Life Lesson #315: Honouring commitments

You know that feeling you get when someone makes a promise to you and then breaks it? It sucks, doesn’t it? And yet we keep doing it to other people.

During preparation for the unnamed dance show I’ve been intensely rehearsing for, there’s been a couple dancers who went AWOL after being selected for pieces, as well as dancers who no longer want to be in pieces they’ve been rehearsing. That’s just not right. You made a commitment when you showed up for auditions; you can’t default without an explanation and you certainly can’t default at this late stage.

I used to do this kind of thing all the time, I’ve been there. I’d say yes to everything at first and then as time went and things really got hectic, I’d have to drop something at the last minute. I’d feel awful, and whoever I was letting down would usually be pissed. It’s a habit I’ve been trying to break, with some success.

The thing is, that kind of behaviour doesn’t do anyone any good. It makes you look bad and it totally erodes your integrity. People stop trusting your words because your actions are saying the opposite. And then you get the reputation of a flaker when you could have gotten the reputation of a responsible, reliable person just by saying no.

This is as much a reminder to myself as anything else.

Saying no doens’t necessarily mean you don’t want to, it just means you can’t right now. Know your limits before you agree to anything so you don’t end up disappointing people or killing yourself while trying not to disappoint people.

Just say no.

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