Do You Break Promises to Yourself? favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - November 10th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Tune-In Tuesday, Growth, Self-Love

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Why are we more likely to keep promises with other people than with ourselves?

Here’s a revelation: there is usually a big, underlying reason why you cannot commit to yourself.

Today’s topic may make you really uncomfortable, but ultimately, it will allow you to get to know yourself deeper.

Tune in to contemplate the promises you don’t keep and the truth behind them.


[00:41] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Tuesday, and welcome to our Tune-In Tuesday episode of this week. Today, I have a fun little topic in mind that is going to make you really uncomfortable. I don’t know, at least it makes me uncomfortable whenever I contemplate this in my own life. So, let's see. Today, we're going to take a moment to contemplate commitments and not just any commitment, but the commitments that we make to ourselves that we break. Dun, dun, dun! There is a heavy, heavy kind of feeling to that, but take a moment just to absorb that right now. So, the commitments that you make to yourself that you end up breaking. Isn't it funny how for so many of us, we are way more likely to keep the promises that we make to other people than we are to keep the promises that we make to ourselves? Why is the promise that we make to us easier to break than the promises that we make to our spouses or parents or children or friends? But it's so, so true.

[01:44] And the more I talk about this with people in my own life, I realize I am not alone in this. So, I wanted to have a moment for today's show, just for us to get really clear on that commitment that you keep breaking to yourself. You know, that commitment that maybe it's something that you try to decide or to try to commit to, or try to promise yourself. And then for some reason you just keep breaking that promise again and again and again. Chances are that there is a big underlying reason as to why you break these promises to yourself. And hopefully by contemplating this today, we can get a little bit closer to the truth of that answer. So, taking a moment and just taking a breath, dropping into the body right now, what is a commitment that you make to yourself that you know you break all the time?

[02:36] And I giggle a little bit saying that because I have a lot of them. I really do. And if I looked back at my own life, there were so many promises that I've made to myself that I just end up breaking. And I'm not just talking about New Year's resolutions and things like that, even though that's a really good, applicable thing, we can even talk about. How many people here have set a really strong, serious intention January 1st, only to completely forget about it not even two weeks later, right? We can make these big sweeping declarations to ourselves, like I will not do this anymore, or now I'm going to start doing this thing because that makes me feel good. And then one thing happens and that whole thing is just out the window. For me, a really clear one that I feel like I'm really fighting myself around is the topic of sleep.

[03:26] I have changed my life a lot. I get up at 4:45am every morning, which means I need to go to bed around 8:30pm, no later than 9:00pm. And even though I have changed my life to this point, I find that still I have a really hard time winding down at the end of the day or doing the practices at the end of the day, that I know helps me get a really good night's sleep. So, things like taking a bath before I go to bed or not having any screen time or knowing that, you know, if I'm watching TV or scrolling on my phone, it's going to be so much harder for me to wind down and actually fall asleep and go to bed. And still somehow, you know, it doesn't matter how big of a promise I make to myself that tonight I'm going to put my phone away at five o'clock and not pick it back up until tomorrow morning.

[04:13] Something always comes up. You know, there's a little reason why I needed my phone. Like I needed to look up a recipe or, Oh, a friend is calling me right now or wait, there was that one email that I forgot to send. And then all of a sudden I'm there on my phone and it's 8:00 PM and I'm 30 minutes away from bedtime. And I know I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep. So, that's just an example of many. And I can give you many, many of the promises I make to myself that I end up breaking. And the next morning I wake up and I didn't sleep so well. So, I tell myself again, well, tonight I'm really going to stick to that really serious evening routine.

[04:56] So, what is something similar that you have in your own life? Perhaps it's a vice that you have. Something that you do that, you know, just is since serving you, something that just really, isn't good for you in any way, but you do it anyway. And maybe you come back to that promise again and again, that no I'm going to quit doing this thing. Maybe it's eating really unhealthy foods or smoking cigarettes or drinking a lot, or, you know, something that you really know, like this is just not serving my greater good, but then still you end up in that same place again and again. It could also be a relationship. I do this a lot to myself in relationships. I'll have a bad experience with someone, or maybe there was someone that I just know that I have outgrown this person. They are not serving me in any way anymore.

[05:40] I need to end this relationship. And then I end up not doing that. And then I make that sweeping declaration to myself again and again and again, but somehow that person is still stealing my precious energy. And I am the one who allows it. So, what is it that's really true for you in terms of that big commitment that you make to yourself that you end up breaking? And I want you to really take a moment today to journal on this and go as deep as you can, because there is a deep, underlying reason as to why you keep breaking your own promises. And it's not that you're lazy. It's not that you're dumb. It's not that you don't care. There is a really real, sensitive reason that lies beneath that habitual decision-making that puts you right back into that same pattern.

[06:30] To give you a personal example, I have a really hard time winding down at the end of the day because my nervous system is always on alert. That's who I am. That's how I grew up. A lot of things that happened in my life made me that way. And for me, it's almost like I'm fighting upstream to do things that actually calms my nervous system down. It takes more effort for me to wind down at the end of the day than it takes for my husband, for instance, because we are so different as people. Or what about that relationship that's really hard for me to walk away from, right? Well, chances are, I just don't want to hurt the other person's feelings, right? I don't want that confrontation. I don't want to have drama in that sense in my life. So, there is always an underlying reason as to why we break those promises to ourselves.

[07:14] And by journaling on this, hopefully you can find some clarity around what actually is at the foundation of you breaking that promise again and again, and most important of all, can you invite some kindness into that space? So, if you're judging yourself really harshly for breaking that promise, can you bring a little bit of kindness, a little bit of compassion, some sweetness, some love into the space, just so you can soften a little bit. And perhaps by getting really clear on why this is a challenge for you, there is something that you can change around how you make this promise to yourself, perhaps adapting a little bit, maybe softening up a little bit on the demands that you have on yourself, or maybe just reinitiating that motivation to do that thing and to make yourself that promise and actually stick with it. Wherever this takes you, I hope you get a little bit closer to the truth of who you are and why you are the way you are, because at the end of the day, it makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for tuning in with me today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Yoga Girl Daily will be back tomorrow.

[End of Episode]