EQ Emotional Intelligence: Do You Keep Promises to Yourself?

Emotional Intelligence Self-Perception: The Self-Regard Competency

A thermometer with mercury bursting through the glass, and the words Confidence Level, symbolizing a positive attitude
Self-Regard is respecting oneself while understanding & accepting one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is often associated with feelings of inner strength & self-confidence.
The single fastest way to grow your self-confidence and self-esteem is to keep the promises you make to yourself. I was in Dubai in January 2015 for a leadership program at Zayed University called “Being a Leader”.  One of the facilitator’s questions to us was “Do you care enough about yourself to honor your word, particularly those promises you make to yourself?”
As an executive coach, I see examples in the workplace where leaders promise to take action within a timeframe; and don’t.  In 2009, I made a promise to my dad to love him unconditionally.  About a month ago, I was reacting to something he said with criticism and anger.  As a result, there was an erosion of affinity in our relationship impacting both him and I, given I didn’t honor my promise.  In my own life, I’ve diminished my well being, sense of peace and personal power when I’ve not honored my promise to myself about health in my exercise and lifestyle eating regime.
“Put simply, people consistently act inconsistently, unaware of the contradiction between their espoused theory and their theory-in-use, between the way they think they are acting and the way they really act.” Chris Argyris, 1991, Teaching Smart People How to Learn (Harvard Business Review: May-June) 
Self-Regard Awareness Activity: Identify and acknowledge all the promises you’ve made and not kept in the areas noted below.

  • In the workplace
  • In my personal relationships & life
  • In my relationship with myself

I encourage you to address the less than positive impact with a simple apology and acknowledgement of the impact that made.  Then make a new promise in the area – if it really matters to you – and design a structure (actions and time-frames) that enables you to fulfill it.  If you authentically aren’t committed to taking action, care enough about yourself to accept yourself as you are and as you are not.  Taking action to acknowledge the impact will restore your integrity resulting in a “bigger” experience of yourself.  Said another way, your confidence will expand.


EQ Emotional Intelligence Assessments are based on composites and their competencies. Each week in this series of blogs I will explore a composite or competency and its importance and impact on leadership; and then provide an exercise to help you expand that particular composite or competency.  I encourage you to buy a journal for the walk into your greatness, to do the work thoughtfully, and share your discoveries and challenges with me – either through the comments section of this blog or at trudy@simplymore.ca.
Related blogs in this series: