply forget our existing commitments. And this is bad for our self image.

GTD speaks a different language. It will show you that the loop closes only when you make a commitment and then entrust it to an external, reliable system where you can view it objectively and regularly.

Once you know how ‘booked’ you are, you will be cautious about obliging requests that come your way. You will be able to say ‘No’ with confidence because you will understand that yes is not an option and will likely result in shattered expectations.

When you practice GTD you choose your responsibilities with great discernment, you ensure that you to stick to your words by reviewing your system on a daily basis.

And you also have the power to re-negotiate the agreements that seem precarious because you now have objectivity working in your favour.

Learn the Importance of Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time:

Managing an agreement masterfully isn’t about obsessing over it and neglecting other commitments.

Yet often we do just that.

GTD teaches you the value of context. And tells you logically why you shouldn’t be bothering about painting the garage when you are delivering a seminar.

Under this paradigm you have different lists for different settings and all you need to do is refer the ‘agreements’ that you can execute in your present situation (or location) given the resources available to ensure that none of your promises (to yourself or to others) are ever broken.

Remember that presentation? How cool would it be to reach home, whip out the “At Home list” and calmly check the item off without fixating over its completion throughout the work day!

GTD makes you stick to your commitments effortlessly and feel good about yourself.

When you start fulfilling your agreements, you trust yourself more. You know that once you say something, you will do it.

Your reputation with yourself automatically improves. And so does your Self Esteem.

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